Having abdominal fat doesn’t necessarily mean you’re overweight, but it can lead to significant health complications. We review why abdominal fat is so dangerous and offer some ways to eliminate it.
There are two kinds of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Subcutaneous fat lies directly beneath your skin, and you can grasp it with your hands. Visceral fat lies deep in your abdominal cavity and surrounds your stomach, liver, and intestines, and you might be unaware that you have it.
While subcutaneous fat is relatively harmless, visceral fat can pose significant health risks.
Risks of visceral abdominal fat
Visceral fat is often called “active fat” since it’s metabolically active. Therefore, it can affect how your body functions and lead to issues like metabolic disturbances.
High amounts of visceral fat can cause many health challenges, including:
- Type 2 diabetes
- Heart disease
For women, visceral fat has also been linked to breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery.
Signs you have high amounts of visceral abdominal fat
While waist size is usually a good indicator of growing amounts of visceral fat, there are other ways you can tell if it is present in your body.
If you have a “pear-shaped” body, with fat accumulated more in the lower part, that’s usually a sign of subcutaneous fat. However, an “apple-shaped” body, with fat sitting mainly around your midsection is a good indicator of visceral fat.
You can also tell if visceral fat is presented by measuring your body mass index (BMI) or waist-to-hip ratio.
Losing visceral abdominal fat
Here are a few tips on how to eliminate dangerous abdominal fat:
- Exercise: Aim to exercise for at least 30 minutes a day, whether it’s cardio or strength training
- Eat a healthy diet: Try to include lean proteins, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables, and avoid trans fats, high amounts of sugar, and processed foods
- Practice good sleep habits: Strive to get at least seven hours of sleep each night to avoid putting on additional visceral fat
- Reduce stress: High cortisol levels can trigger your body’s “fight-or-flight” response, causing your body to store extra visceral fat
In addition, you can also try specific eating patterns, like intermittent fasting or the ketogenic diet, which are proven to help reduce visceral fat.
To learn more about how to live a healthier lifestyle and reduce the risk of health issues that can come from abdominal fat, contact our office located in Plano, Texas, by giving us a call or requesting an appointment online with us today.