top of page
  • Writer's pictureDennis Romatz

Understanding Subcutaneous Body Fat

As a weight loss and body fat reduction specialist at Dennis Romatz Fitness, I've witnessed firsthand the frustration and confusion many individuals face when it comes to shedding those stubborn pounds. That's why I'm here to provide you with the knowledge and strategies you need to conquer your body fat reduction journey with science, confidence and the correct strategies.

Subcutaneous belly body fat, often referred to simply as subcutaneous fat, is a type of adipose tissue located beneath the skin in the abdominal region.

While it's commonly associated with aesthetic concerns, subcutaneous fat serves important functions in the body, including insulation, energy storage, and protection of organs.

Subcutaneous body fat and visceral body fat are two types of fat found in the body, but they differ in their location and function.

Subcutaneous body fat is located just beneath the skin and is the fat you can pinch and feel. It's found in areas like the abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks. Subcutaneous fat serves several functions, including insulation, energy storage, and protection of organs.

On the other hand, visceral body fat is located deep within the abdominal cavity, surrounding the internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. Unlike subcutaneous fat, visceral fat cannot be easily pinched and is not visible from the outside. Visceral fat plays a role in hormone production and is associated with an increased risk of metabolic disorders such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, and cardiovascular disease.

While both types of fat are important for various physiological functions, subcutaneous body fat is primarily located beneath the skin and serves protective and energy storage purposes, whereas visceral body fat is located deep within the abdominal cavity and is associated with metabolic health risks.

I'll go into detail about visceral body fat in a forthcoming blog post, but for now, this blog post is all about understanding subcutaneous body fat.


Understanding Subcutaneous Body Fat: What You Need To Know

Subcutaneous Body Fat
Subcutaneous Body Fat

What is Subcutaneous Body Fat?

Subcutaneous body fat, also referred to as subcutaneous fat, is the layer of adipose tissue that accumulates beneath the skin, particularly in areas like the abdomen, thighs, hips, and buttocks. Unlike visceral fat, which surrounds internal organs, subcutaneous fat is situated just beneath the skin's surface, contributing to body composition and overall health.

What is Subcutaneous Body Fat Made Of?

Subcutaneous body fat is primarily composed of triglycerides, which consist of fatty acids and glycerol molecules bound together. These triglycerides are stored in adipocytes, or fat cells, located within the subcutaneous tissue. Additionally, subcutaneous fat contains various other components, including water, proteins, and hormones, influencing metabolic processes and overall health.

Where Does Subcutaneous Body Fat Come From?

Subcutaneous body fat originates from excess calories consumed beyond the body's energy needs. When individuals consume more calories than their body requires for energy expenditure, the surplus calories are converted into triglycerides and stored in fat cells for future use, leading to subcutaneous fat accumulation.

How Do We Store Subcutaneous Body Fat?

Subcutaneous fat is stored in adipocytes within the subcutaneous tissue. When calorie intake exceeds energy expenditure, the excess calories are converted into triglycerides and stored in these fat cells. Over time, consistent calorie surplus can lead to an increase in subcutaneous fat stores, resulting in weight gain and alterations in body composition.

What Foods Cause Subcutaneous Body Fat Storage?

Foods high in refined carbohydrates, sugars, and unhealthy fats can contribute to subcutaneous body fat storage when consumed excessively. Processed foods, sugary beverages, fried foods, and sweets are common culprits that promote fat accumulation, affecting body fat percentage and overall health negatively.

Dangers of Stored Subcutaneous Body Fat

While subcutaneous body fat may appear benign, excessive accumulation poses health risks. Elevated levels of subcutaneous fat are associated with obesity, insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and other metabolic disorders, underscoring the importance of managing body fat percentage for optimal health.

How Does Calorie Abundance Cause Subcutaneous Body Fat Storage?

Calorie abundance, characterized by consuming more calories than the body expends, results in excess calorie storage as subcutaneous fat. Sedentary lifestyles, poor dietary choices, and hormonal imbalances contribute to calorie surplus, fostering fat storage and increasing body fat percentage.

How Do We Measure Stored Subcutaneous Body Fat?

Stored subcutaneous body fat can be quantified using various methods, including skinfold calipers, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and hydrostatic weighing. These techniques offer insights into body fat levels and overall body composition, aiding in health assessment and management.

How Do We Get Rid of Stored Subcutaneous Body Fat?

Reducing stored subcutaneous body fat entails creating a caloric deficit through dietary adjustments and increased physical activity. Incorporating a balanced diet, regular exercise, low-intensity steady-state cardio training, strength training, and lifestyle modifications can facilitate fat loss, promoting improved health and well-being.

It is crucial to recognize that the human body predominantly utilizes stored subcutaneous body fat as fuel during low-intensity exercises. Conversely, sugars from recently consumed foods serve as the primary fuel source during high-intensity exercise. Therefore, exercising within the correct heart rate zone is essential for maximizing fat oxidation and burning calories efficiently.

Many gyms and fitness centers will try to sell you on joining their gym and high intensity interval classes by advertising "join our high intensity interval class and lose all the weight you want". This couldn't be further from the truth, but telling people to join their slow and steady walking class and lose all the weight you want just doesn't sell memberships!

In conclusion, while subcutaneous belly body fat serves essential functions in the body, excessive accumulation can lead to health problems.

By understanding its origin, composition, and implications, individuals can take proactive steps to manage their subcutaneous fat levels and promote overall health.

As a body fat reduction and weight loss specialist, I take stored subcutaneous body fat off my clients every day. Fun fact, body fat reduction is the most sought after fitness goal so don't think you're alone in this fat burn journey!

Please do contact me if you would like additional information on how to get rid of your stored subcutaneous body fat through my fitness training and nutrition coaching programs.

About the Author: Dennis Romatz is an Internationally acclaimed personal trainer, online fitness coach and nutrition coach with more than 3 decades of body fat reduction experience.

6 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page