Belly fat, or visceral fat, damages blood vessels that provide nutrients and blood flow to your organs. In the long term, your organs don't receive the proper nutrients they need to function properly. This increases your risk for kidney disease, liver dysfunction and heart disease. The Atkins Diet, which entails restricting carbohydrate intake while increasing both protein and fat, may be effective for reducing abdominal fat and might make it easier to achieve a flat stomach.
One way the Atkins Diet, or any low-carb diet, burns abdominal fat is by increasing satiety, according to a study conducted by researchers at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center. The researchers investigated the impact of a low-carb diet versus a low-fat diet on appetite in obese adults. Researchers observed that participants following a low-carb diet for two years experienced less hunger than those who adhered to a low-fat diet. The findings were reported in the April 2011 issue of "Obesity."
Scientists at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization-Human Nutrition in Australia studied the impact of a low-carb diet on weight loss and cardiovascular risk factors in subjects with abdominal obesity. They observed that participants following a very-low carb diet for eight weeks lost a greater amount of belly fat compared with those who adhered to a high-carb, low-fat diet, according to research reported in the March 2008 issue of the "The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition."
Reduces Belly Fat
Similar results were also found in another study published in the April 2011 issue of "Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity." Researchers at Haimoto Clinic in Japan discovered that type 2 diabetics following a moderate low-carb diet for six months experienced decreases in abdominal fat.
Although the Atkins Diet seems to be effective for reducing stomach fat, concerns have been raised about increasing protein intake on kidney health. In research reported in the September 2005 issue of "Nutrition & Metabolism," scientists at the University of Connecticut that concluded that high-protein diets have no adverse effects on kidney health in people with normal kidney function.
- "Obesity"; Change in Food Cravings, Food Preferences, and Appetite During a Low-Carbohydrate and Low-Fat Diet; C.K. Martin, et al.; April 2011
- "American Journal of Clinical Nutrition"; Effects of Weight Loss From a Very-Low Carbohydrate Diet on Endothelial Function and Markers of Cardiovascular Disease Risk in Subjects With Abdominal Obesity; J.B. Keogh, et al.; March 2008
- "Diabetes, Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity"; Effects of a Moderate Low-Carbohydrate Diet on Preferential Abdominal Fat Loss and Cardiovascular Factors in Patients With Type 2 Diabetes; T. Sasakabe, et al.; April 2011
- "Nutrition & Metabolism"; Dietary Protein Intake and Renal Function; W.F. Martin, et al.; September 2005