Visceral fat - what you need to know

Updated: Sep 23, 2020

Did you know that by the time you reach puberty, you have all of the fat cells you need for the rest of your life?


Other than women (who can gain extra fat cells during pregnancy), we are born with a certain amount of fat cells, that caps in puberty at around 20-25 billion.


However, in people who are overweight or obese, fat cells expand and can begin to multiply. Once these new fat cells have been produced - they last with you for life!! (unless surgically removed).


This is why it is crucial to manage your diet and body weight throughout life, to prevent fat cells from multiplying.


“Research has documented a 2.6 billion fat cell increase in just 8 weeks of overeating.” That’s a 10% increase of your body’s fat cells in 2 months!


When we lose weight, we do not lose these fat cells, but they do shrink. However, their presence makes it easier to gain weight again in the future. PREVENTION is key.


The fat that you can easily pinch on your body is subcutaneous fat – just stored energy. Nothing to worry about on someone of average weight.


The deep fat (“visceral fat”) that surrounds your organs is the dangerous stuff!

Fat distribution is actually the BIGGEST INDICATOR OF DISEASE RISK.


VISCERAL FAT is metabolically active and increases inflammation and we know that inflammation is a potential risk to any condition. This visceral fat releases inflammatory molecules that can manifest as lung disease, gall bladder stones, cancer, etc., depending on where in the body the inflammation happens.


Everyone is different – and there is no magic pill or one-size-fits-all solution. Everyone will have different needs and different considerations. Generally, a balanced weight management plan begins with an anti-inflammatory diet and strategies to improve overall digestion. This would typically be followed by augmenting physical activity and by looking at the more specific needs of the individual (such as hormonal imbalances, etc.).


You are not alone – see your Naturopath or Nutritionist for support and guidance in helping you to live your best and healthiest life!