Visceral fat wrapped around the organs in the belly is especially harmful to health. Now scientists suggest that a moderate low-carb diet can help get rid of this deep belly fat, even if the person does not lose much weight. The subjects were 69 overweight but otherwise healthy men and women. The participants were randomized to receive either a lower fat diet or a lower carb diet with a low glycemic index. The deep belly fat of each volunteer was measured at the beginning, middle and end of the study with CT scans and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA). After 16 weeks, those on the lower-carbohydrate diet had 11 percent less deep abdominal fat than those on the low fat diet. The researchers concluded that a moderate reduction in carbohydrates can help people who are losing weight lose more fat than muscle tissue.

[Endocrine Society’s 93rd Annual Meeting]

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  1. Colette H.

    ‘The New Atkins for a New You’, by Drs Eric Westman, Stephen Phinney, and Jeff Volek is a valuable resource on how to follow an individualized approach to low carbohydrate eating.
    If you are looking for more of the hard hitting nutrition science, just released; ‘The Art and Science of Low Carbohydrate Living’, by Drs Volek and Phinney is another book to get.

  2. HJL

    To Paul43 and vim, the Westman book referred to above is current, cheap and in virtually all bookstores. It has specific info on being a vegetarian and lo carb and specifically discusses why and how a lo carb diet targets belly fat. The “new” study is no surprise to lo carb people who know belly fat disappears on this diet. There is reason why it is called a beer belly.

  3. vim

    How does a diabetic vegetarian achieve a low carb diet?

  4. Paul43

    Tell me more– I have a big gut

  5. ECC

    People’s Pharmacy had radio shows about the Atkins diet with Eric Westman if you are interested in finding out more info on low carb lifestyles. You can search for “Atkins” here on their site or just google it for more info than you can possibly imagine.
    George Stella and his Stella Style diet books are full of recipes – just google it. If you just want info on low carb, try Gary Taubes’ books.
    You can also try Mark’s Daily Apple which is a proponent of a low carb/Paleo/Primal type of lifestyle.
    No, I am not related to any of these people, but have been on a no sugar/low-carb lifestyle for quite a while now with excellent results. BTW: I’m a female and will be 67 years old in a few weeks. No pot belly here and I can actually find my waistline!!

  6. HJL

    This site is not designed to give specific diet advice. If you are interested in learning more about a low carb diet and the science behind it, read Westman’s book,
    The New Atkins Diet…. The simple answer to how many carbs is that it depends on you and your genes. Westman explains it all and the science behind it. Once stabilized you can eat as many carbs until you begin to store fat and that is your personal limit.

  7. Peppy

    And what would this diet look like on a daily basis? How many carbs a day for a male, for a female?

  8. Ann S.

    Could you provide a link to this study or more detailed info? I am of moderate weight but have a pot belly and can’t seem to get rid of it even with targeted exercise. I’d like to know more in terms of carb grams and such used in this study. Thanks.

  9. HJL

    This is totally not surprising to anyone who has read Gary Taubes or Eric Westman’s books. Carbs cause insulin which causes fat to be sequestered around the belly which is the most dangerous place. It is just another step in the process of metabolic syndrome which leads to belly fat, obesity then diabetes then heart problems. Science has figured it out. Cut the carbs and get off the treadmill of metabolic syndrome.

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