Visceral fat, also known as belly fat, is stored in the abdominal cavity, which houses important organs such as the liver and intestines. An accumulation of visceral fat can therefore compromise vital functions, increasing your risk of chronic complications, such as heart disease. Fortunately, you can reduce visceral fat accumulation by making healthy eating decisions.
A study published in the Journal of Functional Foods suggests that supplementing with apple cider vinegar can hit stubborn belly fat.
As with other types of vinegar, the key ingredient in apple cider vinegar is acetic acid, which is produced when the sugars in apples are fermented.
“When apple cider vinegar is strained, it looks like a clear liquid. If it’s not strained, it looks cloudy because it contains a combination of yeast and bacteria that forms during fermentation, known as ‘the mother,'” Holland and Barrette explain.
A randomized clinical trial was conducted to examine whether apple cider vinegar can lead to dietary changes that have beneficial effects on body weight management in overweight or obese people.
READ MORE: Visceral fat: The best exercise if you’re ‘serious about losing belly fat fast’ – key tip
The results are not entirely surprising. A growing body of evidence has pointed to the anti-obesity effects of apple cider vinegar.
Researchers believe that apple cider may help reduce appetite – it contains acetic acid, which reduces the absorption of starches from food and slows digestion, leaving you feeling full longer.
Other Key Diet Tips
“Protein can be a helpful way to lose weight because it makes you feel fuller than carbs and fats,” Bupa says.
“So if you include a source of lean protein in your meals, you may find that you’re not as hungry and therefore eat less.”
Be sure to include protein with every meal. Good sources include:
- Chicken breast
“Go for high-protein, low-fat foods (known as lean protein sources) because some protein sources can be high in saturated fat,” Bupa advises.
The health body adds: “Alternatively, there are many protein products on the market, such as supplements and powders, but if you decide to use them, make sure you have a qualified sports dietician or nutritionist to supervise your diet.
Combining a healthier diet with a regular exercise regimen will also help you lose belly fat successfully.
“You should aim to get at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise, at least five days a week,” Holland and Barrett advise.
The key here is to do what interests you.
“So you might fancy a brisk walk to sweat it out, breathe harder and get your heart rate up. Or maybe ride your bike to work rather than taking the car. Not everyone has need to rush to the gym,” Holland and Barrett explain.
According to the health organization, by increasing your heart rate for 30 minutes at least three times a week, you effectively slow the amount of visceral fat you gain.
“If going to the gym isn’t your thing, then check out other ways to stay fit and healthy.”