Friday, November 16 , 2018, 9:11 am | Fair 55º


Variant Training Lab Offers Inside Scoop on Visceral Fat

Some fat, believe it or not, is invisible to the naked eye. It doesn’t preside exterior to muscle, so you can't physically feel it, but it’s there and chances are it’s increasing subtly (or not so subtly).

Visceral fat is body fat that sits behind the stomach muscle wall and is stored within the abdominal cavity around a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines.

Everyone has it, but lots of people have a lot of it. Even those who work out regularly and those lucky enough to have a six pack.

Sub-cutaneous fat, which is the fat we see, is obvious and rather easy to tell when we’re gaining or losing it. Visceral fat, on the other hand, can increase without any warning or symptoms until it becomes a problem.

High levels of visceral fat can have a negative impact on the body, affecting hormonal imbalances and increasing insulin resistance leading to Type 2 diabetes.

In fact, the occurrence of a number of medical conditions are increased with higher visceral fat levels including: heart disease, breast cancer, colorectal cancer, and Alzheimer's disease.

There is good news about visceral fat, though — it is easy to put on but, it is also easy to lose.

Interestingly, it does not respond to cardiovascular exercise, unlike sub-cutaneous fat. Visceral fat can be reduced by the usual improvements to diet, more fruit and vegetables, lean proteins and fiber consumption.

Since we all respond in varying amounts to dietary strategies, the key to reducing visceral fat is measuring it. Understanding what percent of your body composition is visceral fat is imperative to making the custom adjustments to your diet that are most effective.

Low, medium and high levels can be treated in slightly different ways. A specific exercise regime to supplement your dietary strategy can be put in place, which is tailored to the need of each persons’ visceral reduction targets.

A Harvard University study demonstrated diet combined with certain exercise regimes have been more effective at reducing visceral fat than diet alone.

The main challenge with visceral fat is understanding it and measuring it. Until recently, an MRI was the only real way to determine visceral fat levels, this is both an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. New technologies exist now that make this measurement much easier to attain.

Variant Training Lab in Santa Barbara uses this technology as one of several baseline measures to provide a full body composition, including visceral fat levels, within 5-7 minutes.

Based on these measures, and others, individuals can make informed lifestyle decisions regarding diet and exercise specifically designed to reduce visceral fat levels. The team at Variant Training Lab can also provide exercise physiologists to help clients manage and track their progress.

Variant Training Lab is offering free visceral fat composition assessments, in about 10 minutes, at its 314 State St. location. Call 805-837-8475 for an appointment. For more, visit

— Maury Hayashida for Variant Training Lab.


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