Visceral fat is deemed harmful because it’s stored in the abdominal cavity next to many vital organs, including the liver, pancreas and intestines. If visceral fat is allowed to build-up, serious health complications can occur, including cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. A diet high in saturated fat can contribute to visceral fat build-up, so making changes to what you’re eating should be one of the first steps to take to reduce it. Healthy eating should form part of any fat loss programme, but with so many diets considered healthy, which one has been proven best at getting rid of visceral fat?
Intermittent fasting has been proven a popular way to lose weight over the years, and it’ been proven to help get rid of visceral fat.
The eating plan involves cycling between periods of eating and fasting.
What intermittent fasting doesn’t do is restrict certain foods – it just focuses on when you should eat them.
The aim of this type of eating is for a person to eat fewer meals and therefore fewer calories.
Many experts suggest starting with 12 hours of fasting, and the hours you’re asleep can form part of this.
Once you get into the cycle of fasting you can increase the amount of time you fast for by an hour each day, until you go up to 16 hours of fasting.
The 16/8 method of intermittent fasting voles skipping breakfast and restricting daily eating to an eight hour period, such as between 12 to 8pm.
A large review of studies found following an intermittent fasting style of eating helped reduce visceral fat by 4 to 7 per cent over period of six to 24 weeks.
While intermittent fasting doesn’t restrict any foods, it’s still important to eat healthily to help get rid of visceral fat.
Probiotics, fibre and protein have proven particularly important in helping get rid of visceral fat.
Soluble fibre is particularly good for fat loss because it mixes with water, forming a viscous gel-like substance, and helps slow down the delivery of digested food from the stomach to the intestines.
When soluble fibre reaches the colon it’s fermented by gut bacteria and turned into short-chain fatty acids – a major source of nutrition for colon cells.
Through this process, a person’s appetite can be suppressed, helping get rid of visceral fat.
A study involving 1,114 people found increasing soluble fibre intake by 10g daily could reduce the risk of visceral fat gain by up to 3.7 per cent.
Studies have suggested probiotics can help you lose visceral fat, because they may reduce dietary fat absorption in the gut, increasing how much of it you excrete in faeces.
And research has shown eating more protein can help fend off hunger by increasing levels of the fullness hormones GLP, Pyy and cholecystokinin.
Protein has also been found to reduce levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin.
Another diet which has been found to get rid of visceral fat is a low-carb diet.