Carbs to Lose Deep Belly Fat
reduction in consumption of carbohydrate foods may promote loss of
deep belly fat, even with little or no change in weight, according
to a 2011 study presented at The Endocrine Society's 93rd Annual Meeting
paired with weight loss, consumption of a moderately reduced carbohydrate
diet can help achieve a reduction of total body fat, according to
principal author Barbara Gower, PhD, a professor of nutrition sciences
at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
changes could help reduce the risk of developing Type 2 diabetes,
stroke and coronary artery disease," Gower said, noting that
excess visceral, or intra-abdominal, fat raises the risk of these
and her colleagues conducted the study, with funding from the National
Institutes of Health, in 69 overweight but healthy men and women.
Subjects received food for two consecutive eight-week periods: first
a weight maintenance intervention, and then a weight loss intervention,
which cut the number of calories that each person ate by 1,000 each
received either a standard lower-fat diet or a diet with a modest
reduction in carbohydrates, or "carbs," but slightly higher
in fat than the standard diet. The moderately carb-restricted diet
contained foods that had a relatively low glycemic index, a measure
of the extent to which the food raises blood glucose levels. This
diet consisted of 43 percent calories from carbohydrates and 39 percent
calories from fat, whereas the standard diet contained 55 percent
of calories from carbohydrates and 27 percent from fat. Protein made
up the other 18 percent of each diet.
beginning and end of each study phase, the researchers measured the
subjects' fat deep inside the abdomen and their total body fat using
computed tomography (CT) and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA)
the weight maintenance phase, subjects who consumed the moderately
carb-restricted diet had 11 percent less deep abdominal fat than those
who ate the standard diet. However, when the researchers analyzed
results by race, they found it was exclusive to whites. Whites have
more deep abdominal fat than Blacks even when matched for body weight
or percent body fat, and may benefit from loss of this metabolically
harmful depot, Gower said.
the weight loss phase, subjects on both diets lost weight. However,
the moderately carb-restricted diet promoted a 4 percent greater loss
of total body fat, Gower said. "For individuals willing to go
on a weight-loss diet, a modest reduction in carbohydrate-containing
foods may help them preferentially lose fat, rather than lean tissue,"
she said. "The moderately reduced carbohydrate diet allows a
variety of foods to meet personal preferences."
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