As we gain weight, there are two types of fat that we can gain – subcutaneous and visceral fat. Knowing the differences between the two is an important factor in understanding how to shed the pounds.
Subcutaneous is the soft, fleshy fat just beneath the surface of the skin. That’s the fat where you can “pinch an inch,” but it’s also that fat that we can lose most quickly through diet and exercise.
The more dangerous type of fat is called visceral fat. That’s the fat that’s underneath the abdominal wall, that’s marbled through our muscles, organs and intestines. And if you’re wondering what that looks like, imagine the marbling in a ribeye steak. In humans, visceral fat doesn’t just give us a big belly – it can lead to several chronic illnesses, including dementia.
And, it wreaks havoc, because it releases adipokines, which spike blood pressure, zap muscle quality, and diminish insulin sensitivity, which can set you up for diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Here’s how you can tell, right here, right now, what type of fat you have:
- Lie down on your back, and with your index fingers, find your pelvic bones
- Tighten your abs
- Feel your abs from side to side
- If your abs stay fairly flat while you’re pushing down, then the fat you have is subcutaneous. But, if your abs stick out, it means you have visceral fat…the dangerous type!
So how do you get rid of visceral and subcutaneous fat? Once you have your exercise routine down, the key to blasting belly fat is to plan it out. When you prepare your meals throughout the week, you keep down both your expenses and preparation time. I like to carve out Sundays as a day to prepare extra chicken breasts and freeze for the upcoming week. During this time, it’s also helpful to chop up veggies for fresh and tasty salads.
Put these ingredients in mason jars and store in the refrigerator, so when it comes time to eat your lunch, all you have to do is pull out your pre-cut veggies, put on your chicken breasts, and within a few minutes, your lunch is made!
Try out this recipe:
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp honey
1/3 C. zucchini
1/3 C. red peppers
1/4 C. peas
1/4 C. radishes
1/3 C. cooked quinoa
1/2 C. spinach
In the bottom of the mason jar, combine the olive oil, red wine vinegar, dijon mustard and honey. Mix together until the oil and vinegar combine. Layer in zucchini, red peppers, peas, radishes, quinoa and spinach.