How to Lose Your Belly Fat on Keto?

The keto diet shows great results for healthy weight loss and solving some health problems. However, problems with being overweight can be not only aesthetic. It is a question not only about the beauty of your body but also about health because excess weight has many dangers. Especially if we are talking about belly fat or visceral fat. Can the keto diet help you lose belly fat?

The keto diet can help you get rid of body fat, including belly fat. It is confirmed by numerous studies. In addition, keto has special effects that enhance the breakdown of abdominal fat and reduce waist circumference.

In fact, the question of keto and belly fat is not as simple as it may seem. For you to understand how it works, I will tell you everything in detail. Why is belly fat especially dangerous for you? Why is belly fat the hardest kind of fat to lose? How does keto affect tummy fat? I will also tell you a few ways to speed up losing belly fat on keto. Let’s dive in!

Why is Belly Fat Dangerous?

The distribution of fat throughout your body plays a huge role in your health. Some overweight people are metabolically healthy. However, other people who are not overweight may have cardiovascular disease and other health problems due to having more belly fat.

An increase in belly fat means an increase in visceral fat. A large belly often means visceral fat accumulation around internal organs such as the liver, pancreas, and intestines. This type of fat is bad for hormone function and leads to diabetes, high blood pressure, excess cholesterol, heart disease [1], certain types of cancer, and Alzheimer’s disease.

This type of fat is more dangerous than regular subcutaneous fat, and it is much more difficult to deal with. Visceral fat is important for the body, it protects the internal organs, but its volume should not exceed the norm [2]. Excess visceral fat provokes varicose veins, heart attacks, cancer, hormonal imbalance, and metabolic disorders. In addition, a large amount of belly fat blocks the flow of lymph and blood to the internal organs, and ventilation of the lungs worsens.

In addition to all of the above, excessive accumulation of belly fat disrupts the normal hormonal balance. As a result, this leads to a deterioration in strength, increased appetite, an increase in insulin level in the blood, and similar health problems [3]. Belly fat is much more dangerous than subcutaneous fat, which does not affect hormones and is found on the arms, legs, and hips.

Also, there is another danger – fatty liver disease. It is a very common disease, which implies fatty liver cells. In addition, it leads to the fact that the processing of insulin in the liver is significantly inhibited, resulting in the level of fats in the body increasing [4]. That is, all these complications contribute to even greater problems, an increase in obesity, the emergence of many chronic diseases, and so on.

How Keto Helps Lose Belly Fat?

Tummy fat is more difficult to break down during various diets, and visceral fat is the last to leave you. However, studies have shown that a low-carb ketogenic diet can be effective for visceral fat loss and rapid belly fat loss [5].

This is due to the three processes of the keto diet. First, restricting carbs intake lowers insulin levels. On high-carb diets, insulin in your blood slows down fat burning. However, lowering sugar and insulin levels while on a keto diet makes it easier to burn stored fat.

Second, when you limit your carb intake, ketosis causes your body to burn fat for fuel both during exercise and at rest. Fat burning occurs mainly during calorie restriction, fasting (including sleep), and active sports on high-carb diets. But with keto, you can burn fat all the time, no matter what you do.

Last but not least, the ketone bodies produced during ketosis naturally reduce hunger and food cravings, creating a comfortable calorie deficiency. As a result, you get stable and long-term weight loss without counting calories.

What will you get as a result? Keto reduces the risk of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease [6]. This disease entails other problems – obesity and heart disease. Consumption of foods high in healthy fat, on the contrary, helps the liver. It reduces the amount of fat around the liver, promoting organ health and reducing symptoms already present.

Keto also helps increase muscle mass and endurance, allowing cells to use fat faster. In addition, it reduces oxidative stress and lactic acid levels, helping you shed belly fat [7]. But the main advantage of the keto diet for reducing belly fat is the absence of carbs and spikes in insulin in the blood.

Tips for Belly Fat Loss on Keto

The most important tip for losing belly fat on keto is to get enough healthy protein. Why does protein accelerate belly fat loss? Protein is the building block of muscle throughout the body, and more muscle helps to process more fat. Muscle helps to lose fat both during sports and during sleep, boosting your metabolism and helping you lose weight.

Choose quality protein while on a keto diet. Although fats play a major role in losing weight on keto, consuming protein is no less important. Often people eat processed food, keto desserts, and various snacks, forgetting about the healthy protein in quality meat, fish, and eggs. Instead, try to choose healthy protein, fat, and fiber sources, and you will notice how your belly fat leaves you.

You should also add sports – both cardio and strength training. It can also be yoga for losing belly fat. However, remember that if you only do ab exercises, you are unlikely to reduce the amount of your belly fat. The importance of strength training during belly fat loss is that your skin also needs to be tightened, especially if you are overweight. You can find more detailed tips on how to get rid of tummy fat here and here.

Conclusion

A keto diet is a great tool for getting rid of excess belly fat. From my personal experience, I can say that it was the keto diet that helped me get rid of tummy fat and achieve the desired result. This problem is relevant for both men and women. And keto will help you deal with belly fat anyway. The main things you need to remember are to stick to a healthy keto, avoid processed food, and don’t ignore sports.

 

Sources:

  1. Elffers, T. W., de Mutsert, R., Lamb, H. J., de Roos, A., Willems van Dijk, K., Rosendaal, F. R., Jukema, J. W., & Trompet, S. (2017). Body fat distribution, in particular visceral fat, is associated with cardiometabolic risk factors in obese women. PloS one12(9), e0185403. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0185403
  2. Paley, C. A., & Johnson, M. I. (2018). Abdominal obesity and metabolic syndrome: exercise as medicine?. BMC sports science, medicine & rehabilitation10, 7. https://doi.org/10.1186/s13102-018-0097-1
  3. Tchernof A, Després JP. Pathophysiology of human visceral obesity: an update. Physiol Rev. 2013 Jan;93(1):359-404. doi: 10.1152/physrev.00033.2011. PMID: 23303913.
  4. Lee, J., Chung, D. S., Kang, J. H., & Yu, B. Y. (2012). Comparison of visceral fat and liver fat as risk factors of metabolic syndrome. Journal of Korean medical science27(2), 184–189. https://doi.org/10.3346/jkms.2012.27.2.184
  5. Miyashita Y, Koide N, Ohtsuka M, Ozaki H, Itoh Y, Oyama T, Uetake T, Ariga K, Shirai K. Beneficial effect of low carbohydrate in low calorie diets on visceral fat reduction in type 2 diabetic patients with obesity. Diabetes Res Clin Pract. 2004 Sep;65(3):235-41. doi: 10.1016/j.diabres.2004.01.008. PMID: 15331203.
  6. Watanabe M, Tozzi R, Risi R, Tuccinardi D, Mariani S, Basciani S, Spera G, Lubrano C, Gnessi L. Beneficial effects of the ketogenic diet on nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: A comprehensive review of the literature. Obes Rev. 2020 Aug;21(8):e13024. doi: 10.1111/obr.13024. Epub 2020 Mar 24. PMID: 32207237; PMCID: PMC7379247.
  7. Moreno B, Crujeiras AB, Bellido D, Sajoux I, Casanueva FF. Obesity treatment by very low-calorie-ketogenic diet at two years: reduction in visceral fat and on the burden of disease. 2016 Dec;54(3):681-690. doi: 10.1007/s12020-016-1050-2. Epub 2016 Sep 13. PMID: 27623967.

About

Ana Rinkevich is a writer specializing in health, nutrition, fitness, and weight loss. Over the past 10 years, she has used various methods to deal with obesity, metabolic syndrome, and eating disorders. Proud keto follower for 6 years - lost 100 pounds and fought insulin resistance. Ana shares her experience, tips, and motivation to help people use eating habits for better health and harmony with the body.