Belly fat has gotten a mostly deserved reputation as an unhealthy fat. "Understand that belly fat is both visceral and subcutaneous," says Kristen Gill Hairston, MD, MPH, an assistant professor of medicine at Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, N.C. "We don't have a perfect way yet to determine which [of belly fat] is subcutaneous or visceral, except by CT scan, but that's not cost-effective."
Subcutaneous fat is the fat just under the skin. If you are wondering why you cannot see your six-pack abs, it is probably because subcutaneous fat is covering them. The cells in this type of fat are active and can contribute to the development of disease, but the placement and activity level of the cells of this type of fat makes it less dangerous than visceral fat.
» Solution: Don't rush with this belly fat. If you're reading this a few weeks or only a few months postpartum, crunches are not the answer. Instead, retrain the small muscles and stabilizers first. Click here to find out if your postpartum abs are ready for exercise and how the experts want you to tackle it. Incorporate omega-3s and other good fats to help you burn the bad fats and stay energized.
Traditionally, body fat was thought to be stored passively in cells, waiting to be used for energy by the body. However, research has shown that fat cells are biologically active and function as an endocrine organ by secreting hormones and other molecules. The activity of visceral fat results in an inflammatory state that is strongly linked to metabolic disease, insulin resistance, and an increased risk of death, even in men at normal body weight.
Does the body type theory work in these cases? Well, knowing that you’re a pear or an apple is useful for identifying those exercises that can help you achieve a more proportionate appearance, but focusing more on the upper body or on the legs might not be effective in reducing the belly fat. So today we’ll talk about the Belly type theory, launched by chiropractor Eric Berg, author of a book called The 7 Principles of Fat Burning.