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Posted on 01-24-2017

From the office of Ann Arbor chiropractor, Michael Tannenbaum, D.C.

Belly Fat. What are the risks?

I explain to my patients at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office that are two kinds of belly fat. One is subcutaneous and the other is visceral. You don't want either type, as fat usually indicates that you aren't exercising enough and your diet isn't what it should be. However, visceral belly fat creates more of a health risk then subcutaneous belly fat.

Subcutaneous fat is just under the skin, like “love handles.” While this sort of fat may be unsightly to you, it is not as unhealthful as having visceral fat. Visceral fat is located deeper in the belly and can surround your organs.

You may not know you have visceral fat, and having subcutaneous fat doesn't mean you have visceral fat. However, the likelihood of having visceral fat increases for women with waists larger than 36 inches and men with waists larger than 40 inches. In addition, people who store their body fat in such a way that makes them have the shape of an apple – that is fat, in the abdomen and chest area – versus people that store fat that make them look more like a pear – fat that is stored more in the buttocks, legs and thighs – are more likely to have visceral fat. Also, stress is one of the main contributors to visceral fat, even if you have a healthful diet and exercise regularly. A couple of studies demonstrate that if you have visceral fat and are not technically obese, you are at higher risk for developing heart disease, type II diabetes, dementia, and cancer.

Reducing belly fat is not always easy. It's not a fast process. We tell our patients at my Ann Arbor chiropractic office that to reduce belly fat, you should have a concrete plan that includes increasing your fiber intake, reducing or eliminating sugar, and eliminating processed foods, all which have been shown to reduce visceral fat. Also, as a way to reduce visceral fat, find ways to reduce stress in your life, such as incorporating meditation or yoga, exercising at a moderate pace or greater at least 30 minutes five days a week, and making sure to do some strength training that includes exercising your abdomen. Also, if you have a desk job, take regular breaks to walk around so that you’re not sedentary all day, try to do some of your work standing up – like with one of the adaptable standing desks – and lastly, don't overeat.

If you have any questions about this blog post, chiropractic, back pain, neck pain, headaches or about my Ann Arbor chiropractic office, I can be reached at mgtannenbaum@hotmail.com.

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