Fat is stored in various areas of the body, and it’s more difficult to get rid of fat from some areas than others. This is true for belly fat. If you’ve ever tried a particular diet or an exercise plan for weeks without seeing any results, you may know how frustrating and difficult it is to get rid of fat around your abdomen.
There are many articles out there that claim that a particular diet or exercise is specially designed to help you lose belly fat. However, these claims are usually misplaced (as we’ll see).
But that doesn’t mean that there’s nothing you can do about it: there are changes you can make to your lifestyle that will help you lose this pesky form of fat. In this article, I’ll be talking about a particular diet that is especially effective to achieve this goal: keto diet.
Misconceptions about losing belly fat
Before we explore the keto diet, let’s tackle some common misconceptions people have about losing belly fat. The main one is the idea that you can lose fat only in one area of your body by following a particular diet or exercise. However, science has made it clear that this claim- known as spot reduction- is not true. Yes, this means that even exercises like crunches don’t necessarily reduce fat from your belly.
When you follow a weight-loss diet plan or exercise, you may burn fat from certain areas before others. Usually, fat around or inside your organs (liver, kidneys, etc.) is the first to be burned off when you’re trying to lose weight. This is known as visceral fat.
There’s also subcutaneous fat, which is what most people are eager to burn off. It resides right under your skin, so burning it causes a visible change in your physical appearance. Which area of subcutaneous fat is first to leave varies from person to person. For some, this may be the fat around the belly and for others, this may be the fat in the thigh region. Hence, you may not always see results immediately.
Moreover, it’s also not true that you should lose all the fat in your belly area. There’s a healthy amount of subcutaneous fat that must be present for your cells to function and skin to be healthy. This also varies based on a person’s genetics and lifestyle but the following waist sizes are ideal:
● For women: less than 35 inches
● For men: less than 40 inches
The keto diet
With that being said, what changes can you make to your diet to lose belly fat? Keto is the answer.
Following the keto diet involves severely cutting down on your carbs and increasing the amount of fats and proteins you eat. The composition of your diet is as follows:
● 5-10% of carbs
● 75-80% of fats
● 10-20% of proteins
The diet adheres to many of the principles that allow you to lose belly fat:
Cutting Down on carbs
Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of energy. They are also essential for maintaining digestive health and warding off various diseases. However, a particular kind of carbohydrates has recently become a major part of our diets: it is called refined sugar.
Refined sugars are in virtually everything we eat. The most common suspects are chips, chocolates, desserts, white rice, pasta and cereal. These carbs offer no nutritional value to your body- they simply taste good and are used for energy. Excess carbs are stored away in fat cells, adding to both visceral and subcutaneous fat.
Hence, when you’re cutting down carbs in keto, only cut down the refined sugars and some natural sugars (present in fruit) that you eat. You should still consume other sources of carbs such as vegetables and nuts to fulfil the 5-10% requirement.
Eating more fats
There are many reasons why eating more fats can help you lose weight. Some fats, such as those in eggs and nuts, boost your metabolism and reduce your appetite, lowering your calorie intake.
Moreover, the aim of the keto diet is to divert your main source of energy from carbohydrates to fats and proteins. This is why you increase the amount of fat in your food. Doing so will exhaust most of the carbohydrate reserves in your body within the first 4 days, after which you will enter ketosis.
This is the phase your body enters when there is low blood sugar, so it starts breaking down fats for energy. You lose much weight in the process as it takes more calories to break down fat into energy than it does to break down carbs.
Moreover, certain types of fat are more effective for weight loss. These are called medium-chain triglycerides, which keep you sated for much longer than other fats. You can find them in coconut oil and palm oil.
On the other hand, avoid trans fat and saturated fat as much as possible as they are harmful to your health, causing heart disease, stroke and diabetes.
Eating more Proteins
This is another tip given to those who want to lose weight, and for good reason. Protein builds your muscle and also keeps you full for longer than carbs. You also burn more calories breaking down proteins than you do by breaking down crabs.
Building muscle is also important for weight loss, as it increases your resting metabolism and therefore allows you to burn more calories when you are sedentary than before. It also makes you look lean and toned- definitely an added benefit.
Again, some sources of protein are better than others. Eggs, natural cheese (non-refined) and nuts are great for getting protein when you’re on keto.
The keto diet is structured in a way that allows you to burn the most fat from your belly- by reducing carbs and increasing fats and proteins. Supplementing this with an exercise routine will allow you to achieve your goal even faster. It has been effective for thousands of people, and if you’d like to be one of them you can give keto a try!