Seemingly dense fat vs. jiggly fat?
July 23, 2012 10:04 AM   Subscribe

What's the story behind jiggly fat? Why do some people have jiggly fat while others seem to be carrying denser fat?

I have carried what seems like firm fat, and I have carried what seems like jiggly fat. I'm not talking about cellulite here; that's a whole other issue. I especially seem to get jiggly when I've lost weight and then gained some back. So is old fat dense and new fat jiggly (sound silly, I know)? Is it just a matter or how much muscle is underneath that fat? Is it something else?
posted by kitcat to Health & Fitness (3 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Visceral fat vs. subcutaneous?

Subcutaneous is the fat stored directly beneath the skin while visceral fat is the fat 'inside you', under the stomach muscles, packed around the organs.
posted by unixrat at 10:13 AM on July 23, 2012

It's kind of hard to tell from your question, but I think the difference you're seeing is in the skin over the fat, not the fat itself. Under the squishy top of your skin is a layer of irregular dense connective tissue -- collagen and elastin fibers and other stuff face creams claim to contain. It's basically what leather is. When you gain fat -- which is lots of big pillowy pockets of cells below the skin -- your dermis stretches, like a broken-in leather shoe. You are probably not gaining and losing enough fat to have a saggy-skin problem, but you are stretching out the dermis enough that when you regain those pockets of fat under the skin your skin doesn't hold them in as tightly. Thus, jiggly fat. (A prime example: The postpartum stomach.)

Another factor could be how you lost the fat in the first place. If you're not maintaining muscle, you'll also get a more jiggly, less firm look and feel even if you've lost and gained the same amount of fat.
posted by purpleclover at 1:54 PM on July 23, 2012

I think it's probably genetic. I'm usually called "skinny" but the fat that I do have is jiggly fat, and if I became overweight I would not be what people call "thick," I would simply have more jiggly fat.

I've also been fairly muscular when I workout regularly, but even then the fat that I have is jiggly fat.

Some people have more fat than I do but seem to carry it in a smoother way regardless of whether they are muscular or not.

I have relatively thin skin, so I wonder if that is related. I also have small bones.

Anyway, I think it's genetic in the same way that hair type or body shape are.
posted by fromageball at 5:35 PM on July 23, 2012

« Older Help my wife prove her identity to the German...   |   Mission to Mars in need of name that isn't... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.