If you’re in the process of “shrinking your waist,” you’re probably doing your research on how to target belly fat, also known as visceral fat. But what exactly is visceral fat and which healthy drinks can help eliminate it?
“This type of fat is stored in your abdomen,” explains 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 can 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. That’s because, unfortunately, it’s technically not possible to directly target belly fat, even though many products are being marketed as having “belly fat loss” miracle effects. If you want to lose weight and burn visceral fat in a healthy and sustainable way, focusing on your nutrition is a good place to start. An important part of nutrition for weight loss is focusing on what you drink and what you don’t drink. In fact, some drinks help reduce visceral fat (and overall body fat as well).
While these drinks aren’t a magic weight loss pill, they can be huge aids in achieving your visceral weight loss goals. Read on for the best drinks to reduce visceral fat and for more on how to eat healthy, be sure to check out Eating Habits to Lose Belly Fat As You Age, Dietitians Say.
Having 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 packed with 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 help with abdominal fat loss. In a study published by the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public HealthConsuming four or more cups of green tea per week was associated with a 44% lower risk of developing abdominal obesity than not consuming it at all.
Yes, it can be as simple as that! Water plays a vital role in the body’s fat burning process (called lipolysis), so increasing your water intake can 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 body fat loss.
A 2016 study published in Nutrition Frontiers found that increased hydration was associated with weight loss, and another study, published in the Journal of Natural Sciences, Biology and Medicinefound that getting enough water helped suppress appetite and helped reduce body weight.
Stick to black coffee, and it can help you get rid of your visceral fat. “Coffee contains theobromine, theophylline, and chlorogenic acid, which positively affect your metabolism, leading to potential weight loss,” says Ruth.
In fact, a Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health study found that drinking four cups of coffee a day could reduce body fat by about 4%. In a 2019 study, coffee rich in chlorogenic acid, an antioxidant commonly found in coffee beans, was found to aid visceral fat loss and overall body fat loss.
White tea is a deliciously enjoyable drink that helps boost metabolism, which in turn can help you burn more body fat and visceral fat. In a review published by the International Journal of Obesity, white tea has been found to have the potential to increase metabolic rate by 4-5%, which is equivalent 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. EGCG Found in White Tea May Have the Ability to Prevent New Fat Cells from Forming, According to a Published Study Nutrition & Metabolism.
If you’re looking for a drink that will taste great, keep you full, and help you reach your visceral fat goals, you might want to try a protein shake. When it comes to overall body fat, eating high-quality protein can help you maintain or lose weight by reducing appetite and boosting metabolism, but some research shows it can 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 may help reduce abdominal fat. The good news is that you can find these EAAs in many protein types of whey protein powders. So the next time you’re low on energy and desperate for a healthy boost, whip up 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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