Visceral fat & subcutaneous fat

Visceral fat & subcutaneous fat

During the summer months and leading up to our vacations in the Sun, we often find ourselves second-guessing our choice to have that slice of cake during our break, or looking up possible gym memberships near us to finally start working for the beach body we have always wanted. Unfortunately, many of us do this too late and this results in crash-dieting or extreme exercise, both of which are not healthy ways to lose weight, nor do they provide the long-term solution to weight loss.

In order to understand which options are available to us in terms of losing weight, or which areas to target, it is important to firstly understand what types of fat there are and how they function around our body.

Where fat ends up depends on several factors, including genetics and the way hormones are regulated in the body. Adipose tissue – found around our internal organs is named visceral fat, on the contrary, adipose tissue accumulated under the skin, is called subcutaneous fat.

Visceral fat

Recent research has suggested that visceral fat cells that aggregate around the abdomen disrupt the balance and functioning of hormones within the body with sometimes adverse effects. One of the imbalances that they can cause is the release of cytokines (immune chemicals) which may increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. Visceral fat is also directly linked to a higher total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol and lower HDL (good) cholesterol. This in turn leads to a high risk of stroke, diabetes and cardiac arrest. Therefore it is important to keep a diet low in fat and sugars in order to minimise the visceral fat around the abdomen.

Subcutaneous fat

Subcutaneous fat on the other hand is a little more stubborn and tends to be difficult to get rid of. Our body regards these subcutaneous adipose tissues as energy reserve and will only tap into this reserve when we are in continuous calorie deficit or starvation. It is therefore very difficult to target these local fat areas when one is trying to get rid of excessive fat. This being said, subcutaneous fat does not pose as much of a health risk as visceral fat. 

Diet and exercise will help to lessen the amount of fat we have in both areas of visceral and subcutaneous fat. Local subcutaneous fat can be very stubborn and therefore difficult to get rid of. If diet and exercise are not giving the results you wish for, treatment such as cryolipolysis, injection lipolysis and liposuction can be a very tempting alternative. Ultimately, the appeal of these is that they are effective to dissolve stubborn local fat

Liposuction is effective but not everyone is keen on expensive surgical procedure with long downtime; compression garment is also not comfortable to wear either. Subsequently, non-surgical procedure has since gained momentum and is now extremely popular. Recent studies have proven that injection lipolysis, such as Aqualyx® causes splitting of fat cells which subsequently leads to natural clearance of fat via the normal system in the liver. So, fear not and do not let your frustration get the better of you! Aqualyx injection lipolysis is a FDA-approved, CE-marked non-surgical solution that is very safe and effective in getting rid of stubborn local fat, which will have you ready for your holiday in no time! 

Dr. Chia Tan

Founder at Harley St M.D.
Dr. Chia Tan is a UK trained medical doctor that specialises in cosmetic and aesthetic medicine and testosterone replacement therapy. He is qualified as a medical doctor since 2003 and has since trained extensively. He has been featured in several leading magazines as well as invited to appear on TV to discuss aesthetic medicine and the latest cosmetic procedures.
Dr. Chia Tan

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