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How to get rid of visceral fat: Low-carb or low-fat diet? Best diet to beat the belly fat

Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, poses grave health risks because it tends to wrap around vital organs and the abdomen. This positioning means it can interfere with vital bodily processes. It is also regarded as one of the precursors, along with high blood pressure and diabetes, to heart disease.


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Attacking visceral fat should therefore be a priority for anyone looking to lead a long life.

As is the case with all body improvements, eating a healthy, balanced diet plays a key role.

Most dietary plans designed to shed belly fat will recommend either a low-fat or a low-carb diet but which one is best?

According to the NHS, arguments over whether reducing fat or carbohydrate is more important for weight loss have raged for years.

Now research may have settled the score on this age-old question.

More than 20 randomised controlled studies have now shown that low carb diets sometimes lead to two to three times more weight loss than low fat diets.

This is true even when those in the low carb groups are allowed to eat as much as they want, while those in the low fat groups are calorie restricted.

When adjusted specifically for burning visceral fat, studies comparing low carb and low fat diets indicate that low carb eating specifically reduces fat in the abdomen and around the organs and liver.

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This means that some of the fat lost on a low carb diet is harmful abdominal fat.

In an eight-week study including 69 overweight men and women, scientists found that people who followed a low-carb diet lost 10 percent more visceral fat and 4.4 percent more total fat than those on a low-fat diet.

What does a low-carb diet entail?

Eating a low-carb diet means cutting down on the amount of carbohydrates (carbs) you eat to less than 130g a day, according to Diabetes UK.

“To put this into context, a medium-sized slice of bread is about 15 to 20g of carbs, which is about the same as a regular apple,” explains the health body.


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It adds: “On the other hand, a large jacket potato could have as much as 90g of carbs, as does one litre of orange juice.”

Low-carb foods include:

  • Lean meats, such as sirloin, chicken breast, or pork
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Cauliflower and broccoli
  • Nuts and seeds, including nut butter
  • Oils, such as coconut oil, olive oil, and rapeseed oil
  • Some fruit, such as apples, blueberries, and strawberries
  • Unsweetened dairy products including plain whole milk and plain Greek yogurt

For maximum visceral fat-burning benefits, you should accompany a low-carb diet with regular exercise.

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.

Examples of moderate intensity activities include brisk walking, water aerobics and riding a bike, says the NHS.

Harvard health says to do at least 30 minutes per day (and perhaps up to 60 minutes per day) to control weight and lose belly fat.

“Strength training (exercising with weights) may also help fight abdominal fat,” notes the health body.

It adds: “Spot exercising, such as doing sit-ups, can tighten abdominal muscles, but it won’t get at visceral fat.”

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