When it comes to reducing visceral fat, there is no magic bullet. A healthy diet and regular exercise are key to shrinking this dangerous fat that collects around your middle. But studies suggest that adding one supplement to your diet can help reduce visceral fat. Read on to find out more—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You May Have Already Had COVID.
What Is Visceral Fat?
Unlike subcutaneous fat—the jiggly fat under the skin that you can pinch—visceral fat surrounds organs deep within the abdomen, like the stomach, liver and intestines. According to the Cleveland Clinic, excessive visceral fat raises your risk of serious metabolic disorders, including:
Type 2 diabetes
Fatty liver disease
Polycystic ovary syndrome
In women, visceral fat is also associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery, says Harvard Medical School.
The more visceral fat you have, the higher your chance of developing these issues.
The #1 Thing to Take
To reduce visceral fat, add a protein supplement to your healthy, balanced diet. Several studies have associated protein consumption with the loss of visceral fat. One of the latest was published this summer in the journal Scientific Reports: Researchers found that a test group that took a protein supplement along with a mildly calorie-restricted diet lost more visceral fat than a group that took a placebo. In addition, the test group's gut microbiota was activated by the protein supplement. Some studies have connected healthy gut microbiota to the loss of visceral fat—regardless of diet.
Why Does Protein Seem to Reduce Visceral Fat?
Protein is satiating—by making you feel fuller sooner, it might help you reduce the number of calories you consume, particularly from processed foods and snacks that are associated with higher levels of visceral fat. Consuming protein also seems to reduce levels of ghrelin, the hormone that increases appetite.
It's also believed that protein boosts your metabolism, enabling you to burn more calories 24 hours a day. What's more, protein can help you build lean muscle, giving your metabolism an additional boost as you burn more calories at rest.
How Much Protein Do I Need?
The current recommended daily allowance for protein is 0.8 grams of protein per kilogram of body weight. (If you're highly physically active, you may need more.) To determine the amount of protein that's right for you, multiply your weight in pounds by 0.36.
For a 140-pound woman, that works out to 50 grams of protein a day. For a 175-pound man, that's 63 grams.
And to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these 35 Places You're Most Likely to Catch COVID.