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What Is Visceral Fat and Why Should I Care?

Our bodies have subcutaneous fat, also referred to as adipose tissue, and visceral fat. Visceral fat is, notably, the most dangerous of the two to our health.

Before going further I want to share this with you: I do not like to use the word "fat." It has such a negative connotation in society that often it evokes negative feelings within a person. As a certified personal trainer and certified nutrition coach, I want to uplift and strengthen my clients and everyone I meet. Bear with me, and if "fat" causes any degree of discomfort, please hang in there. I promise this Blog will end on a positive note and with action steps you can take to address it.

The above picture is a photo of one pound of fat. Visceral fat, by definition, is fat surrounding the organs in our bodies, namely, fat stored deep inside the abdominal cavity and around vital organs like the intestines, pancreas, and liver. Subcutaneous fat is fat underneath the subcutaneous layer of the skin.

Adverse impacts of visceral fat include type 2 diabetes, high cholesterol, heart disease, and Alzheimer's disease to name a few. It can also increase one's blood pressure. It produces more of the proteins called cytokines, which trigger low-grade inflammation. Visceral fat is also connected with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery in women. Additionally, it also produces hormones and chemicals that can be toxic to our bodies. Of the two, subcutaneous and visceral fat, visceral is the most dangerous because it produces more toxins than subcutaneous fat.

How can we combat visceral fat?

Each of our bodies are uniquely made and respond to various actions we take to change our lifestyles, e.g., nutrition, exercise. The good news is visceral fat can be successfully reduced! I have found that small incremental lifestyle changes consistently employed accumulate over time and result in improving one's overall health, reducing the likelihood of developing diseases, lengthening one's life span, and provide the opportunity to enjoy this magnificent mechanism called the human body!

Personally, the composition of body fat I have, both adipose tissue and visceral fat, are in the excellent range. How have I achieved this? I began years ago by educating myself on how the body functions and incorporated into my daily life small, incremental steps that were specific to my body. It is possible to change your body. If your body fat content is higher than what you would like for it to be, begin by noticing the fat content of what you eat. Be aware of how much fat you are consuming on a daily basis. I am not referring to "bad" fats, but healthy fats as well. The Standard American Diet (SAD) is loaded with fat.

Also, if you are interested in reducing your waistline and improving your health, please reach out to me so we can talk about what you, specifically, can do to begin to achieve that reduction. I remember vividly struggling with a waistline thicker than what I cared to have. In addition to the healthy foods I thought I was eating, I simply eliminated one and lost seven inches on my waist. I have not gained it back and that was ten years ago! This isn't about aesthetics. This is about being healthy and taking the over controls to guiding the machine!

To your health!



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