There are two types of body fats that we store. One is under the skin, and it is stored in the abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks. This fat is called “subcutaneous fat,” which means that it’s underneath the skin. The other fat is called “visceral fat.” This type of fat is stored deeper inside of our bodies, near or around the organs, such as lungs, digestive tract, liver, heart, chest, pelvis area, and abdomen. Belly fat is the most dangerous type of fat and it is a good indicator of health risks for cardiac disease.
Visceral Fat and Why We Have It
The hidden fat (visceral) is actually more unsafe than the subcutaneous fat. The visceral fat can also store in slimmer people, because we all have this fat. The hidden, visceral fat does move in the body and produce substances that your body doesn’t need. Having too much of this fat increases your risk for high blood pressure, diabetes, some cancers, (usually of the breast and colon), and it also can cause heart disease and dementia.
On a positive note, however, both types of fat can protect the organs from damage.Your organs can suffer damage when too much visceral fat is stored around them. This happens when your body becomes obese. The fat actually has no more safe places to store itself, so therefore, it stores around the organs.
This can create many problems, even more so now due to obesity being on the increase in the American general population.Experts and doctors, in the past, were under the misconception that fat used to only store in the liver in alcoholics, which caused a condition called “fatty liver.” Now, studies show that it just takes too much visceral fat stored around the abdomen to create this harmful condition.
Visceral Fat and the Risk Factors
If you are wondering how to be checked for visceral fat, there are a few simple techniques to do. These include:
- Measure your waist line – Take a tape measure and measuring the circumference of your waist line. For a woman, you should measure 35 inches or less, and a man should measure 40 inches or less.
- Determine your body shape – Apple shaped bodies are more at risk for accumulating visceral fat. An apple shape is where the fat stores mostly around the waist and chest region. A pear shape is much safer, especially when it comes to storing visceral fat. Pear shaped bodies tend to store fat in the thighs and hips.
- Get an MRI – An MRI scan is the best way to measure visceral fat, but more it is a bit expensive and risky, due to unnecessary radiation exposure. Many people simply go by the easiest methods mentioned above.
Getting Rid of Belly Fat
- Take vitamin C – Stress causes many health problems. When you are under stress, your body will secrete more of the stress hormone known as cortisol. When taking vitamin C, it helps balance the cortisol from hormonal increases. Vitamin C also produces a compound called carnitine, which is used by the body to turn fat into fuel. This, in turn, makes vitamin C a fat burning vitamin. Vitamin C is also great to reduce or fight colds.
- Sleep – Getting enough sleep at night varies in amounts among different people. Most people need anywhere from six to nine hours of sleep, but the average is between seven and eight hours of sleep. Losing sleep, many times, alters your hormone production, which in turn, affects your cortisol levels. This may cause insulin problems and lead to belly fat. To avoid this issue, keep your biorhythm in check in order to not produce ghrelin, a substance that triggers cravings for sugar and fatty foods.
- Eat less sugar – You already know that sugar causes fat to store in the body. If you are having a sugar craving, you should replace it with alternative foods like fruit. You can get a juicer and make your own juice to help fill you up when craving sweet drinks, and the natural juices are much healthier. Also eating more protein, grains, and vegetables will help to keep you full longer. The spice known as cinnamon helps to stabilize blood sugar in the body by slowing down the rate that the food leaves the stomach. This will keep you filling full longer and not wanting to snack in between meals.
- Eat good fat –Eating fat is something you usually don’t hear anyone tell you to do, but now, studies show that eating a “good” fat can actually help you to lose weight. Fat will burn stored body fat, so try and eat fats rich in Omega-3s.
- Exercise – You may have thought that I was leaving it out but no chance. The body needs exercise in order to keep fit, keep weight in a normal range, and keep the mind positive and stress-free. Your body needs to keep moving in order to stay healthy. By exercising, you are producing more energy (burning calories). Try one of the simplest yet most effective of all exercises thus far: walking. Try a half of a mile at first, then work up to two or three miles later on. You will reap the benefits of a healthier you.