There are two main types of fat in the body and they are largely distinguished by their impact. Subcutaneous fat – the visible fat just under your skin – is relatively harmless. Visceral fat, which lurks near vital organs, can disrupt metabolic processes and increase risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. Eliminating visceral fat should therefore take precedence over subcutaneous fat.
Recent research suggests consuming liquorice flavonoid oil (LFO) can help to reduce the belly fat.
LFO is a new dietary ingredient containing liquorice flavonoids – natural substances that are linked to a host of health benefits.
The study, published in the journal Elsevier, evaluated the effects of LFO on total body fat and visceral fat together with body weight, body mass index (BMI) and safety parameters in overweight subjects.
BMI is a measure of whether you’re a healthy weight for your height – it is the most widely used method to check if you’re a healthy weight.
In the randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled study, moderately overweight participants (56 males, 28 females) were assigned to four groups receiving a daily dose of either zero (placebo), 300, 600, or 900 mg of LFO.
Over the course of eight weeks, caloric intake was similar in all four groups, but total body fat mass decreased significantly in the three LFO groups.
What’s more, 900 mg a day of LFO resulted in significant decreases in visceral fat area, body weight, BMI, and LDL-cholesterol.
An accumulation of LDL cholesterol, like visceral fat, can hike your risk of developing heart disease.
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The study also noted that there were no significant adverse effects from taking LFO.
General dietary tips to reduce visceral fat
It is important to heed general dietary principles to eliminate visceral fat in the long-term.
“If you want to reduce your belly fat, you’ll need to burn more calories (energy) than you consume, and eat the right kinds of food,” explains Bupa.
To do this, the health body advises increasing your protein intake.
Studies have shown that you can help trim visceral fat or prevent its growth with both aerobic activity and strength training.
Aerobic activity will raise your heart rate, and make you breathe faster and feel warmer.
“One way to tell if you’re working at a moderate intensity level is if you can still talk, but not sing,” explains the NHS.
- Brisk walking
- Water aerobics
- Riding a bike
- Doubles tennis.
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