What is visceral fat? Not all body fat is equal, and visceral fat is a really nasty sort to have.

Visceral fat is the fat stored within the abdominal cavity, it envelopes the internal organs.

Broadly speaking most people fall into two types of body shape if they carry excess fat – apples or pears.

apples and pears

If you’re a ‘pear’ you carry your excess weight predominantly on your bum and thighs.

Compared to visceral fat, this fat is relatively quiet in terms of harm it does to the body. You sit on it, squeeze it into jeans, and perhaps complain about cellulite. I have been there – wondering how to get rid of the dimples on my outer thighs, and lying flat on my back going red in my face trying to heave the zip up!

Hip and thigh fat represents food intake beyond your need, and if you keep this up you’ll get fat round the middle, and perhaps develop visceral fat too. Which is bad news!

What Is Visceral Fat?

If you’re an ‘apple’ it’s even more important for you to maintain a healthy weight if you value your health, because you’re likely to be storing fat within your abdominal cavity when you put the excess pounds on.

If you have a spare tyre this is basically the outer manifestation of visceral fat contained within your abdomen, encasing and squashing your vital internal organs. Unlike ‘pear’ fat which is a pain to tuck into jeans, visceral fat is a totally different monster.

Visceral fat has been likened to a gland in its own right because it releases so many active hormones – most of which are a nightmare for the rest of your body. One on them is leptin.

The bigger your belly the more leptin will be floating around your body, and this invites diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, dementia and certain cancers to visit.

Your waist measurement is the most powerful predictor of getting one of the above. Forget your weight, get your tape measure out and see how you measure up.

women-waist men-waist

Waist measurements have gone up and up over the past few decades, what has yours done just lately?

What is visceral fat – it’s a nasty business, that’s what it is! Next time I write about how you get it, which will give insight into how to get rid of the stuff.

Get in touch with any questions, have a great week.

Dr Julie


What is visceral fat

What is visceral fat