Fat isn’t bad. We know that some fact is good for you! The big debate here is visceral vs subcutaneous fat. One kind of fat causes asthma, heart disease, the likelihood of diabetes, and many other things.
The other type of fat helps regulate body temperature and emergency energy reserves. Both help regulate your body throughout the day.
If you’re starting on your fitness journey (notice we didn’t say “weight loss” journey there), then this is the guide for you!
The Good and the Bad
Let’s start with a brief overview of why fat matters and how both types of fat are necessary. They act as endocrine generators, producing hormones that help us regulate ourselves throughout the day. The hormones and proteins that both fats release include leptin, Il-6, angiotensin, TNF-a, and adiponectin.
This fact helps us bust our first myth of the day. Both visceral and subcutaneous fats help us regulate and maintain a healthy level of bodily functions. You may be tempted to get to 0% body fat as fast as possible, but that will just damage the rest of your body.
Instead, to get healthy in a responsible way, focus on building functional muscle instead of getting an insane pump and calling it a day.
Eat well, do cardio, and lift weights but don’t go towards any single fitness method’s extremes. During a fitness kick, balance is always the most important thing to focus on.
Still, too much fat is also hard on your body. Too many of these helpful fat hormones and proteins will throw your body out of balance. So, focus on regulating the chemicals your fat produces through movement and exercise.
Visceral Vs Subcutaneous Fat: A Crash Course
Even though these two different types of fat tend to do similar things, several significant differences need to be considered.
So, let’s break down the visceral fat vs subcutaneous fat varieties until we understand them better before regrouping to talk through how to handle each kind specifically (depending on your fitness goals).
The biggest difference between visceral fat and subcutaneous fat is the locations they’re stored in.
Subcutaneous fat is stored away from the stomach and is usually located directly underneath the skin. Loose skin on the bottom of your triceps, cellulite, and double chins are all different manifestations of subcutaneous fat.
Other than individual aesthetic preferences, subcutaneous fat doesn’t have many health-related downsides. The hormones that these deposits release aren’t associated closely with heart disease or anything similar. Instead, these deposits mainly help with healthy amounts of slightly inflammatory properties during your day-to-day.
Visceral fat is the type of fat most commonly associated with heart disease, diabetes, asthma, and other ailments.
This type of fat usually manifests as fatty deposits all around the abdomen. So, think beer bellies, love handles, and chest size. Visceral fat is the most common casualty of an active and fitness-oriented lifestyle.
Still, it’s crucial to remember that not every person will see the same results that a conventionally fit person sees. Everybody likes to build and hold onto visceral fat a little differently.
As we move further into this discussion, it’s important to note that the most important metric to monitor is your energy level day-to-day as you continue your journey. As exercise works its magic, your visceral fat will decrease in size. This decrease will slow down the production of the more volatile hormones and proteins that visceral fat produces.
How do you tell if your level of fat is healthy or not?
Well, several features play into this. First, your tendency to produce testosterone or estrogen will change how your body stores fat. Testosterone will encourage the growth of visceral fat, and estrogen will promote the storage of subcutaneous fats.
Your genetics will play a role in this as well.
Look at your family history. What body type has been the most common through the years? The most common body type in your family is likely what your ideal body type will look like.
Then, as you continue your journey, you can refine your image of your most ideal and beautiful body type.
So, How Do You Handle Fat Loss?
This part is the easy part… and it’s the hard part. Now that you’ve analyzed your needs and where you want to be, you can start your fitness routine!
Luckily, because everybody is different, you can focus more on just getting active than getting active in any one specific way.
You’ve heard the saying, “abs are made in the kitchen.” Well, it’s entirely too true. We need good food to get ourselves moving in the morning and throughout the day.
To eat well, eat a wide variety of foods in moderate portion sizes, and supplement them with dietary vitamins to achieve your ultimate fitness goals. For example, the University of Alabama recently studied how calcium helped discourage visceral fat in people who predominantly produce estrogen.
Try to avoid trans fats and fructose to cut down on visceral fat production as well.
This may sound like us scolding you, but cigarettes do encourage the formation of visceral fat.
It’s true; nicotine speeds up your metabolism during consumption. However, after quitting, your body has to relearn to regulate itself. This dramatic slowing of your metabolism will lead to rapid weight gain. Often, it’s tough to bring your body back to a recognizable size after you quit smoking.
Get Plenty of Sleep
You can lose weight in your sleep.
It’s true! When you get more sleep, your body sheds weight faster. Some of this effect is mental, and some are hormonal. However, when we’re tired, most of us are more likely to lean on coffee, fast food and skip exercise.
Additionally, if you get less than your 8 hours, your metabolism will slow down—assisting in weight gain.
Visceral vs Subcutaneous Fat: Where Are We Left?
The main form of fat we should be worrying about is visceral fat. You don’t necessarily need to worry about losing it, but you need to worry about offsetting its harmful effects.
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