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What is Subcutaneous Fat? How to Lose it?

When we think of body fat, we usually think of fat around the belly, fat under the chin and fat on the back of the legs. Did you know there are 3 different types of fat or adipose tissue in the body? Adipose tissue includes intramuscular fat, visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. All fat types serve an essential purpose when present in reasonable amounts, but having elevated amounts of subcutaneous fat in the body can lead to adverse health outcomes.

What is intramuscular fat?

Intramuscular Fat (or Marbling) is located between and within muscle fibers (cells) and its greatest deposition is in the later stages of the growth process. In humans, excess accumulation of intramuscular fat has been associated with conditions such as insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

The most common types of adipose tissue are visceral and subcutaneous fat.

What is visceral fat?

Visceral fat is found inside the abdominal cavity, surrounding our internal organs as a protective layer. Having high visceral fat levels in the body can lead to serious health issues. Having a large amount of fatty tissue surrounding your internal organs can lead to type II diabetes, insulin resistance, cardiovascular disease and inflammation throughout the body.

What is subcutaneous fat?

Subcutaneous fat sits just under the skin and is what most people think about when they picture body fat.

The amount of subcutaneous fat a person has is dependent on a variety of factors like genetics and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise level. Subcutaneous fat is naturally occurring and it is normal to have some amount of subcutaneous fat present in your body. Things like caloric intake, diet, and exercise levels can play a critical role in developing excess subcutaneous fat. Excess subcutaneous fat that can cause adverse health outcomes and poorer health.

Exercise is extremely important for health and the regulation of subcutaneous fat. When we exercise, our body dips into our fat reserves to provide our cells with energy. Regular exercise is connected to maintaining a healthy weight and can help reduce any current subcutaneous fat reserves. Not only does exercise regulate subcutaneous fat, but it can also help increase your muscle mass. By incorporating strength training into your exercise routine, you can increase your muscle mass while decreasing the amount of subcutaneous fat storage in the body. Start by incorporating full-body strength training. You may find that you begin to feel stronger as your muscle mass increases and your subcutaneous fat starts to decrease. As your muscle mass increases, your body will be less at risk for injury and you may feel more energized throughout the day!

Using the InBody scan weekly can keep you current with your visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. The InBody scan lets you see exactly how much fat mass you have and where that fat is stored in your body. A healthy range of subcutaneous body fat for a woman is between 18-28% whereas for a man is 10-20%. As for visceral fat, a healthy range is under 100 centimeters squared. These healthy ranges can be reached and maintained through diet and exercise.


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