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Abdominal fat is a type of fat that is difficult to dispose of. It can have various origins but one thing is certain: it is not only an aesthetic problem. In the meantime, it is important to point out that all fat on the abdomen is not the same: there are, in fact, different types of adipose:
- what is commonly called abdominal fat identifies, in reality, the so-called visceral fat, which is deposited inside the abdominal cavity, distributed among the internal organs.
- Subcutaneous fat, on the other hand, is that which is deposited on the surface, above the abdomen, and serves to protect the muscles: the reference is the classic bacon, that is, the fat on the belly that we all fight every day. But this type of fat can also "pop up" elsewhere on your body.
Abdominal (or visceral) fat and subcutaneous fat are two different things: if eliminating subcutaneous fat is a matter of aesthetics, an accumulation of abdominal fat should be considered an alarm bell. Abdominal fat can cause several types of problems, even serious ones.
Let's find out more about the two types of fat, their causes, health risks, and strategies to dispose of them.
Abdominal fat is an accumulation of fat that is concentrated under the muscles of the abdomen: this is why it is also called visceral fat.
It is difficult to dispose of and can represent a danger to our health. It is a particular type of fat because it releases adipocytokines, molecules that affect appetite, insulin release, lipid metabolism.
Its excessive presence, therefore, can cause several health problems such as infertility, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular problems.
In addition, excess abdominal fat modifies the hormonal releases that serve to transform stored fat: it is clear why it becomes increasingly difficult to dispose of, in a sort of vicious circle.
What causes visceral fat are hormonal disorders. These occur not only because of hereditary factors but also because of improper diet or because of certain medications.
Visceral adipose fat can lead to a variety of pathologies. The danger is that your body will get the so-called metabolic syndrome, which identifies a set of risk factors that predispose you to many serious diseases, such as type II diabetes, infertility, cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, and even cancer.
Among the risks, you face from visceral fat are neurological diseases. Visceral fat creates a general inflammation in your body that predisposes you to diseases such as stroke.
It also increases your risk of having headaches or that your headaches will get worse and become chronic.
And again, you risk neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer's because inflammation facilitates brain cell death.
Incidentally, there is also a link between abdominal fat and mood: the presence of visceral fat is often associated with depression.
To detect abdominal fat, in addition to the CT scan, there is the so-called visceral fat index, which is measured through a particular scale, called impedance. The patient's data are entered, such as age, sex, height; then the patient gets on the scale holding two handpieces and the scale detects weight and visceral fat index.
But what are the values of visceral fat on which to base to interpret the results?
- Up to 4, the index indicates a low level of visceral fat.
- Values between 4 and 13 indicate medium fat.
- A value of 13 to 18 indicates high abdominal fat.
- If the value exceeds the number 18, it becomes very high.
The main ally to fight abdominal fat is nutrition.
- Follow a varied diet balanced in calories and nutrients and consume foods that have zero insulin index: bitter vegetables, such as endives and escarole, extra virgin olive oil, dark chocolate, oilseeds, olives, and avocado. Also important to eat raw vegetables and prefer fruit away from meals.
- Coffee, alcohol, drinks with gas, and added sugars should be eliminated from your diet. The consumption of red meat should be limited as much as possible, favoring white meat and oily fish instead.
It is advisable to replace pasta and bread made with refined flour with foods based on whole-grain flour.
- Cheese and dairy products, in general, must be reduced and, in some serious cases, eliminated for a certain period.
- It is also important to drink a lot of water during the day, consuming a reduced quantity during meals to help digestion.
To eliminate visceral fat, it is also important to do regular physical activity and choose the right one for this problem.
- It is good to avoid making too much effort without being trained. This can expose you to the risk of trauma and injury.
- The best thing is to choose walking, first light and then gradually more intense. This activity reactivates arterial and venous circulation, helps you burn sugar and fat, and improve your endurance.
- Very effective is the plank, although it is not indicated in cases where the abdominal fat is very very high.
Subcutaneous fat is the most superficial fat of the abdomen, which protects the muscles. The causes of its accumulation can be different, but they can be traced essentially to bad eating habits..
An incorrect diet, i.e. high in calories and saturated fat, is among the main causes of subcutaneous fat.
But the causes can also be other: in men, they are often genetic or related to posture, as well as a sedentary lifestyle. In women, they are very much linked to hormonal changes, such as during menopause.
A healthy and balanced diet is essential to eliminate bacon: it is important to calibrate the caloric intake on one's needs, avoid being overweight, and limit the consumption of fats, especially saturated fats.
The reference model must be the Mediterranean diet, rich in fruits, vegetables, cereals, with moderate quantities of meat and fish and a measured intake of fats and sweets.
The food pyramid, from which the Mediterranean diet is inspired, provides that the daily calorie intake should come for three quarters from carbohydrates (about 60%) and proteins (15%) and only a quarter from lipids (25%).
But diet alone is not enough, if not associated with regular physical activity. To burn fat and lose weight well, you can't do without aerobic activity (even a long walk is!).
To reduce stubborn fat accumulations on the belly, there are several treatments you can resort to.
One of them is mesotherapy, which consists of injections of substances that facilitate the dissolution of fat. But, pressotherapy can also prove useful, especially in the case of fluid retention.
If instead you want to resort to less invasive treatment, but at the same time can give good results, you can opt for alternating polarity radiofrequency.
It is a technique that is based on heat, causing the rupture of fat cells, which are then disposed of by our body.
All this without leaving marks. It also proves useful to eliminate the "wrinkles" on the belly caused by weight loss.
To get rid of subcutaneous fat, there are some natural remedies that you can try. You can prepare a natural mud for the abdominal area, composed as follows:
- 10 tablespoons of bitter cocoa.
- 8 tablespoons of coffee grounds.
- 5 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.
- 5 drops of lemon essential oil.
Mix everything with a little water until the mixture reaches the right consistency to be applied on the belly. Wrap the area with food-grade plastic wrap.
Leave in place for about 20 minutes. Rinse thoroughly.