Visceral Fat; What is it and what does it mean for my health?

Let’s consider something simple…the majority of your organs are in your midsection. That means if you hold more weight in that area, you are putting the organs’ functions in jeopardy. But on top of this, Visceral Fat contributes to negative hormonal imbalances that could affect your overall health!

Visceral fat, or the excess weight inside your trunk region could also literally make it harder to breathe (a.k.a expand and contract your lungs fully), that we are not taking in as much oxygen into our systems! This could cause hypoxia, decreased blood flow to essential organs, and even inhibited aerobic anabolism (the ability to break down molecules into needed energy).  Midsection weight increases our chances of metabolic disease, as the fat cells in this area can be particularly toxic to our organs.

According to Medical News Today:

  • Visceral fat is correlated with insulin resistance, which can make it hard to lose both visceral and subcutaneous fat.
  • Weight loss strategies: People with lots of subcutaneous fat often make the mistake of trying to spot-reduce the fat by, for example, doing lots of abdominal exercises. This strategy is less effective than trying to burn fat throughout the body.
  • Inflammation: Some research suggests that visceral fat releases cytokines that increase inflammation. This inflammatory response is linked to weight gain and may increase subcutaneous fat.”

Burning visceral fat can also burn subcutaneous fat. That is why, for optimal health, it is wise to target visceral fat first. When you start an aerobic routine, oftentimes in the first 3-4 months it may look like nothing is “happening” in the mirror. But during this first 3-4 months of cardio, muscle building, and fat burn, it’s important to consider HOW YOU FEEL. Do you have more energy? Are you sleeping better? Has your appetite for calorie dense foods decreased? Do you feel lighter on your feet and stronger and more stable in your legs, torso, and even upper extremities?  These are some simple signs that you are getting rid of the fat INSIDE of you (versus the stuff you can pinch) first! CONSISTENCY IS KEY! Keep going until “the outside looks like the inside!”

 

Tune in later in the week to find out the difference between this in between the organs fat (visceral) and the fat you can pinch on your belly with your fingers (sub-cutaneous)!