Rapid weight loss 'becoming much more accepted' says Mosley
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For those trying to lose belly fat, it’d be helpful to find one food that works to battle the bulge successfully, for good. Visceral fat, which is found inside the body around the abdomen, can be dangerous if not tackled and can put people at risk of numerous health issues, including heart disease, stroke, diabetes, insulin resistance, and even some cancers.
So it is important for people to know how to get rid of belly fat efficiently, and they can start doing this by making some dietary adjustments.
Dr Roxana Ehsani, a registered dietitian nutritionist and spokesperson for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, recommended people eat one belly-fat-busting food in order to eliminate their visceral fat for good.
She said: “Research has suggested that foods rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin D may be linked to less visceral fat.
“Therefore, plain, non-fat or low-fat greek yogurt is the number one food that people should be adding to their diet if they are looking to reduce visceral fat.”
The yoghurt typically contains 20-23 grams of protein per serving.
Dr Ehsani added: “Eating protein-rich foods can help reduce hunger as it promotes feelings of satiety.
“It also makes you less likely to overeat when you have protein present at meal and snack times.”
This is because protein takes a long time to digest and metabolise, with research finding that high protein intake is linked to a lower BMI, smaller waist circumference, and better HDL (good) cholesterol levels.
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In one study published in the International Journal of Obesity, researchers found that obese adults who ate three servings of fat-free yogurt a day as part of a reduced-calorie diet lost 22 percent more weight and 61 percent more body fat than those who cut calories and ate less calcium.
The yoghurt eaters also lost 81 percent more fat in the stomach area than non-yogurt eaters.
Study researcher Michael Zemel, professor of nutrition at the University of Tennessee, explained: “Not only did yogurt help the study participants lose more weight – the average weight loss was one stone (14lb) – they were about twice as effective at maintaining lean muscle mass.
“This is a critical issue when dieting. You want to lose fat, not muscle. Muscle helps burn calories, but it is often compromised during weight loss.”
Dr Ehsani also warned people that only the plain version will help beat the bulge.
“The flavoured varieties tend to pack added sugar, which will not help reduce visceral fat,” she advised.
Flavoured versions often contain chopped fruit and sweeteners and while they maximise flavour, research suggests people who eat more added sugar tend to have more visceral fat.
Instead, experts recommended searching for yoghurts with seven grams of added sugar or less – the lower the better for weight loss and to provide other health benefits.
Dr Ehsani also recommended opting for non-fat or low-fat yoghurt, as full-fat varieties contain saturated fat which promotes visceral fat.
Another health benefit of plain yoghurt is it also contains probiotics, which help support a healthy gut microbiome.
According to Healthline, probiotics can help people lose weight and belly fat.
Researchers found that by eating yoghurt with probiotic strains of Lactobacillus fermentum or Lactobacillus amylovorus, people can reduce their body fat by three to four percent over six weeks.
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