Abdominal, aka visceral, fat is adipose tissue that accumulates deep inside your abdomen, under your abdominal muscles. Because of its location this type of fat creates serious health risks, which are far more dangerous than those of subcutaneous waist fat. Subcutaneous fat around your midsection lies under the skin and outside your abdominal wall, so it can be pinched. And heredity and hormones are just two factors that influence which side of the wall fat ends up being stored.
Why excessive amounts of abdominal fat increase your health risks is because it may:
- disrupt metabolism
- accumulate around vital organs
- produce hormones & other substances
- upset normal balance & functioning of certain hormones
Health problems associated with these activities of visceral fat is broad, for instance too much fat around an organ can interfere with its function. Also, what visceral fat produces, disrupts and upsets can have an effect on insulin response, inflammatory process, immune system, blood pressure, blood clotting, cholesterol level, estrogen level and mental processing. The result of abdominal fat action (some still unknown) increases your risk for some serious health conditions, namely:
- sleep apnea
- ovarian cysts
- type 2 diabetes
- insulin resistance
- cancer ~ breast, colon
- cardiovascular disease
Some research suggests abdominal fat might even affect your mood by increasing cortisol production (stress hormone), at the same time reducing endorphins (euphoria). If so, the potential outcome could leave you feeling stressed out and blue.
How to lose visceral fat is a combination of reduced calorie consumption and increased exercise. A diet high in fat and high fructose corn syrup has a tendency to lead to visceral fat, so keep them out of your stomach. And since visceral fat stores are generally the first to go, even modest weight loss reduces your associated health risks.
Should you regain some weight due to an unhealthy diet keep going with your exercise regime because being active helps stave off abdominal fat.