To reduce visceral fat, you need to consume the right kind and amount of protein with every meal, an expert has said.
Dietician Lily Soutter said that while it was important to reduce calories overall when trying to lose weight, protein had a special role to play in reducing visceral fat.
Visceral fat is the harmful type of fat that surrounds the organs in the abdominal region. It has been linked to an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.
Soutter said that when trying to reduce visceral fat, it was important to include protein-rich foods at every meal.
“Protein has a higher thermic effect than other macronutrients, which means that more energy is needed to digest it,” she said.
“This means that, after eating a protein-rich meal, you’ll burn more calories than you would have done if you’d eaten a carbohydrate or fat-based meal.”
Soutter said that a good rule of thumb was to include around 20-30 grams of protein at each meal.
“Good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, legumes, nuts and seeds,” she said.
“If you’re struggling to get enough protein into your diet, you may want to consider taking a protein supplement.”
Visceral fat is the “bad” type of fat that accumulates around your organs and increases your risk of chronic diseases. Though you can’t spot reduce visceral fat, you can shrink it by eating a healthy diet and exercising regularly.
Researchers have found that adding protein to your meals may help you burn more visceral fat. In a study, people who ate a high-protein diet (30% of their calories from protein) burned more visceral fat than those who ate a lower protein diet (15% of their calories from protein).
The study participants ate the same number of calories and the same amount of fat. They also did the same amount of physical activity. The only difference was the amount of protein they ate.
The findings suggest that eating a certain amount of protein with each meal may help you burn more visceral fat. So, if you’re trying to lose weight, you may want to include protein-rich foods at every meal.
Some good sources of protein include lean meats, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, beans, and nuts. You can also get protein from protein-rich foods such as tofu, tempeh, and seitan.