While a lot of us want to lose our belly fat and muffin tops for aesthetic reasons and rock that bikini in the beach, the real concern is the underlying health implications, which can be dangerous and life-threatening. The visceral fat, which surrounds our liver and other vital organs releases various fatty acids, inflammatory agents and hormones which leads to various health complications. If one has excess visceral fat, he or she is more susceptible to chronic lifestyle diseases such as diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and even cancer. For women, the storage of fat changes due to estrogen levels. Younger women tend to store fat in their hips, thighs, arms and even buttocks, which is relatively healthier. When women reach menopause, fat storage shifts to the abdominal region.
To have a better grasp about body fat, it is not merely a dormant mass used for energy storage alone. Body fat can be seen as a “distributed organ”, for it secretes numerous hormones into our blood stream. One of which is leptin, a hunger-regulating hormone. It also secretes an inflammation-promoting hormone named necrosis factor-alpha. Inflammation is need to repair damaged tissues and muscles but over-inflammation can be deteriorating to the body.
Visceral fat vs. Subcutaneous fat in the abdominal area
Subcutaneous abdominal fat usually tends to form a mouth shape around the navel. It is usually called the muffin top when tight-fitting jeans create a roll of fat visible on top of it. Muffin top usually creates a lot of discomfort and embarrassment among women of all ages, thus they must say goodbye to muffin tops and hello to a killer silhouette with shapewear leggings.
More often than not, subcutaneous abdominal fat shifts position more easily as one’s body moves. To measure how much your subcutaneous fat is, measure your waist circumference while lying down and standing up and measure its difference. A two or more inches of difference can be considered one as with large subcutaneous abdominal fat. Visceral abdominal fat on the other hand is the body fat stored within the abdominal cavity and stored around various vital organs. Excess visceral fat hampers functioning of liver and interrupts hormonal communication within the vital organs.
Consequently, larger waistline leads to high triglycerides in the bloodstream causing “syndrome x.” in terms of general health and well-being excess visceral fat is more detrimental than excess subcutaneous fat. However, excess body fat or either kind is not recommended. The recommended whole body fat percentage is 21-24 percent for women and 16 percent or less for men. For optimal well-being, body fat is usually around 6-12 percent in men and 14-20 percent in women. To achieve this, one must understand that nothing combats clean eating alongside physical activity to reduce belly fat.
Balanced diet consists of avoiding simple carbohydrates, saturated fats and increased protein intake. Make sure to also incorporate metabolism boosting food and beverages such as green tea. In addition, it is best to undergo strength training to build muscles which would fasten your metabolic activity thus cutting fat. One does not really need to sign a gym membership though, as long as you do more physical activities such as walking or biking around the subdivision, or doing more errands. More importantly, one must understand the spot reduction does not, thereby we need to do whole body exercises for overall fat reduction. While cosmetic procedures are widely available nowadays such as the liposuction, it does only eliminate subcutaneous fat. Slimming pills can also have detrimental side effects in the body such as hampering normal blood flow.