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A bulging belly not just looks bad, but it is also harmful to your health. Being obese or overweight is not the only cause of belly fat, even thin people have some belly fat. Some fat may be right under your skin and you can easily see it when you hold your belly. This is type of fat is called soft fat. You may also have fat around your organs like lungs, liver, kidneys, and heart. This is type of fat is called visceral fat or hard fat. As it lies deep under the skin, you cannot see hard belly fat. In most people, almost 90 percent of body fat is soft and the rest 10 percent is hard, as per a study. But most people have less hard fat, it is a problem for all, even for thin people. Keep reading to know more about the two types of belly fat, and ways to reduce them.
It is subcutaneous fat, which is stored just underneath the skin's surface. Subcutaneous fat is soft and jiggles easily. Soft fat can be pinched between the fingers. Everyone has subcutaneous belly fat and is normally harmless. Poor diet and lack of exercise are the main reasons for a build-up of subcutaneous fat. Compared to men, women are more likely to store soft fat in their bellies. Luckily, soft fat is considerably easy to lose. With regular exercise and a healthy diet, soft belly fat may melt on its own.
Also known as visceral fat, hard belly fat is more harmful then soft belly fat. A high concentration of visceral fat can increase your chance of developing chronic diseases. Because visceral fat is deposited between the internal organs, it packs the organs tightly, leaving no room to move. This make your belly feel hard when you press it.
Lack of exercise, consumption of high amounts of fatty and high-calorific foods can contribute to visceral fat in the abdomen. Genetics are another factor that could predispose you to having excess visceral fat. Men are more likely to develop hard bellies than women.
Visceral fat triggers production of hormones and inflammatory substances, which can increase the risk of chronic diseases. Hard fat is linked to insulin resistance, high blood pressure and high cholesterol, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other several health issues.
Studies have shown that by losing between 5 and 10 percent of your body weight, you can get rid of 25 to 40 percent of your hard fat. A combination of diet and exercise is the obvious way to lose weight.
Eat healthy foods and keep a tab on the portion size. Avoid or limit refined carbs, sugar, saturated and trans fat. Up your intake of lean protein, fruits, veggies, whole grains, and polyunsaturated fats.
Exercise regularly. A moderate-intensity activity (walking, running, biking or aerobic exercise) for at least 30 to 60 minutes a day can be quite helpful in reducing both subcutaneous and visceral fat.