Subcutaneous vs Visceral Fat

One common goal for many fitness enthusiasts is centred around weight loss. While many of us set out to drop a dress size or two, the actual reason we trim down our figure is often because we are reducing fat.

This does not mean, however, that all body fat needs to be removed to look slim. In fact, essential fats have an important function to protect your brain and organs. There are lots of different types of fat within your body, that can be found in different locations for different purposes.

In this article, we break down the different types of fat found in the abdomen - a target area for lots of us - and explain how to reduce these fat levels.

What is subcutaneous fat?

Subcutaneous fat is body fat found directly under the skin, beneath the epidermis and dermis layers. This type of fat is not just confined to the abdomen, as it can also be found in places such as the arms and legs. In women, subcutaneous fat often gathers around the hips and thighs.

Subcutaneous fat has several functions: it helps the body to store energy, works as padding to protect muscle and bones, and provides insulation to help regulate temperature. The amount of subcutaneous fat you have depends on a variety of factors, from the amount of exercise you perform to simple genetics.

This type of fat is typically fine to have within the body, however, if you begin to store too much of it you could be at a higher risk of experiencing health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure, or type 2 diabetes.

What is visceral fat?

Visceral fat is a type of fat stored deep within the abdominal cavity, surrounding organs such as your liver, stomach, and intestines. Visceral fat is more commonly seen in men and typically feels hard or solid rather than jiggly.

In comparison to subcutaneous fat, visceral fat can actively increase the risk of serious health issues. A larger amount of visceral fat increases the risk of conditions such as heart disease, colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease. This type of fat is also known to increase insulin resistance, leading to type 2 diabetes.

As visceral fat is found deep within the abdomen, it cannot be seen in the same way subcutaneous fat can be seen. One indicator of when to be concerned about whether you have visceral fat is the size of your waist. If you are a man and your waist is more than 40 inches, or if you are a woman and your waist is more than 35 inches, this could show that there is hidden excess fat and therefore you should book an appointment with your doctor.

How to lose visceral and subcutaneous fat

Both subcutaneous and visceral fat can be reduced, although losing both types of fat can be difficult. While losing subcutaneous fat can help you fit into smaller clothes in the short term, reducing your visceral fat can improve your overall long-term health.

The good news is that by burning visceral fat, you can also burn subcutaneous fat at the same time! With regular exercise and a healthy diet, you can drop the pounds and showcase your developing muscle tone.

Cardio exercise

Getting your body moving through cardio exercise can increase your heart rate and help you to quickly burn calories. Aerobic exercises such as jogging, swimming, and dance classes are all great options that cater to people with varying abilities.

If you have been out of touch with exercise for some time, slowly introduce cardio into your routine. If you really want to see the fat fall off, aim to do 30 minutes of cardio 5 days a week.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT)

HIIT training is a fantastic way to amplify the effects of aerobic exercises. HIIT involves short bursts of powerful activity, followed by longer amounts of more manageable activity.

For instance, a HIIT routine can involve light jogging for 3 minutes, followed by fast running for 1 minute, before completing another intense exercise such as burpees. 

Supplement your cardio routine with HIIT exercises every few days. In addition to speeding up the effects of cardio, it will also keep your exercise varied so that you do not get bored, allowing you to feel more inspired and committed.

Strength training

Strength-based exercise can help you lose weight long term. Building muscle is a good strategy for boosting your metabolism because when your muscles get stronger, they will consume more energy and therefore burn more calories over time. Strength training can also help to improve muscle tone, allowing you to create a streamlined figure.

Aim to complete strength training at least 3 times per week, on top of your existing cardio routine.

Healthy diet

When aiming to reduce your visceral fat levels and combat subcutaneous fat, you need to consume a healthy diet. You should be aware of how many grams of fat you have per day, sticking to essential fatty acids through food such as avocados.

You should also be aware of how many grams of sugar you consume a day. Excess sugar and carbohydrates can lead to a build-up in fatty deposits throughout your body, which is why many people find that sticking to a keto diet can help them to lose weight. Always talk to a doctor about the best diet that will work for you and your body’s needs.

Taking the right supplements are a great support to a healthy diet. In addition to popular green tea and L-carnitine supplements, fat burners are known to specifically help reduce fat. Fat burners are designed to boost your metabolism and give you energy, allowing you to increase your fat metabolism and decrease fat absorption.

Final thoughts

There are multiple reasons why you may be inclined to reduce fat. Whether you are looking for a more aesthetically pleasing figure or want to improve your chances of avoiding serious health conditions, finding the right balance of exercise and diet is a great first step to trim the fat.

Here at Discount Supplements, we offer an extensive range of supplements specifically designed to assist with diet and weight loss. Whatever your reason for targeting fat deposits, the right supplements can help you reach your goals.