Your body burns the food you eat to convert it into energy. The excess food gets stored as fat in your body, to be used at a later date. However, all fats stored are not the same. In particular your body stores fat around your abdominal cavity and therefore around your organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines. This fat is different from the subcutaneous fat (fat which builds up just under your skin) since it is stored deeper within the body. Visceral fat releases hormones that affects the organs around. It also reduces insulin sensitivity and raises your LDL (bad cholesterol). Therefore, this fat is correctly known as very bad fat.
This visceral fat is extremely hard to get rid of even if you are doing everything right. One of the simplest ways to measure if you have too much visceral fat is to divide your waist to hip in inches. Men should target a ratio of below 1 and women a ration of below 0.8 [thank you to my readers for helping me correct this number].
As with everything else, eating a balanced diet, regular exercise, sleeping well can help you lose visceral fat. However, this will be the last type of fat your lose and one of the important reasons that short term crash diets don’t work. It simply takes much longer to get around to this fat. So remember, the size of your trousers matters more than you may have previously thought.