In today’s image-obsessed society, it seems as if fad diets appear faster than new iPhone models are released. Whether it’s Atkins, Whole30, green tea, keto, cinnamon, intermittent fasting or others, they all seem to have one thing in common–the promise of blasting away belly fat. And although there are many participants that have come forward declaring their success with these diets, the assurance that these diets can quickly transform your body are overblown.
“There is still no miracle diet, food, nutrient, or bioactive component that will target abdominal fat,” Kari D. Pilola, Ph.D., RDN, of the California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo, wrote in an article for ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal. Pilola also mentioned that belly fat increases the risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. But while targeting belly fat is important, there is no easy way or specific diet that can perform miracles.
However, there are dietary patterns that have been found to help with belly fat reduction. For instance, a diet low in trans and saturated fat and high in fiber can significantly help. “These recommendations are consistent with heart-healthy diets like the NIH-developed Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) diet and the Mediterranean-style diet,” Pilola stated.
She also suggested that health and fitness professionals stay up-to-date with the most recent published research evidence. “A single study, even if well-designed, does not support changing diet or exercise recommendations,” she wrote.
Since belly fat is an incredibly persistent issue for most people, both for aesthetics and health reasons, there is no shortage of belly-fat-related content filled with advice on every corner of the internet. However, it is important to be discerning about the information you read. If your goal is to lose belly fat, the best thing to do is visit your doctor or a registered dietitian to find the diet that fits you best.