Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning
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Visceral fat or belly fat has many names, but whatever you call it, those extra inches around your middle are a serious matter, and not just because it makes it harder for you to squeeze into your favourite pair of jeans. Belly fat is unique in that it can have a far more negative impact on your health than other types of fat. Experts and studies have proven the effectiveness of reducing the amount of carbs consumed to put the body into ketosis to help burn belly fat.
By eating less carbs, especially refined carbs, it has been proven to be one of the most effective ways to lose belly fat.
This is supported by numerous studies delving into how carbohydrates in fact increase a person’s appetite and thereby increase fat.
More than 20 studies have shown that low carb diets sometimes lead to two to three times more weight loss than low fat diets.
This was true even when those in the low carb groups were allowed to eat as much as they wanted whilst those in the low-fat group were calorie restricting.
In a study published in the US National Library of Medicine National Institutes of Health, a lower carbohydrate and higher fat diet in helping to reduce belly fat was analysed.
In the study 69 overweight men and woman were provided with one of two diets either the lower fat higher carb diet or the higher fat lower carb diet for eight weeks.
The results showed the participants who consumed the lower-carbohydrate vs. the lower-fat diet lost more intra-abdominal adipose tissue.
After weight loss, participants who consumed the lower-carbohydrate diet had 4.4 percent less total fat mass.
“A modest reduction in dietary carbohydrate has beneficial effects on body composition, fat distribution, and glucose metabolism,” concluded the study.
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What’s the deal with refined carbs
Refined carbs have been stripped of almost all fibre, vitamins and minerals.
For this reason, they can be considered as “empty” calories.
Refined carbs are also digested quickly and have a high glycaemic index.
This means that they lead to rapid spikes in blood sugar and insulin levels after meals.
When a person eats refined or simple carbs, their bloodstream is flooded with sugar which triggers a surge of insulin to clear the sugar from your blood.
All this insulin can leave one feeling hungry soon after a meal, often craving more sugary carbs.
This can cause a person to overeat more, put on weight, and over time lead to insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.
When you cut out refined carbs like white bread, rice, bagels, pasta, cookies, candy and chips and focus on nutrient and fibre-rich carbs such as vegetables, and low-glycaemic fruits, you start to lose belly fat, because, once again, your body is burning fat for fuel.
When you eat minimal carbohydrates, your body produces ketones for energy.
Ketones are made in your liver from fatty acids found in food or your own body fat.
Therefore, your liver actually burns fat to make ketones thereby helping to get rid of your visceral fat and reducing the risk of serious health complications.
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