Health

How to lose visceral fat: A new diet approach proven to help combat and burn belly fat

Visceral fat is also known as belly fat and is found inside your abdominal cavity. Carrying too much visceral fat is extremely harmful for one's health. It's linked to a higher risk of type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance, heart disease and even certain cancers. A popular diet which has gained much notoriety could be key in helping you lose your visceral fat.

With intermittent fasting, eating fewer meals can lead to an automatic reduction in calorie intake.

Additionally, intermittent fasting changes a person's hormone levels which facilitates weight loss.

As these changes in hormones take place, short-term fasting can help increase a person's metabolic rate by as much as 3.6 to 14 percent.

By helping a person eat less and burn more calories, intermittent fasting causes weight loss by changing both sides of the calorie equation and could help a person lose their visceral fat.

READ MORE: How to live longer: Five habits to adopt into your life to increase life expectancy

In a study with the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, intermittent fasting and how it could help with weight loss was investigated.

The study noted: "Intermittent fasting facilitates weight loss and improves coronary heart disease risk indicators.

"This study examined the effects of intermittent fasting plus cardiovascular risks on body weight, body composition and cardiovascular heart disease risk."

The study involved obese woman and found at the end of the study, those who followed the intermittent fasting diet had a decrease in body weight, decrease in fat mass and visceral fat was reduced. 

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Eating and drinking during a 10-hour window allows the body to rest and restore for 14 hours while drinking water, coffee or tea.

According to study co-author Dr Satchin Panda, "Your body can also anticipate when you will eat, so it can prepare the body to optimize metabolism."

This so-called "time-restricted eating" is a form of intermittent fasting.

Instead of fasting on alternate days or several 24-hour periods per week, time-restricted eating encourages dieters to limit their meals to certain windows of time.


"The brain works together with the other organ systems to coordinate body processes such as hormone production and we manage food intake better when these systems are in line," explains Dr Felicia Steger, PhD, RD, a postdoctoral scholar at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

"Many people eat their largest meals at dinner so we are forcing the organs in our gastrointestinal system (such as our liver) to do the most amount of work as our brain is preparing to shut down for the evening to sleep.

"Early time-restricted feeding aims to align these rhythms."

In addition to adapting to this new way of eating, it is imperative for one to also engage in regular exercise.

The benefits of regular exercise have been observed independent of diet.

A study of 30 obese young men used a four-month program of intensive exercise without any dietary restrictions.

Although the subjects consumed more than 3,000 calories a day on average, they shed about 26 pounds each.

Best of all, they lost abdominal fat preferentially. The average waist circumference declined by 14 percent and the average hip circumference by eight percent.



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