Types of Abdominal Fat, What They Are, and How to Lose Them

Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2022
Types of Abdominal Fat
There are a lot of things you can do to reduce abdominal fat.

Abdominal fat is the most hazardous type of fat which accumulates in the abdominal region and can surround internal organs.

According to research conducted at The University of Texas Southwestern, this sort of fat increases a person's chance of developing several health issues, including:

However, fat that builds up in the buttocks could be less detrimental.

  • Depending on where fat is stored in the body, two persons who weigh the same could have drastically different risks of acquiring diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
  • Although the reason for the rise in abdominal fat is unknown, Americans have been less active in recent years.
  • Additionally, portion sizes at restaurants have increased. People are turning more frequently to processed foods and fast food because they appear to have less time to cook their schedules.

2 types of abdominal fat

Numerous scientific investigations have reported that the various types of fat that exist in the body arise for several reasons and necessitate approaches to address them. This is especially true for abdominal fat.

There are mainly two types of abdominal fat, which include:

1. Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat is the most observable sort of abdominal fat. Subcutaneous fat is the kind of fat that is found just beneath the skin's surface.

  • This type of fat is mostly found in women's hips, buttocks, and abdomen. Subcutaneous fat is visible and can produce cellulite-like dimpling.
  • The body uses this fat as a source of stored energy. Subcutaneous fat is formed when there are more calories taken than the body can utilize.
  • Subcutaneous fat is the first type of fat that the body uses to meet the increased energy demands, when more calories are expended than are consumed.

2. Visceral fat

Visceral fat, commonly referred to as abdominal fat, is the second type of fat in the abdominal region. As opposed to subcutaneous fat, this type of fat is less noticeable within the body.

Visceral fat accumulates around the abdominal organs (called viscera).

It is significantly riskier than subcutaneous fat yet cannot be seen from the outside. Studies are underway to understand why some people appear to have more visceral fat than others. However, it is generally suggested that a poor diet and a sedentary lifestyle play a significant role.

Visceral fat is extremely dangerous because it physically encircles the major abdominal organs, including the liver, kidneys, heart, and lungs, as well as has a higher likelihood of obstructing arteries. It is more metabolically active and causes undesirable effects, such as insulin resistance and inflammation.


The Best Diet Tips: How to Lose Weight the Healthy Way See Slideshow

8 ways to lose abdominal fat

Usually, there are a lot of things you can do to reduce abdominal fat. However, begin by concentrating on one issue that can be altered or improved. Once you have achieved your first goal, you can go on to the next one and so on.

  1. Exercise and strength training: Exercises that raise your heart rate and lead you to start sweating aid in overall weight loss, including the reduction of visceral and subcutaneous fat.
    • When combined with dietary adjustments, aerobic exercises help you burn more calories overall and lower total body fat.
    • An integrated strategy could be the key to reducing visceral fat. Establishing a weekly cardio program of at least 150 minutes, along with whole-body strength training for two to three days.
  2. Limit alcohol: According to research, heavy drinkers are more likely to have abdominal fat than social or occasional drinkers. Alcohol can reduce your inhibitions in addition to adding calories to your diet when you consume it in excess. If you drink more than what is considered moderate (two drinks per day for men and one for women), consider reducing your intake.
  3. Choose healthy carbs: Not all carbohydrates are unhealthy. Choose complex carbohydrates, such as whole grain bread and pasta, brown rice, and beans instead of simple carbohydrates, such as white bread and pasta, chips, and crackers. Simple carbs are processed carbohydrates with minimal fiber and can cause blood sugar spikes.
  4. Consume protein throughout the day: Beans, dairy, eggs, meat, and fish are available options. Studies reveal that protein keeps you fuller for longer, reduces hunger hormone levels, and may even encourage you to eat less at your next meal.
  5. De-stress as frequently as you can: The stress hormone cortisol is probably being released into your system if you are feeling stressed out. Although this may result in weight gain, a rise in cortisol is strongly associated with an increase in visceral fat.
  6. Take your sleep seriously: A restful night's sleep is essential. Among other things, it can strengthen your immune system, elevate your mood, and increase productivity. Sleep impacts appetite-stimulating hormones, ghrelin, and leptin.
    • Poor sleep quality or sleep deprivation might affect the hormones that regulate hunger.
    • Sleep deprivation causes food cravings.
    • Aim for at least seven hours of sleep each night. Make sleep a priority by switching off electronic devices, such as mobile phones, television, and laptops, at least an hour before bedtime and attempting to maintain a regular sleep and wake time.
  7. Cut back on beverages with extra sugar and calories: Extra weight that is likely to build around the waist is linked to eating too much-added sugar. Overconsumption of fruit juice and beverages with added sugar can be detrimental.
    • These are just empty calories that do not keep you satiated. For example, soda or juice.
    • For instance, eating three oranges might provide you with the same number of calories and keep you full for longer.
    • Track your intake of these liquid calories and make any necessary reductions.
  8. Consume more fiber: You can feel fuller for longer by eating high-fiber meals, such as chickpeas, lentils, and bananas.
    • These meals contain a lot of soluble fiber, which gets combined with water, forms a gummy gel, and slows down food movement from the stomach to the intestine.
    • Additionally, incorporating whole grains, fruits, and vegetables into a well-balanced diet increases the amount of fiber in meals. If you consume more fiber foods, you consume fewer processed foods overall.
Medically Reviewed on 8/18/2022
Image Source: iStock image

The Truth About Fat. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-fat

Taking aim at belly fat. https://www.health.harvard.edu/staying-healthy/taking-aim-at-belly-fat

Why belly fat is dangerous and how to control it. https://utswmed.org/medblog/belly-fat/

The Truth About Belly Fat. https://www.webmd.com/diet/features/the-truth-about-belly-fat 10 Ways To Get Rid of Belly Fat for Good. https://health.clevelandclinic.org/tips-for-losing-belly-fat/

8 Ways to Lose Belly Fat and Live a Healthier Life. https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/wellness-and-prevention/8-ways-to-lose-belly-fat-and-live-a-healthier-life