What is Belly Fat or Visceral Fat? How is Visceral Fat Different From Subcutaneous Fat?

Belly fat is not easy to lose.

Belly fat, also known as visceral fat is the most dangerous type of body fat. This type of fat is different from fat in other areas of your body.

Understanding what is belly fat will help you plan your weight loss battle strategies in a more effective manner.

What is Belly Fat or Visceral Fat?

The excess weight that develops around the center of the body is called belly fat or visceral fat. According to Harvard Health, 10 percent of a person’s total body fat is visceral fat (3). Then there is the subcutaneous fat and rectus abdominis. Let’s learn a little more about them.

Abdominal Fat or Visceral Fat:

The abdominal cavity is where your organs such as the stomach, liver, and intestines reside. The fat that fills up the spaces between these organs is intra-abdominal fat or visceral fat. They also line the internal organs which are for their protection (4).

However, when this fat start accumulating without control, it can be the beginning of many other metabolic disorders. Also known as “active fat,” this can actively increase your health problems.

Subcutaneous Fat:

When you pinch your belly, the fat you can feel is subcutaneous fat. That is the jiggly fat that is just under the skin. Unlike abdominal fat, it is harmless.

The top layer of your skin is the epidermis. The middle layer is the dermis and under that is the subcutaneous fat. It helps your body store energy, works as padding to protect your muscles and bones from physical impact, regulates your body temperature, and helps keep it insulated (5). Diet and physical activity can help shed this fat.

Rectus Abdominis:

Rectus abdominis is the abs muscles. The main action of this is the flexion of the trunk. As you do your crunches, the rectus abdominis is activated because it pulls the ribs and the pelvis in and curves the back. When this muscle is exercised and layers of fat disappear from the abdomen, the exposed rectus abdominis muscle creates the six-pack.

Before You Go…

There are many effective ways to lose unwanted body fat, especially belly fat. Diet and lifestyle changes are required for this.

But don’t worry, these changes are simple enough to make. It’s consistency that’s key to successful weight loss. Even if they are small changes, make sure to repeat them on a regular basis and you will definitely lose weight.

Read more: 7 Research-Backed Ways to Reduce Belly Fat

About Tilottama Bose 48 Articles
With a Masters in Food Science and Nutrition, Tilottama has carved a niche for herself in the Health Writing Industry. She is passionate about helping her readers make informed decisions about the food they eat. She believes in the healing power of food and in food as medicine. Tilottama is an editor and writer at Fitnesshacks.org.