Fat Explained: Part 2


Let’s jump back into our chat about FAT.

Did you know there isn’t just one-size-fits-all when it comes to the fat we have in our bodies?  Our types of fat are a community; they talk to each other and they are linked to what makes up our body composition.  Fat cells can expand their volume to more than one thousand times their normal size!  They also band together in different communities and work to take care of certain functions.  The first community we will talk about is:

Subcutaneous fat 

  • This fat sits right under your skin throughout your body.
  • It has several key functions:  storing extra caloric energy, padding your bones and muscles, regulating your body temperature, and serving as passageways for nerves and blood vessels
  • Being able to store fat helps us in times of food scarcity, but these days, we are surrounded by food 24/7!  It’s like our bodies are waiting for a famine that will never come. We have evolved to store excess energy as fat!!

Visceral fat

  • We store this fat deep inside of our torso, around our organs, and under our abdominal muscles.  This is the fat that makes the belly protrude out.
  • When this type of fat starts accumulating, it can be pretty dangerous:  it contributes more to diabetes, insulin resistance, and increases our risk of heart disease.

Intramuscular fat

  • Fat in our muscles??  Yep! This fat is used as an immediate energy source by your muscles for movement and moderate exercise.
  • This fat looks like the marbling of steak.  It spreads throughout the major muscle groups, and too much of it can make us look like we have chubby muscles.

Brown fat

  • This is a special type of fat.  Instead of storing energy, it actually burns it!
  • It is found around the neck, collarbones, upper back, and along the spine.
  • What does brown fat burn energy for?  Heat!
  • Maintaining a healthy amount of brown fat is key to a strong metabolism!

Beige fat

  • This fat has the capability to act as white or brown fat!
  • Researchers are finding that certain lifestyle factors can influence the “browning” of white fat cells.
  • What lifestyle factors??  Touch base with me here to chat about what changes you can make!

Next time, we will chat about how what we eat can shift our metabolic fingerprint beyond just managing calories.

Until next time!



About Me


I am a seeker of balance. With each of my clients we search to find, what can we do with the biological resources we have to feel good in our bodies? How can we maximize our body’s unique potential in a way that respects body diversity, takes our different lifestyles into account, and empowers us to bypass harmful societal messaging around what we’re “supposed” to look like?

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Kate Honegger