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Dr Zoe Williams discusses visceral fat on This Morning

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Visceral fat is more commonly known as belly fat, and it tends to wrap around your internal organs. It’s considered a serious health problem to be carrying too much visceral fat. That’s because the fat cells produce inflammatory markers and hormones that increases the risk of chronic diseases. One of the most effective ways to get rid of your visceral fat is through dieting but the 80/20 diet has shown to be more flexible allowing a person to still enjoy their life while burning belly fat. How?

The 80/20 rule is a guide for a person’s everyday diet which entails eating nutritious foods 80 percent of the time and having a serving of your favourite treat with the other 20 percent.

For the “80 percent” part of the plan, a person should focus on drinking lots of water and eating nutritious foods.

Dr Chrissy Carroll said: “The 80/20 diet approaches healthy eating with a message of moderation—80 percent healthy choices and 20 percent flexibility for less healthy options.

“Nutrition professionals back this approach, as it’s feasible for all and allows for a variety of foods, and avoids deprivation.”

The benefits of the 80/20 diet plan are that it allows a person to enjoy indulgences on a regular basis without making one feel like you are “cheating” on their diet. 

This can be a balanced approach to a healthy diet and lifestyle for many people.

Foods included in the 80 percent category include whole grains, flomax indications lean protein, fruit and vegetables and low-fat dairy products.

Foods in the 20 percent category include saturated fats, refined carbohydrates, alcohol and processed foods.

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Does it work?

To date, there is no science behind the 80/20 diet, however a study published in Obesity Facts in 2014 attests to the theory behind this diet.

Researchers found that you can still lose weight after small splurges if you compensate and eat healthy most of the time.

The study adds that even if you do not lose weight, you’ll be healthier overall and may have a lower risk for conditions such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.


“I think an 80/20 plan is a great approach,” licensed, registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick told Healthline.

She continued: “I’ve seen with my own patients that willpower [alone] does not work, it just makes people want the foods they are giving up even more.

“Therefore, allowing yourself a few indulgences here and there may not be such a bad thing.

“With my patients I tend to be a bit more conservative and suggest a 90/10 split though.”

Visceral fat starts to cause health problems straight away.

It increases your risk of developing serious, long-term life-threatening medical conditions, including heart disease, high blood pressure, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes, and strokes.

You should consider speaking to a doctor if your waist is more than 40 inches for men, or 35 inches for women.

Your GP will discuss the health risks of belly fat, as well as some lifestyle changes to get rid of it.

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