The following article is excerpted from my latest book, Matt Hoover’s Guide to Life, Love, and Losing Weight by Matt Hoover (winner of “The Biggest Loser” Season 2) and Sheri Colberg, Ph.D.
Fact or Fiction?
“Where you lose the weight from matters.”
Fact. Visceral fat, which is the fat deep within your abdomen that makes up most of a “beer belly,” has more negative impact on your health and your metabolism than the subcutaneous (below your skin) variety. If you have a choice of losing one or the other, you definitely want to get rid of the intra-abdominal type. Here is where exercise clearly prevails. Dieting alone, although it reduces subcutaneous and total belly fat, does not appear to eliminate much visceral fat or the extra fat stored in muscle. Only if you exercise regularly—regardless of whether you actually lose any body weight—will you lose unhealthy visceral fat. If you exercise without dieting, you’ll retain your muscle mass, and if you exercise and diet, you’ll lose less muscle than with dieting alone. So, if you have to choose between exercise and dieting for improving your health, choose exercise.