What is toxic fat and do I have it?

We all have fat. How much we have of it and what type we hold on to is what matters most! So what is the difference between different types of fat and when should you be concerned?

Lipoedema is the name given to the situation when fat is distributed unevenly around the body. Rather than an even layer over the majority of the body, lipoedema is excess fat that is concentrated in the buttocks, legs and lower body. Often the inner side of the knees and outer hips are particularly affected, leaving a somewhat asymmetrical look to the legs. Lipoedema affects people in all ranges of weight, from those who are underweight, average weight and overweight. This is because it is characterised by where the fat is stored, rather than how much of it you have. Lipoedema is also characterised by swelling because this type of fat is permeated by lymphatic tissue which can become congested by an accumulation of lymph fluid.

How do you know whether you have lipoedema?

Lipoedema is no trivial issue, it affects both physical and mental health. If you have lipoedema you may notice:

  • Fat is abnormally accumulated in your legs, making them look less shapely and more columnar
  • Areas affected by lipoedema may be very tender or even painful to touch
  • Lipoedema feels spongy and cool to the touch compared to other areas of the body
  • You bruise easily in these areas and have more spider veins 
  • Fluid accumulates around the fat in these areas and your legs also become swollen and heavy
  • Exercise is more difficult and your legs feel worse in hot weather or by the end of the day

What makes fat toxic?

Many people think that fat is simply energy in reserve – a product of too many calories in and not enough calories out. This is way too simplistic and does not account for the other functions of fat! The body stores toxins and other unwanted wastes in fat tissue in an attempt to keep these damaging compounds out of blood circulation. Fat also produces its own type of inflammation that can contribute to diseases like diabetes, heart disease and cancer. 

Hormones such as oestrogen are also produced by fat cells, which can disrupt the harmony between hormones and lead to excess oestrogen. In turn, this can trigger PMS symptoms, heavy periods and the risk of breast cancer.

When we lose fat during the weight loss process, these wastes, toxins and hormones have to go somewhere! A vital part of healthy, sustainable weight loss is making sure our body is supported in clearing away that toxicity. 

Toxic fat and lymphatic issues

Our body relies on lymphatic drainage to move fluid and toxins away from fat tissue, especially if we are wanting to break up and lose toxic fat. The accumulation of toxic fat puts a greater burden on the lymphatic system as well as the liver, because there is a greater volume of fluid to be filtered and detoxified. Just like when the plumbing in your house is put to the test, if the system is overwhelmed a backlog can occur! Like a toilet overflowing (apologies for the mental image) sluggish lymph can become stuck and worsen swelling, cellulite and fatigue. If you feel a little toxic, you probably are. 

Know that you have toxic fat or lipoedema and need help?

Contrary to popular belief around general weight loss, diet and exercise alone is not the answer to releasing toxic fat successfully. Conditions such as lipoedema require a whole-body approach and targeted support. If you experience lipoedema I encourage you to join the Body Wisdom Program for focussed support. 

Can lipoedema be cured by diet?

What you put in your body makes a huge difference to how your body functions. If you are guessing what to eat, restricting your diet and still not seeing any results, know that there is no one-size-fits all when it comes to nutrition. The everyday foods that you eat could be contributing to inflammation and toxicity, even the ‘healthy’ ones. We are all different and we all have highly individualised nutritional needs. The Body Wisdom program includes Bio-compatibility Hair Analysis to determine which foods are suited to you on a cellular level. From this report you are provided with a personalised meal plan that is wholesome, tasty and simple to make.

Massage to break up lipoedema

Lymphatic massage can help to break up lipoedema by encouraging the movement of fluid away from the fat and stimulating circulation. Massage also promotes metabolism and detoxification processes which is so important considering the release of toxins from fat that occurs with weight loss. With the right guidance and equipment, lymphatic massage is a proactive way to support your own healing at home. The LymFatics system is designed with this in mind and although I always recommend individualised support especially when it comes to lipoedema, some customers have reported a lessening in their lipoedema related pain. 

If you suspect that you have lipoedema, get in touch here to learn more about the Body Wisdom program.