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What is Visceral Fat?

With January being a month of resolutions and new goals, some of us are hoping to shift a few pounds or trim their stomach in 2018.
Though many people may feel that they’re carrying a bit of harmless extra weight after the Christmas period, we discuss whether fat-loss is a small matter of vanity or a much larger issue of health and wellbeing.

Visceral Fat vs Subcutaneous Fat

Everybody has subcutaneous body fat; we need this layer of tissue to keep us warm and protect our muscles and bones. This subcutaneous layer is also responsible for letting blood vessels and nerves travel to the dermis of the skin and into our muscles.
Visceral fat is ‘inner fat’ or ‘inside fat’ sits far further below the skin than subcutaneous fat. Thick and gel-like, this deep, intra-abdominal fat could give you far bigger worries than tight jeans – visceral fat can change the way your body operates by surrounding major internal organs.
A little bit of belly fat is perfectly normal, but if you have a lot of fat around your abdomen and a larger than average waist, it is far more likely that your body is carrying visceral fat. While it’s most noticeable in people who are overweight, anyone can have visceral fat.

The Dangerous of Visceral Fat

Managing your weight and body fat is extremely important; it will come as no surprise that carrying deep, visceral fat sat around your major organs raises a person’s risk of:
• Heart disease
• Heart attacks and strokes
• Various types of cancer
• Arthritis
• Sleep disorders
• Respiratory issues
• Diabetes
• Depression
• Dementia

Losing Visceral Fat

The key to losing visceral abdominal fat is really nothing new, in short: eat less, move more. Here’s a few other things we recommend avoiding to ensure you’re organs are happy and healthy:
• Lower Your Alcohol Intake: There’s a reason it’s called a ‘beer belly’, regular alcohol consumption – binge drinking in particular – heightens your risk of developing visceral fat.
• Try HIIT: In the fitness industry, HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) has long been hailed as a great way to burn fat. This type of exercise also encourages your body to store fat more healthily.
• Cut Down on Sat Fat Intake: Processed food, convenience food and takeaways are pack full with saturated fats. Eat cleaner and your body will thank you for it.
• Stop Smoking: Consuming tobacco products have also been linked to higher levels of visceral fat. See our blog post on smoking cessation here.
• Monitor Your Progress: To better manage your weight and fat loss, ensure you have high quality body composition scales. MySelfCare’s BMI Scales can measure help you manage your weight and visceral fat loss by monitoring your BMI, lean, bone, muscle, water mass body fat and visceral fat rating.