The Most Dangerous Fat

Everyone talks about the little bit of budge around the mid-section and how they want to “get rid” of it.  More importantly is how this extra belly fat is detrimental to you.  Fat is stored all throughout our bodies and is used for energy, warmth, and protection, but a certain fat opens you up to chronic illness.

Much like real estate, fat is good or bad based on location, location, location!  There is the fat that is the fat around your arms or legs (subcutaneous) and then there is the belly fat around your organs (visceral).

Body fat is living tissue that not only stores calories but also releases hormones that can influence your organs.  Visceral fat, because it is near the organs has a greater effect and can lead to an increase in blood pressure, poor cholesterol, and even type 2 diabetes.  If there is a family history of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, or fatty liver disease you may be at a greater risk for storing visceral fat.

Doing crunches will not change the amount of visceral fat you have, but don’t despair!  Having a healthy lifestyle can have a significant effect on your visceral fat.  Here are three simple ways to see the positive changes!

Sleep is one of the most important cravings of your body.  Sleeping a good 7 to 8 hours allows your body time to rest its many systems and time to heal damaged tissues.  Quality sleep also helps take care of your mental state and helps reduce the negative effects of stress.

The second way to decrease visceral fat is to eat a well-balanced diet.  Diets that are high in sugar, and alcohol, have significant effects on fat.  Your body cannot store the proper sugar it needs for energy so it stores it as fat, especially visceral fat.  Eating a healthy diet of fresh fruits and vegetables with good, lean, protein will help combat the storage of fat and will stabilize your energy levels.

The most important change is to increase your sweating!  Exercise physiology has shown that rigorous exercise for 30 to 60 minutes per day, which elevates your heart rate and strengthens your heart muscle, also causes the body to utilize fat as energy.  This will force your body to use the visceral fat as an energy source, plus regular exercise should be a part of your everyday health routine!

Body fat has positive uses such as protection, warmth, and energy but an excess in visceral fat leads to greater risk of chronic illness and disease.  Quality sleep, consistent exercise, and a well-balanced diet are three simple tools to lead you on a road to a healthier life!

Are you looking for help to get back to a healthy lifestyle?  Click here to schedule a physical therapy consultation to learn more!

Andrew Vertson