Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is a type of fat that wraps around your abdominal organs deep inside your body. An accumulation of the belly fat can also raise your risk of other metabolic conditions, such as type 2 diabetes. Reducing the amount of stored belly fat is therefore vital to staving off chronic complications.
A study published in the journal Nutrition and Metabolism found a low-carbohydrate, high-fat diet to be particularly effective.
Researchers asked 40 obese adults, ages 60 to 75, to follow an eight-week diet in which 10 percent of calories came from carbs, cymbalta success stories 25 percent from protein, and 65 percent from fat.
Carb sources included leafy greens, non-starchy vegetables, some fruit, and high-fibre grains.
Protein intake consisted of eggs, fish, pork, and poultry.
Fat-containing foods included olive oil, coconut oil, nut oils, nut butter, cheese, coconut milk, and avocados.
Compared with a control group, the low-carb, high-fat group lost more visceral fat.
They also had a big drop in insulin resistance and improved their cholesterol levels – precursors to heart disease.
How to lower your carb intake and still feel full
As Bupa explains, protein can be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat do.
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“If you include a lean source of protein, such as skinless white chicken, in your meals you may find that you’re not as hungry, and so eat less,” explains Bupa.
“Make sure you include protein with each meal,” it adds.
Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, milk, red lentils, chickpeas, brown bread, nuts and soya.
Other key tips to eliminating visceral fat
The other crucial component to reducing visceral fat is to engage in regular exercise.
“Engage in at least 30 minutes of moderate-intensity activity most days, such as brisk walking or bicycling at a casual pace,” advises Harvard Health.
Studies have shown that you can help trim visceral fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity (such as brisk walking) and strength training (exercising with weights).
According to Harvard Health, spot exercises, such as sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles but won’t get at visceral fat.
Evidence suggests exercise can also help keep fat from coming back.
In a study at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, dieting women lost an average of 24 pounds and reduced both visceral and subcutaneous fat, with or without aerobic or strength-training exercise.
In the following year, those who maintained their exercise programs — a modest 40 minutes twice a week — maintained their visceral fat loss, while those who didn’t exercise or abandoned their programs showed a 33 percent average increase in visceral fat.
Moderate activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.
One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing.
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