The Dangers of Stomach Fat

The Dangers of Stomach Fat

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Body fat is essential for our health, and having too little can result in hormonal issues, mood swings, excessive hunger, fatigue, and more. 


But, just as too little fat causes issues, having too much can also be detrimental to your health. 


According to research, carrying more fat in certain areas (such as the midsection) can increase your health risk. The question is, should you worry about it, and what are the associated risks?


What is Stomach Fat?


Stomach fat comes in two forms:


  • Subcutaneous fat that lies between the skin and skeletal muscle
  • Visceral fat that’s found within the abdominal cavity and surrounds major organs like the liver and stomach


Having some subcutaneous fat covering your midsection isn’t necessarily bad. Not everyone has the genetic predisposition to walk around with ripped abs year-round. You don’t have to be under 10 percent body fat to stay healthy.


The problem is visceral fat, which research links to health issues. Two of the most accurate ways to diagnose visceral fat and determine its magnitude are CT and MRI scans. Alternatively, your doctor can perform a physical examination to estimate the health risk. 


What Issues Can Occur As a Result of Visceral Fat?


While we certainly need more research to conclude, visceral fat is linked to various major health issues, including metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular disease.


For instance, studies show that excess visceral fat can increase the risk of insulin resistance: when cells in the body cease to respond to the hormone insulin. As a result, blood sugar levels rise, putting people at risk of type 2 diabetes.


Visceral fat is also linked to hypertension (elevated blood pressure). High blood pressure is known as the silent killer because it can come without symptoms but put people at risk of cardiovascular disease, heart attack, and stroke. 


Interestingly, visceral fat can also increase the risk of developing certain cancers and Alzheimer’s disease. 


What Can You Do About Visceral Fat?


The good news is that visceral fat is not irreversible, and certain lifestyle changes can improve a person’s outlook. Of course, it’s best to consult with your doctor if you suspect that you have visceral fat.


Here are some lifestyle changes to consider:


  1. Start Exercising

Regular exercise is beneficial for various reasons. It boosts your mood, strengthens your bones, makes you more independent, and promotes weight loss.


Some combination of aerobic and resistance training will help you build muscle and shed fat. 


  1. Improve Your Diet

Improving your way of eating is also crucial for losing visceral fat. You should control your calorie intake, aim to create a slight calorie deficit, and lose 0.5 to 1 per cent of your body weight each week.


Including more whole foods is also great for supplying your body with all the nutrients it needs to carry out important tasks. 


  1. Manage Your Stress

Stress can increase levels of a hormone called cortisol. Under normal circumstances, the hormone plays a vital role in your health and well-being. Unfortunately, chronic elevations can increase the risk of visceral fat accumulation.


Good stress-management tactics include regular exercise, good sleep, spending time in nature, and meditation.


Need extra help with reaching your goals? Book a complimentary consultation with us and we can help you come up with a game plan that will get you the results you are after.

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