Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Lose the Belly

In the six-month weight-loss study, Hopkins researchers found that the more belly fat the participants lost, the better their arteries were able to expand when needed, allowing more blood to flow more freely. The researchers also found that participants in the study who were on a low-carb diet lost about ten pounds more, on average, than those who were on a low-fat diet. Being overweight increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, especially if the fat is accumulated in the belly above the waist.
“After six months, those who were on the low-carb diet lost an average of 28.9 pounds versus 18.7 pounds among those on the low-fat diet,”

There's not much uncertainty that belly fat is an indicator of poor health.  Losing belly fat is good, no matter how.  The question resolves to - what's the easiest way to lose belly fat?  For most, it is by carb restriction, expecially in the beginning. 

However, it gets even better.  Carb restriction reduces kidney injury resulting from chronicly excess carb intake and the resulting hyperinsulinemia.  Carb restriction rapidly reverses sodium retention at the kidney, and uric acid retention as well.  It speedily reduces non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.  It reduces systemic inflammation resulting from the insulin cascade.  It allows for adequate protein and fat intake, preventing or significantly delaying the metabolic slowing that occurs with low carb, low cal (aka, "starvation response").  Carb restriction with decent food quality (IOW, not too much food substitution with pre-packaged foods like bars, shakes, and such) also provides good regulation of lipids - decreased triglycerides, increasing HDL, and production of fewer small, dense LDL. 

Add some magnesium to replace what you should be getting from unfiltered water, make sure you get enough protein from sources which used to have a face and a mother (60g/day MINIMUM), ditch the vegetable oils, and "it's all good."


  1. Great article!If you are serious about loosing belly fat, you will have to change you eating habits (no refined sugars) just natrual sugars from fruits and incorperate fish, veggies, and whole grains to your diet. Remember you should be eating 5-6 small meals throughout the day (Especisally Breakfast!) . You should also do at least 20 of cardio 5 times a week!

  2. John, thanks for your comment, come back anytime.

    As my longer term readers know, I advocate a different methodology for weight loss and health gain, but if the method you describe works for you, congrats!

    I see more success with fewer meals of higher quality, complete avoidance of grains and especially whole grains, with an adaptation over time of avoiding breakfast. The point is to gain complete glycemic control by letting the body adapt to full force fat burning vice counting on exogenously fuels from frequent eating. That said, an approach similar to what you describe, The Zone Diet, sometimes works very well as means to get people through the fat adaptation period without discomfort. In the long term, the Zone is not sustained by most, so I generally try to get clients to shift to the Paleo model, with intermittent fasting as desired.