How to lose visceral fat: Follow a high-protein diet to reduce belly fat

Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Waist measurements of 35 inches or more for women, and 40 inches or more for men, can guarantee that you’re carrying too much visceral fat – and your health is on the line. In order to prolong a healthy life, you need to consider what you’re eating. A diet high in protein might just be the answer, according to research.

Researchers from the University of Oklahoma found “strong correlations” between protein intake and abdominal fat levels.

Noting that visceral fat is a “strong independent marker for disease and mortality”, the consumption of protein reduced fat levels in the subjects they studied.

In support of this finding, the Population Health Research Institute in Canada found similar results.

The team analysed the data from 617 participants, which included taking their waist measurements.

They found that participants who substituted some carbohydrates for protein in their diet had lower waist circumferences.

Examples of carbohydrates include: bread, butter, biscuits and cakes.

Protein examples include: fish, seafood, poultry, eggs and low-fat yoghurt.

Over a five-year trial period, the Danish Epidemiology Science Centre found that animal protein in particular had an inverse association with waist circumference.

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These three observational studies suggest that people who eat more protein tend to have less abdominal fat than those who eat less protein.

High protein is said to release the “fullness hormone PYY”, said Healthline.

The PYY hormone decreases a person’s appetite and promotes the feeling of fullness.

As a result, people who eat more protein are less likely to feel hungry and snack during the day.

Good protein sources include:

  • Meat
  • Fish
  • Eggs
  • Dairy
  • Whey protein
  • Beans

As well as being mindful of what you eat, the other key way to reduce visceral fat levels is to exercise.

Medical News Today warned: “The dangers of storing excess visceral fat can be extreme and immediate.”

Two types of exercises are recommended to reduce belly fat:

  • Cardiovascular exercise
  • Strength training

Cardiovascular activities raise a person’s heart rate, such as jogging, cycling, swimming, and circuit training.

Meanwhile, strength training can include squats, weights and push-ups.

The NHS advises everybody to do at least 150 minutes of exercise weekly.

This can be broken down into three 10-minute chunks daily, and they don’t have to be intense. It can be as simple as a brisk walk.

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