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What is Visceral Fat?

There comes a time in every person’s life no matter how hard they train, how well they eat, or how genetically-gifted they may be, when they need to lose weight, or more specifically fat. But, what gets lost in the fat loss frenzy is the fact there are two types of fat in the human body.

When people typically think of losing fat, they’re almost always referring to subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous means “under the skin” and it’s the type of fat that’s all over your body directly under your skin. It’s the type of fat that’s part your unwanted jiggles and unsightly wiggles when moving. Subcutaneous fat is the fat discussed when bulking, cutting, and recomping. But, there is an even more insidious fat that resides deep down in our bodies, that brings much more severe consequences that just a squishy figure.

We’re talking about visceral fat.

Visceral Fat 101

Visceral fat is the fat that’s stored around the organs primarily located in the abdominal cavity, i.e. the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Whereas you can see, touch, and even pinch subcutaneous fat, visceral fat is a silent killer that lines beneath the abdominal wall, making it harder to see and even tougher to burn off. And while subcutaneous fat might give you a lackluster physique, it’s not nearly as life-threatening as visceral fat is. In fact, high amounts of visceral fat are associated with increased risks of developing heart disease, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and dyslipidemia.[1,2,3]

Science has yet to uncover the reason visceral fat is so much more harmful than subcutaneous fat, but one theory that’s gaining traction is that visceral fat release fatty acids and pro-inflammatory compounds into portal vein, where these compounds enter the liver.[4] This “infects” the blood and causes problems with steatosis (adipose degeneration) and insulin resistance, which leads to further health complications.

How to Lose Visceral Fat

While visceral fat sounds like pretty scary stuff, fortunately, research has shown that it responds pretty well to standard protocols used to burn off unwanted subcutaneous fat.[5,6,7] Some of the ways you can limit or reduce visceral fat accumulation on your body is:

  • Remove all trans fats from your diet
  • Lift Weights
  • Perform High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  • Limit alcohol (i.e. no heavy drinking or “binges”)
  • Reduce stress (cortisol)
  • Get sufficient sleep each night

You can also enhance your body’s fat burning abilities by using the right supplements, such as Steel Core™ features proven ingredients such as Grains of Paradise (Aframum melegueta) (Paradoxine®) which is a spice belonging to the ginger family that stimulates brown adipose tissue, boosting metabolism and increasing thermogenesis while decreasing visceral fat in the lower abdomen.

Takeaway

Fat, no matter which kinds, isn’t just ugly, it’s downright detrimental to your health. The good news, is that it’s relatively easy to lose. All you have to do is put in the work, in the form of proper diet, exercise, and recovery and you can limit the amount of fat on your body and promote a leaner, stronger physique and a better quality of life!

References

  1. Klein S, Fontana L, Young VL, et al. Absence of an effect of liposuction on insulin action and risk factors for coronary heart disease. N Engl J Med. 2004;350(25):2549-2557. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa033179.
  2. Hamdy O, Porramatikul S, Al-Ozairi E. Metabolic obesity: the paradox between visceral and subcutaneous fat. Curr Diabetes Rev. 2006;2(4):367-373.
  3. Matsuzawa Y, Shimomura I, Nakamura T, Keno Y, Kotani K, Tokunaga K. Pathophysiology and pathogenesis of visceral fat obesity. Obes Res. 1995;3 Suppl 2:187S-194S.
  4. Rytka JM, Wueest S, Schoenle EJ, Konrad D. The Portal Theory Supported by Venous Drainage–Selective Fat Transplantation. Diabetes. 2011;60(1):56-63. doi:10.2337/db10-0697.
  5. Rice T, Hong Y, Perusse L, et al. Total body fat and abdominal visceral fat response to exercise training in the HERITAGE Family Study: evidence for major locus but no multifactorial effects. Metabolism. 1999;48(10):1278-1286.
  6. Dutheil F, Lac G, Lesourd B, et al. Different modalities of exercise to reduce visceral fat mass and cardiovascular risk in metabolic syndrome: the RESOLVE randomized trial. Int J Cardiol. 2013;168(4):3634-3642. doi:10.1016/j.ijcard.2013.05.012.
  7. Irving BA, Davis CK, Brock DW, et al. Effect of exercise training intensity on abdominal visceral fat and body composition. Medicine and science in sports and exercise. 2008;40(11):1863-1872. doi:10.1249/MSS.0b013e3181801d40.

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