The Best Drinks To Shrink Visceral Fat, Says Dietitian
If you're on a journey to "whittle your middle," you're likely doing your research on how to target belly fat, also known as visceral fat. But what exactly is visceral fat, and what healthy drinks can help eliminate it?
"This type of fat is stored in your abdomen," says Cory Ruth, MS, RDN, registered dietitian nutritionist, women's health expert, and CEO of The Women's Dietitian. "It can be dangerous to carry too much visceral fat because it may build up in your arteries and increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, and certain cancers."
Ruth also notes that working on overall weight loss will, in turn, reduce visceral fat stores. This is because, unfortunately, it technically is not possible to target belly fat directly, even though many products will market themselves as having miracle "belly fat loss" effects. If you want to lose weight and burn visceral fat in a healthy, sustainable way, focusing on your nutrition is a good place to start. One important part of nutrition for weight loss is honing in on what you are and aren't drinking. In fact, certain drinks have been found to help decrease visceral fat (and overall body fat, too).
While these drinks aren't a magic pill for weight loss, they may be huge supporting aids to your visceral fat weight loss goals. Read on for the best drinks for reducing visceral fat—and for more on how to eat healthy, don't miss Eating Habits to Lose Abdominal Fat As You Age, Say Dietitians.
Making yourself a cup of green tea during the day is a great way to help you start attacking your visceral fat. "It helps boost our metabolism and is full of EGCG, an antioxidant that studies have shown specifically targets fat cells and can improve metabolism," says Ruth.
Green tea has also been found to specifically aid in abdominal fat loss as well. In a study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, consuming four or more cups of green tea per week was associated with a 44% lower risk of developing abdominal obesity versus not consuming any at all.
Yes, it can be as simple as that! Water plays an integral role in the body's process of burning fat (called lipolysis), so upping your water intake may help you lose weight and lose visceral fat in the process, making this drink a good example of how visceral fat loss can come from overall loss of body fat.
A 2016 study published in Frontiers in Nutrition found that increased hydration was associated with weight loss, and another study, which was published in the Journal of Natural Science, Biology, and Medicine, found that adequate water intake helped to suppress appetite and contributed to reduced body weight.
Stick to black coffee, and it may help you get rid of your visceral fat. "Coffee contains theobromine, theophylline, and chlorogenic acid, which positively affects your metabolism, leading to potential weight loss," says Ruth.
In fact, a study by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that drinking four cups of coffee daily could reduce body fat by about 4%. In one 2019 study, it was discovered that coffee rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant commonly found in coffee beans, contributed to visceral fat loss and overall body fat loss.
White tea is a deliciously cozy drink that has been found to help boost metabolism, which may in turn help you to burn more body fat and visceral fat. In one review published by the International Journal of Obesity, it was found that white tea had to potential to increase metabolic rate by 4–5%, which equates to burning about 70–100 calories. White tea also contains EGCG, the same compound found in green tea that is known for its ability to boost metabolism. The EGCG found in white tea may have the ability to prevent the formation of new fat cells, according to a study published in Nutrition & Metabolism.
If you're looking for a beverage that is going to taste great, keep you full, and help you meet your visceral fat goals, you may want to try a protein shake. When looking at overall body fat, consuming high-quality protein can help you maintain or lose weight by reducing appetite and boosting metabolism, but some research reveals that it may be able to help you specifically reduce visceral fat.
A report published in Nutrition & Metabolism concluded that quality protein with 10 grams of essential amino acids (EAAs) consumed per meal was able to help reduce abdominal fat. The good news is that you can find these EAAs in many protein types of whey protein powders. So, next time you're running low on energy and are dire need of a healthy boost, throw together a delicious protein shake!
A previous version of this story was published on February 23, 2022. It has been updated to include additional copy and proofreading revisions, additional research, and updated contextual links.
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