3. An Overview of the Two Visible Types of Fat
While both types of fat serve as a storage area for excess energy, they differ somewhat in the other functions they serve and their overall impact to health.
Subcutaneous fat is the type found visibly in most areas of the body, such as the butt, thighs, and arms. It may be visible, but the good news is that compared to belly fat, it does not carry much of a health risk. Subcutaneous fat can also be found on the belly (above the ab muscles), though the fat which gives people a “gut” tends to be belly fat, even if there is excess subcutaneous fat in that region as well.
Belly fat is the fat which serves to pad our internal organs from shock, and is found underneath the abdominal wall (under the ab muscles). While a certain amount is necessary, too much is a serious health risk, as it turns up the production of certain hormones and pro-inflammatory cytokines (hormone-like messengers).
By increasing the amount of pro-inflammatory messenger activity, inflammation in the body rises, leading to a number of health issues including chronic diseases like heart disease and even cancer. Increasing the release of hormones can also inadvertently make it harder to lose weight, as hunger becomes less well-regulated and you are more prone to cravings even when you are not in need of food.
The good news is that belly fat is more easily burned than subcutaneous fat, making it possible to lose it faster and improve health and other risk-factors quickly. Before we concentrate on how to lose the belly fat, however, why we accumulate belly fat in the first place should be examined.
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