Subcutaneous fat is the fat on the surface, just under the skin. It accounts for 90% of the fat in the body. This fat, while often unsightly, is not entirely bad for you. It helps the body retain heat and slowly releases hormones that regulate blood sugar. While you want to reduce this fat to flatten your lower belly and lose your love handles, this fat plays an important role in our bodies.
Red tea, also known as rooibos, is a great choice for when you’re struggling with midday stress. What makes rooibos particularly good for soothing your mind is the unique flavanoid called Aspalathin. Research shows this compound can reduce stress hormones that trigger hunger and fat storage and are linked to hypertension, metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
To get rid of that excess fat, Dr. Kara Mohr, an exercise psychologist, and fitness expert, told Fitness Magazine: “I would suggest increasing the intensity of your cardio workouts, making sure you include intervals (alternating walking with fast walking or sprinting). And be sure your strength training includes combination moves that work multiple muscles including the core (plank rows, push-ups, squat with military press, etc) rather than single muscle groups.”
If you’re a Snapple fan, you probably saw “Tea Cleanse” and thought, Great! But bottled teas aren’t necessarily the answer. First, once a tea is made and sits on a supermarket shelf for, oh, an entire NFL season, the nutrients have spent enough time exposed to light and air that they begin to break down. Plus, who knows what else has worked its way into that bottle? Snapple’s All Natural Green Tea packs 120 calories and 30 grams of sugar, while Ssips Green Tea with Honey & Ginseng is sweetened not so much with honey but with high fructose corn syrup.”
Check your diet. People often mistake higher calorie diets as the only food-related culprit. The more you eat, the more you gain. But the truth is, even smaller portion sizes that are full of the wrong high fat or sugary foods can be devastating to your lower belly. If you eat foods or drinks high in sugar and fat, you are doing yourself no favors in reducing your fat around your midsection.
One reason excess visceral fat is so harmful could be its location near the portal vein, which carries blood from the intestinal area to the liver. Substances released by visceral fat, including free fatty acids, enter the portal vein and travel to the liver, where they can influence the production of blood lipids. Visceral fat is directly linked with higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol, lower HDL (good) cholesterol, and insulin resistance.
At one time, we might have accepted these changes as an inevitable fact of aging. But we've now been put on notice that as our waistlines grow, so do our health risks. Abdominal, or visceral, fat is of particular concern because it's a key player in a variety of health problems — much more so than subcutaneous fat, the kind you can grasp with your hand. Visceral fat, on the other hand, lies out of reach, deep within the abdominal cavity, where it pads the spaces between our abdominal organs.
The stress hormone cortisol can really screw with your belly. The problem with cortisol is two-fold: First, the chemical makeup of cortisol causes the body to store visceral fat. Visceral fat is stored between your main organs and in the midsection and is the most dangerous type of fat. Experts state that visceral fat increases the risk of diabetes and heart disease.