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How to lose visceral fat: VLCK diet reduces belly fat in the 'long-term'


There are two main types of fat in the body – visceral fat and subcutaneous fat. The latter consumes our attention because it’s the fat we can see but the former is far more worrying. Visceral fat wraps around abdominal organs, such as the liver and intestines – a positioning that can raise risk of chronic complications.

VLCK diets are a nutritional intervention that mimics fasting by restricting carbohydrates and fat with a relative increase in protein intake.

A group of obese patients were randomly allocated in two groups: either the very low-calorie-ketogenic diet group or a standard low-calorie diet group.

The VLCK diets induced a greater reduction in body weight, waist circumference, and body fat mass than the low-calorie diet.

Selecting specifically for visceral fat, the VLCK diet observed reductions 24 months later.

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The findings are not surprising – increasing protein intake is linked to weight loss.

“Protein can be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fat do,” explains Bupa.

According to the health body, if you include a lean source of protein, such as skinless white chicken, in your meals, you may find that you’re not as hungry, and so eat less.

Good sources include chicken breast, tuna, mackerel, salmon, eggs, milk, red lentils, chickpeas, brown bread, nuts and soya.

Studies have shown that you can help trim visceral fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity and strength training.

Aerobic activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.

According to the NHS, one way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing.

Examples include:

  • Brisk walking
  • Water aerobics
  • Riding a bike
  • Dancing
  • Doubles tennis.


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