Understanding how types of fat impact weight loss.
The infamous “love handles” and “beer belly” are different kinds of fat, with different effects on health and weight loss efforts.
DAYTON, OHIO—Reducing the waistline is a common goal, even among those who watch their diet and exercise on a regular basis. Sometimes, regardless of weight loss amount, the midsection still doesn’t appear toned and flat. Things to consider:
Subcutaneous fat refers to fat that you can pinch. It sits just under the skin. Examples are the “love handles” on the sides of the waist, or the “pooch” that so many women describe in the lower abdominal area.
A sumo wrestler is a good illustration of subcutaneous fat deposited around the waist. These men, who are considerably overweight, have very high amounts of subcutaneous fat (easily seen) and very little deeper internal abdominal fat. Subcutaneous fat accumulates slowly over time and can be very hard to get rid of once it is stored.
This second type of fat is called visceral fat. It lies deeper within, wrapping around the internal organs. An illustration of visceral fat is the “pot-belly,” which is round, hard to the touch, and typically quite large in relation to the rest of the body. Here the abdominal muscles are actually being stretched tightly over the deeper layer of fat as it pushes the organs outward. Visceral fat is very easily stored, but also easily released.
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