How to lose visceral fat vs subcutaneous fat

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How This Helps

We all know that excess fat is not good for your health. But do you know there’s more than one type of fat, and that not all stomach fat is bad? For individuals trying to lose weight, it may feel as though all fat is the same.  But there are two unique kinds of fat: subcutaneous and visceral. Their effect on your health is quite different.

Much of the fat from the stomach area lies right under the skin. This type of fat is known as subcutaneous fat and isn’t necessarily hazardous to your health.

The harmful fat is the hidden fat around your organs. This type is known as visceral abdominal fat. You might have visceral fat but not be obese.

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What’s subcutaneous fat?

When it comes to body fat, place counts, and every year brings new signs that the fat lying deep inside the abdomen is much more dangerous than the fat you can pinch with your fingers.

About 90 percent of body fat is of the subcutaneous type in most people. This fat type lies within a layer just beneath the epidermis (outer layer of cells that make up the skin). If you poke your stomach, the fat which feels tender is subcutaneous fat.

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What’s visceral fat?

The remaining 10% called visceral or intra-abdominal fat is located out of reach, beneath the abdominal wall. It is located in the areas surrounding the liver, intestines, and other organs. Additionally, it is stored in the omentum, an apron-like flap of tissue that lies beneath the stomach muscles and blankets the intestines. The omentum gets tougher and thicker as it fills with fat. Although Visceral fat constitutes only a tiny proportion of body fat, it is an integral player in various health conditions that develop.

As women age in the middle years, their percentage of fat to body weight tends to grow – more so than men – and fat storage starts favoring the upper body across the thighs and hips. Your waist size can increase by inches as visceral fat pushes out from the abdominal wall, even if you do not add any weight.

Visceral fat vs. Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat is benign and might even protect from some medical conditions. Visceral fat is the one surrounding the inner organs. Though it’s not visible from the exterior, it’s associated with many diseases.

Before researchers knew that fat acts as an endocrine gland, they believed that the primary threat of visceral fat was affecting the production of cholesterol by releasing free fatty acids to the blood and liver. Researchers have now identified links between visceral fat and a broad set of diseases.

Subcutaneous fat produces a higher percentage of valuable molecules. Visceral fat, on the other hand, generates a higher percentage of molecules with potentially harmful health consequences. Visceral fat creates more of these proteins known as cytokines. These may trigger low-level inflammation, which is considered as a risk factor for many chronic ailments. Additionally, it creates a precursor to angiotensin, a protein that causes blood vessels to constrict and blood pressure to rise.

Researchers at Harvard have found that, in comparison with subcutaneous fat, visceral fat secretes more of retinol-binding protein 4 (RBP4), a molecule that increases insulin resistance. As the quantity of visceral fat increases, so do levels of RBP4. The high correlation is prompting researchers to develop a blood test for RBP4 for physicians to measure a person’s store of visceral fat.

Subcutaneous fat creates more of certain beneficial molecules., The leptin hormone acts on the brain to lower your appetite and burn stored fat. Another hormone Adiponectin is produced mainly by subcutaneous fat that helps protect against diabetes by regulating the processing of sugars and fats. Adiponectin is created by visceral fat, but production falls as fat quantity increases.

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A sedentary lifestyle and a lack of regular exercise are possible causes of the increase in subcutaneous fat. Many people now know the adverse health effects of being overweight assume it is their belly. The real culprit may well be hidden from view.

Studies have shown that people with a great deal of visceral fat, or the sort invisible from the exterior, were more likely to die when they had less subcutaneous fat. This fact means that individuals who have less visible fat are, at least in some circumstances, at a higher risk of death. This evidence indicates that subcutaneous fat can protect the health of those who have a great deal of visceral fat.

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Another 2004 study showed that patients who immediately lost 30 pounds of subcutaneous fat during liposuction had no health benefit if they had a great deal of visceral abdominal fat, which stayed. Visceral fat around abdominal organs can’t be liposuctioned.

A reduction of subcutaneous fat with liposuction does not improve risk factors with conditions such as blood pressure, cholesterol, and insulin sensitivity.

Visceral fat is linked to diabetes type 2 and heart disease more than BMI (body mass index). Researchers think that visceral fat may only be a complication of an unhealthy lifestyle. What’s important to understand is that most people with a great deal of belly fat also have a good deal of visceral fat.

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Lose visceral and subcutaneous fat

If you want to lose visceral fat and decrease your risk for cardiovascular disease and diabetes, begin with cutting back on your calories and getting more exercise. When people slim down through diet and exercise, visceral fat disappears two times as fast as subcutaneous fat based on Dr. Klein, Professor of Medicine and Nutritional Science at Washington University School of Medicine.

You can lose both visceral and subcutaneous fat. While subcutaneous fat loss could be the goal for many to look good and feel better, losing visceral fat enhances your health.

Subcutaneous fat stays under the skin instead of visceral fat that surrounds the organs. Everybody has some subcutaneous fat, but lifestyle factors such as exercise and diet and genetics can affect the quantity of subcutaneous fat each individual develops. Individuals are more likely to collect both subcutaneous and visceral fat when they are not getting enough exercise or spend plenty of time sitting still. They may also be consuming more calories, are insulin resistant, or have diabetes.

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Both kinds of fat can be tricky to lose. Some factors which produce fat hard to lose comprise:

Weight reduction: Individuals with plenty of subcutaneous fat frequently make the mistake of attempting to spot-reduce the fat by, as an example, doing plenty of abdominal crunches. This strategy is not as effective as the one trying to burn fat throughout the body.

Insulin resistance: Visceral fat is related to insulin resistance, which may make it tough to lose both visceral fat and subcutaneous fat.

Lose  visceral and subcutaneous fat

Burning Visceral fat may also burn subcutaneous fat. For optimal health, it’s sensible to target visceral fat. Fitness strategies that burn fat in general, in addition to those that counteract the adverse effects of visceral fat, can optimize success.

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Dietary modifications

People will need to consume fewer calories than they burn to lose weight. Protein helps people feel fuller longer. Eating more protein can make it much easier to stick to a diet and decrease cravings for high fat and high-sugar foods.

Carbohydrates and glucose are connected to diabetes, Visceral fat, and metabolic problems. Some research suggests that excessive carbohydrate intake can cause abdominal fat, both subcutaneous and visceral. Replacing some carbohydrates with higher-protein choices can boost metabolism, reduce fat storage, and prevent metabolic problems.


Burning subcutaneous fat requires burning off calories. Many exercise routines are available that are capable of doing so.

Aerobic exercise and cardio: This class comprises most fitness routines that increase the heart rate, like jogging, swimming, and jumping rope. You burn more calories in a higher intensity & duration exercise routine.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT): HIIT is an approach to grow the fat-burning power during aerobic exercises. It involves short bursts of higher activity followed by periods of lower activity. A HIIT routine may consist of running for 1 minute, followed by a 2-minute walk, then another two minutes jogging.

Strength training: Weightlifting and other strength exercises burn little fat. But, muscle burns calories, so building muscle is one strategy for boosting your metabolism. People with muscles burn more calories, even if they aren’t exercising.

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Other lifestyle strategies

Emotional health is essential for those trying to lose weight. Chronic stress induces the body to release a hormone called cortisol. In little, short-lived bursts, cortisol is benign. But prolonged exposure to cortisol may undermine weight loss. This exposure means that managing anxiety can help in an attempt to lose subcutaneous fat.

Cortisol is harmful to people who consume a high-sugar diet and are trying to lose weight. People experiencing bouts of anxiety should also avoid stress-eating, especially eating plenty of carbohydrates and sweets.


A particular Mediterranean diet with a personalized calorie count is suitable for people with visceral and subcutaneous fat matched with their metabolic rate. Digital instruments can easily measure this base metabolic rate now. Some nutritional supplements or protein shake and dietary modifications are effective means of lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. A particular Mediterranean diet with a personalized calorie count is suitable for people with visceral and subcutaneous fat matched with their metabolic rate. Digital instruments can easily measure this base metabolic rate now. Some nutritional supplements or protein shake and dietary modifications are effective means of lowering your risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.

Other tips include to get your full night’s sleep, keep a good mood, don’t smoke, and forget the liposuction quick fix.

But it all starts by knowing and then losing the right type of fat!