Visceral fat levels do not correlate directly with the amount of subcutaneous fat in the body or activity levels such as high endurance capacity. Visceral fat may be influenced by genetics, hormonal levels, lifestyle and nutritional intake. Visceral fat also contains a high concentration of glucocorticoid receptor (GR) which provides a site for stress hormones such as cortisol to bind with and contribute to an increased accumulation of adipose tissue around the internal organs of the body. Total body fat results may also be influenced by fat contained within organs such as the liver, heart and pancreas, known as Ectopic fat, that is also independent of lean body mass and general fitness levels.
Total body fat levels may be attributed to a number of different variables, such as, including lifestyle, nutritional status and individual fat deposit variability, hormonal influences, such as high cortisol levels associated with high training volume, poor sleep and ,work stress, all of which may influence a higher visceral fat due to an increase in cortisol or insulin resistance. Due to the location of visceral fat in the human body, an individual cannot estimate or predict their visceral fat levels, unless they have scanned using BIA technology or performed a DEXA scan.