The fat around your organs is different, known as visceral fat, unlike subcutaneous fat (the stuff you can pinch - beneath the skin) visceral fat is metabolically active.
It releases proteins and hormones that can contribute to elevated cholesterol, insulin resistance and some cancers. The more you have of this fat, the more interfering hormones are released. It may be one of the most influential factors of the diseases associated with obesity.
Not only does it release its own hormones, it actually may cause changes in the level of the hormones that regulates fat storage. The fat is making you fatter!
How does it get stored in the first place?
Genetics will only contribute to where fat is stored. For example, the classic ‘pear’ and ‘apple’ shape are largely genetic. But the internal fat is more the result of your diet. A poor diet high in processed nasties will likely flick your body’s switch to store visceral fat.
Poor stress management leads to elevated cortisol and insulin, which keeps the switch turned on.
How is it measured?
Unless you have access to a body composition analyser, DEXA scan or MRI, a waist-to-hip ratio is the next best option, although not 100%. Measure the circumference of your waist, then the circumference of your hips. Divide the waist number by the hip number.
Higher than 0.85 for women and 0.9 for men, may suggest a dangerous amount of fat is stored around your organs.
How to reduce it?
- Healthy diet and exercise!
- Minimise alcohol, processed foods.
- Sleep well and take care of your mind to minimise stress.
Exactly what we do on this program!