How to lose visceral fat: The popular January diet proven to reduce harmful belly fat
Visceral fat presents myriad health risks because it is stored near vital organs within the abdominal cavity and is therefore dangerously close to a number of important internal organs such as the liver, pancreas and intestines.
As a result, visceral fat build-up can interfere with vital bodily functions, exposing you to a greater risk of developing long-term and potentially deadly conditions such as type 2 diabetes.
It is therefore essential you make positive lifestyle changes to keep visceral fat at bay.
- How to lose visceral fat: Eat this food to reduce harmful belly fat
Evidence suggests one effective way to attack visceral fat and ward off the threats associated is to follow a plant-based diet.
Brits up and down the country this month are attempting ‘Veganuary’ and a recent study makes a strong case for sticking to this dietary regime if you are looking to lose weight.
Recent research presented at the Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) suggests that a 16-week vegan diet can boost the gut microbes that are related to improvements in body weight, body composition and blood sugar control.
Gut microbiota play an important role in weight regulation, the development of metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes.
The aim of this study was to test the effect of a 16-week plant-based diet on gut microbiota composition, body weight, body composition, and insulin resistance in overweight adults with no history of diabetes.
The study included 147 participants, who were randomised to follow a low-fat vegan diet or to make no changes to their diet for 16 weeks.
Following the 16-week study, body weight was reduced significantly in the vegan group, particularly due to a reduction in fat mass and in visceral fat.
One of the primary benefits of following a vegan diet is that it tends to involve a high fibre intake, and evidence shows fibre helps to combat visceral fat.
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Soluble fibre – a type of fibre that helps slow down the delivery of digested food from the stomach to the intestines – has been linked to visceral fat loss by suppressing your appetite.
For example, studies show that short-chain fatty acids found in soluble fibre help increase levels of fullness hormones, such as cholecystokinin, GLP-1 and PYY.
Research also shows that increasing your soluble-fibre intake can help reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Bolstering the claims, a study in 1,114 people found that simply increasing soluble fibre intake by 10 grams daily reduced the risk of visceral fat gain by up to 3.7 percent.
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Good sources of soluble fibre include:
- Sweet potatoes
It is also important to shun certain dietary items to reduce the harmful belly fat.
Studies have shown that people who eat more added sugar tend to have more visceral fat so reducing your sugar intake will help to curb the harmful belly fat.
In addition to revising your diet, engaging in regular exercise can also offer a robust defence against visceral fat.
According to Harvard Health: “The starting point for bringing weight under control, in general, and combating abdominal fat, in particular, is regular moderate-intensity physical activity.”
The health site recommends doing at least 30 minutes per day, and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day, to control weight and lose belly fat.
What is the best exercise to burn to visceral fat?
Mounting evidence backs aerobic exercise to lose visceral fat, revealing that the benefits can be seen independent of dieting.
For example, an analysis of 15 studies in 852 people compared how well different types of exercise reduced visceral fat without dieting.
They found that moderate and high-intensity aerobic exercises were most effective at reducing visceral fat without dieting.
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