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Visceral Fat vs. Subcutaneous Fat: What's the Difference and Why Does It Matter?

Dec 11, 2023
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Ever wonder if certain types of body fats are more harmful than others? Take a moment to learn about visceral and subcutaneous fats and how they affect your health.

If you’re one of the nearly 75% of United States adults carrying extra pounds, you might be concerned about how they affect your well-being. The truth is, there are different kinds of fat, and they affect your health differently. 

At Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers Pompano Beach in South Florida, our board-certified providers are dedicated to helping you on your weight-loss journey. We specialize in creating personalized plans, assisting people to better understand their bodies to achieve their weight-loss goals. 

Understanding the different types of fat can help you stay motivated. Keep reading as we take a closer look at two types of body fat and their implications for your health.   

An up-close look at subcutaneous fat

We’re all familiar with the fat you can pinch and hold on to, like love handles or the soft part of your arm. This is called subcutaneous fat

Located right beneath the skin, this fat acts as our body's cushion and thermostat, keeping us insulated from the cold. Everyone has some subcutaneous fat, and while its amount varies from person to person, it's the most visible form of fat.

Diving deep into visceral fat

Some fat you can't pinch. This firmer type of fat gets stored deep inside your body and is called visceral fat

Positioned around vital organs like your liver, pancreas, and intestines, visceral fat plays a different role. You might not see it, but it's silently impacting your health. 

Unlike subcutaneous fat, an excess of visceral fat can be a silent killer, releasing harmful chemicals and increasing your risk of several chronic diseases.

Why the difference between fats matters

Understanding the difference between these fats can be the key to saving your health. It's not just about shedding pounds but about ensuring your weight doesn't threaten your life. 

While subcutaneous fat might not be aesthetically pleasing, it doesn't necessarily harm your health. In fact, our bodies need some subcutaneous fat to survive. Having too much subcutaneous fat isn't a good thing, but it’s not as dangerous as visceral fat.  

Visceral fat poses more significant health risks. High levels of it are linked to type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and certain types of cancer. Research shows that this fat raises the inflammatory chemicals produced in your body. 

With more of these dangerous chemicals, inflammation in your organs rises, increasing your risk of many diseases. In addition, inflammatory chemicals cause your blood vessels to narrow, raising your blood pressure and chances of heart disease. 

Get help with personalized weight loss management

At Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers Pompano Beach, we focus on providing you with the right tools and guidance.

By losing weight, you can shed both types of fat. We review your medical history, current weight and symptoms, past diet history, and any relevant health tests to create a personalized weight-loss plan

Depending on your needs and goals, your plan may include one or more of the following:

  • Lipo laser: Ideal for targeting subcutaneous fat, this non-invasive technique sculpts and tones your body
  • Wellness injections: Boost your metabolism and enhance your fat-burning processes
  • Personalized counseling: Dive deep into your habits to understand triggers and craft a journey that works for you
  • Weight-loss medications: Effective for reducing visceral and subcutaneous fat, medications like semaglutide and tirzepatide can be part of a comprehensive weight-loss strategy
  • Diet and nutrition plans: Our providers design diet plans tailored to your unique needs, ensuring you're fueling your body right

Your health isn't just about numbers on a scale. Instead, it's about making sure the weight you carry isn't putting your well-being at risk. 

If you're ready to understand more about your body's fat composition and begin a weight-loss journey, schedule a consultation online or over the phone at Physicians WEIGHT LOSS Centers Pompano Beach in South Florida.