As the years start ticking by, we often succumb to the 'mid life spread', often resulting in what has been termed a 'beer belly' - the round stomach bump that forms mainly on men and starts to make them look rather pregnant (with a baby keg perhaps). However, beer is not to blame in most cases. The cause is an increasing amount of 'visceral fat', which is the fat that stores internally around (and even inside) the organs.
As our bodies start to slow down, the ability to store fat increases. The fat that accumulates around our trunk can grow to such a level that it starts to squeeze in between the organs, and begins to grow inside them! Have you ever poked a beer belly? It feels hard, not soft and squishy like fat. That is because you are touching the stomach which has been pushed outwards by the fat inside!! This is a VERY dangerous condition and is a silent killer.
Too much visceral fat can interfere with how your liver functions and interrupt normal hormonal communications between your vital organs. This can lead to insulin resistance (the beginning of diabetes), high blood pressure, high cholesterol levels and a higher risk for developing heart disease. High visceral fat storage has also been linked to several cancers, stroke, Alzheimer's disease and dementia.
Females are less prone to this condition, because they tend to store fat subcutaneously (that is, just under the skin). Because this is more visible, the appearance can be worse than visceral fat. However the health risk is nowhere near as high. But be aware - high body fat in females also means that visceral fat can increase to a dangerous level.
At the Busy Body studio, we have a very fancy piece of equipment that uses electrical impedance and can determine your visceral fat rating!!
So how can we get rid of visceral fat??
The same way we reduce all other forms of fat. Your best approach is a healthy eating plan and a smart exercise solution 🙂