Update Date: 30-05-2022 | All Facts checked by Dr. Alina Starkov – Nutritionist & Weight loss Specialist.
We have some news for you – you can’t be completely free of belly fat; abdominal fat is there to protect and insulate your body. That said, it is important to understand the types of belly fat if you want to get into shape.
Excess visceral belly fat, for instance, can damage your health, and there are easy steps you can take to lose this unseen enemy. Developing chronic diseases is also another risk factor that comes into play with the extra bulge. Make sure you are healthy and get rid of your extra abdominal fat and lose weight overall.
This article will guide you through the types of belly fat and how you can get rid of any excess. Read carefully, take in the information, and you might just prevent excessive weight gain in the process.
What Is Belly Fat?
Losing bloated belly fat is probably one of the most common weight loss goals, and it’s not just for the sake of the perfect figure. It is also good for your health. Only a tiny amount of your overall body fat lies in your stomach, but it can make a big difference in your life to understand the types of belly fat and what they do. Let’s take a look
Types of Belly Fat?
The two types of belly fat are found in different places in your stress tummy. One type is often the most noticed – right under your skin. The other type, the visceral fat, is located a bit deeper into your abdomen and surrounding organs.
Subcutaneous belly fat
The fat that gets under your skin, quite literally. This is the one that we don’t like to see. It is the unsightly, jiggling type, but it’s not necessarily dangerous. Also known as SAT, subcutaneous fat is soft, and women are far more likely to have it than men.
Unlike visceral belly fat, it is not strongly linked to increased disease risk but can still be unhealthy. In general, too much fat anywhere would pose a health risk. Obesity, for instance, can cause you to develop chronic diseases such as type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and even some cancers.
So although you should not be scared of having an acceptable amount of subcutaneous (jiggly) belly fat, you should look after your body weight and work to get rid of any excess.
Visceral belly fat
The baddy, this is the villain – the one you should avoid getting to know at all costs. Also known as VAT, visceral adipose tissue is the fat that surrounds your internal organs like a blanket. Unlike subcutaneous belly fat, this type of fat is invisible, goes deep, and can cause internal health risks.
It’s a more ‘active’ type of fat. This means its got more fat cells, vessels, and nerves than the safer type of belly fat. As with most destructive things in life, visceral belly fat is linked to extremely dangerous conditions. It is related to increased insulin resistance.
This hormone regulates your blood sugar levels, and over time, if resistance builds up, it may cause elevated blood sugar levels. In return, this can cause you to develop type 2 diabetes.
The distribution of body fat and where it goes in your body can change as you get older. You will need to understand what goes into being healthy and free from the health dangers of tank fat.
You can see this with premenopausal women who experience higher levels of subcutaneous tummy fat. This is frequently referred to as a hormonal belly. In contrast, if you are postmenopausal you will have more visceral fat. As your visceral belly fat increases with age, it can risk metabolic disease.
You are on the safer side of a visceral fat tummy as a woman, but not entirely safe. This is where the apples and pears analogy comes into play. You can see men growing into apple shapes. They become round thanks to visceral belly fat. Women are more likely to develop a pear-shaped body due to being more prone to storing fat in the lower belly.
Why Excess Belly Fat May Harm Health
Belly fat is necessary for good health, but like everything in life, in moderation. Visceral fat is the type of stomach fat that is significantly linked to health concerns. The hormones, substances, and inflammatory proteins produced by the harmful tank fats can harm your health by increasing your blood pressure, inflammation, and blood fat levels.
Taking care of your health is the most critical thing for you to be happy and enjoy life to your fullest.
Let’s look at other ways in which fats can be a health problem.
Visceral Fat and Your Liver
When you consume a good amount of calories and do not do enough physical activity then these calories are stored as excess abdominal fat. Most of the fats are stored under the skin and you can feel them. These visible fats are called subcutaneous fat and those fats which are not visible are called visceral fat.
Your portal vein carries blood from your gastrointestinal tract to your liver for processing, and visceral fat storage is located in the same space. The fatty acids, proteins, and other harmful elements that your visceral fat transfers place your gastrointestinal in immediate danger if visceral fat is in excess.
The effect of visceral fat on your health can cause inflammation in your liver as well as an increase in higher amounts of liver fat. Higher amounts of liver fat can dangerously increase your risk of developing conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.
When you take an excessive amount of saturated fat but do not do a good amount of physical activity, it causes metabolic syndrome and store in liver, vein, and stomach. Saturated fat is healthy fat when it has a limit.
Total Belly Fat and Disease Risk
As previously stated, subcutaneous gut fat isn’t as dangerous as its visceral counterpart. But it still has its own health hazards. A high amount of excess fat is dangerous, even if it is primarily subcutaneous.
If you are working to reduce your overall body fat percentage, you will be able to live a healthier life by protecting your liver and other precious organs.
With total saturated fats comes waist circumference, which is strongly linked to disease risks and is contributed by both stomach fat types.
Suppose you work to maintain a healthy waist circumference and reduce it through diet and exercise. In that case, you will be helping yourself improve on many health fronts. Diabetes prevention and heart health are two of the most essential health benefits you will be giving yourself by reducing total body fat.
Effective Ways to Lose Belly Fat
Losing excess stomach fat is one of the most important decisions you will make in life, and it’s all about diet, exercise, and healthy living. Aerobic exercise and strength training are also sure to engage that abdominal muscle to lose belly fat safely and sustainably without starving yourself. If you follow these tips regularly then you could avoid the liposuction fat loss process.
Just remember that your age, sex, genetics, and other factors also play a significant role in fat accumulation. It’s not just about exercise and dieting.
Below, you will find easily sustainable ways to live an overall healthy life and reduce total fat.
- Cut out sugary beverages – We all love to have a sparkly sugary drink every now and then. But these drinks are not only bad for your teeth and skin, but also your total gut fat. Water is an incredible source for losing unwanted fat and provides many health benefits. Swap the cola for 8 glasses of water, and you will be on your way to a flatter tummy in no time. The primary cause for concern with sugary beverages is that they will increase fat accumulation in your waist circumference.
- Get moving – Exercise and increased physical activity are excellent sources of reducing your abdomen fat. Working out, running, jumping, aerobics, and cardio exercise are all highly beneficial to reducing all lower abdomen fat types and will show fast results.
- Increase your fiber intake – If you start following a high fiber diet, you will likely have fewer fat cells. Soluble fiber doesn’t only help to lose the bulge but will also prevent fat from accumulating again. This applies if fiber is actively incorporated into your diet.
- Cut back on processed food – Many studies are proving that ultra-processed foods are not only dangerous to your overall health but also to fat accumulation. If you cancel processed food such as snack foods, sweets, and refined grains out of your diet, you will immediately start to lose lower belly fat.
- Limit alcohol use – We’re not saying that you should swap your Margarita for a glass of water. But alcohol does harm your overall health if you consider the fact that it contributes to your overall fat accumulation and both types of belly fat. Drinking less alcohol will be a health benefit in many ways, not only for losing weight.
- Don’t skimp on sleep – Sleep will bring you peace, and quiet, and even reduce your fat accumulation. Poor sleeping patterns and quality of sleep are widely known as a contributor to vascular gut fat. You should strive for improved sleep quality not just tonight, but every night.
- Increase protein intake – Protein can significantly assist you with losing tummy fat. In recent studies, it was proven that you can lose up to 10% more belly fat when adding more protein to your diet.
- Fill up on whole foods – If you want to have a great chance at losing lower fat and losing weight overall, incorporate whole foods into your diet. Ultra-processed foods, as we know, have a hugely negative effect on health and fat accumulation.
With so many factors involved with weight loss, and all of us living different lifestyles, the best decision you can make is to see a registered dietitian help you choose an appropriate diet plan that will focus specifically on losing belly fat.
Lose Them Both
Both types of fat can contribute to an unhealthy life and cause you to be more prone to chronic illnesses, tiredness, and liver damage. By taking care of your stomach, you will be able to live a happier and healthier life, while looking your best. Check out our related articles for more information.
With most dietary plans, ultra-processed foods are usually removed. Remember that exercise, an active and healthy lifestyle, combined with a healthy diet are all vital factors for you to consider when it comes to shaking stubborn gut fat. By adding any of these changes to your lifestyle you will be thanking yourself, and your scale will be thanking you.
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Reinette Robbertze is a highly qualified professional in the health and nutrition industry, having completed both Journalism and Nutrition diplomas. With a remarkable portfolio of health blogs and magazine articles to her name, Reinette’s writing is fueled by her genuine passion for healthy living. Drawing on her academic background, Reinette delivers authentic and insightful information to her readers. Her engaging writing style, blended with personal anecdotes, creates an immersive experience that keeps readers engaged and informed. Keep following her work for the latest updates and informative articles on health and nutrition.