Reduction of subcutaneous, intramuscular and visceral fat

Excessive consumption of high energy foods, weight gain (increasing fatness, also when it comes to fat reserves in the body, e.g. visceral fat) are associated with the development of many diseases (diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular diseases), reduced efficiency and increased mortality.

Fat tissue resources are located in the form

  • subcutaneous fat (that is, which most people want to get rid of; it spoils the aesthetics of the figure)
  • fat inside IMAT (intramuscular adipose tissue) or IMTG intramyocellular triacylglycerol or intramuscular triglyceride] – these resources are a local source of energy for work endurance (e.g. running, swimming, cycling at moderate intensity), fat in the torso (e.g. visceral or visceral deposits, e.g. intraperitoneal and retroperitoneal, network and inter-organ, e.g. perihepatic). The occurrence of visceral fat is correlated with type II diabetes, insulin resistance and other glycemic disorders. Most people should strive to reduce these resources

Randomized clinical trials indicate that intentional, permanent weight loss reduces the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, reduces mortality from all causes, increases cognitive function and improves functioning (e.g. this applies to patients with osteoarthritis). But how do caloric restrictions actually work?

Do different types of diet affect fat loss in a different way?

Yes. What’s most striking is that the very concept of weight loss or fat loss is of little practical importance. Why? Because you can get rid of intramuscular tissue resources that are renewed after exercise (just like carbohydrate resources, i.e. liver and muscle glycogen). But the group lost weight – you can lose water, glycogen, even, limiting food also means a temporary decrease in weight, because less food is digested and transported (passage).

Types of obesity
Types of obesity

Researchers under the leadership of FX Liu investigated how different types of meals will affect the results of reduction and fat deposits in individual body segments.

Characteristics of the studied group

All participants received personalized advice to achieve an energy deficit sufficient to lose at least 5% of their initial body weight in 3 months. They were encouraged to do at least 60 minutes of physical activity every day. Each participant met with a dietitian for an initial 1-2 hour individual counselling session during which they were prescribed a reduced energy diet achieve a 500-1500 kcal/day deficit based on their individual weight loss goal.

One group received ready food. The subjects had a choice of 50 ordinary Nestle products or 25 special products with increased protein content (> 25% of energy from proteins). The second group received the same dietary advice, but these people could independently choose all food products from both food groups. Both types of the diet were to provide 45-65% energy from carbohydrates, 20-35% energy from fat and 10-35% energy from protein.

Data analysis

  • the group that had a diet imposed lost 14.9% of body fat
  • the group that made its own choice of food, lost 10.4% of body fat
  • the group that had a diet imposed, lost 3.3pp of body fat
  • the group that made its own choice foods, lost 2.1 percentage point of fat
  • the group that had a diet imposed, lost more android and gynoid fat (gynoid fat is the one spread around the hips and buttocks, android is fat accumulated in the torso; male obesity)
  • the group she had a diet imposed, she lost more visceral fat (25.3%), compared to the group that made her own choice of food (a decrease of 17.3%)
  • the group who had a diet imposed, lost more body weight (8.4%), compared to the group that made their own choice of food (decrease by 6%)

In 1991, Bouchard suggested 4 types of body shapes and fat distribution:

  • the first type is characterized by an excess of total body weight or fat without any particular regional differences in its distribution,
  • the second type, android, is defined as an excess of subcutaneous fat in the torso, especially around the abdomen, this is typical obesity for men,
  • the third the type is characterized by excessive amounts of abdominal fat (fat accumulated inside the trunk) – visceral obesity,
  • the fourth type (gynoid obesity) is defined as buttock-femoral obesity and is observed mainly in women (or men with hormonal disorders).

Other authors define male obesity, android, as it relates to the upper body, while gynoid (female) as it relates to the lower body (femoral buttocks).


Imposing a diet is better than choosing your own food. However, in both cases, good results were achieved within 3 months. Note that a very good result achieved in terms of fat loss results from the fact that they were obese, physically inactive (over 40% of fat tissue, the healthy level is 10-14% for men and 18-22% for women). Any intervention would give staggering results here. However, even these relatively fat people have occupied a 3-month caloric deficit with a decrease in lean body mass (and in the long term muscles are responsible for reducing body fat, they are like fat-burning ovens).

In terms of reduction at particular points of the body (thighs, hips, torso, inside the torso) the imposed diet turned out to be better. We know from other studies 2] that there is a positive correlation between BMI, abdominal fat mass and waist circumference (WC) and concentration, insulin and systolic blood pressure. Due to the risk of diabetes, cancer, cardiovascular disease, reduced fitness and increased mortality, the fat reduction should be sought in the trunk. Physical activity (more than 60 minutes a day, including strength, aerobic, interval training, walking, cycling, etc.) and reducing diet is optimal.

Fat loss occurs with lower daily calorie intake. However, more protein is needed to maintain muscle mass. The supply of carbohydrates for fats is also limited.

  • Protein 30-50%
  • Carbohydrates 10-30%
  • Fat 30-40%

The ketogenic diet consists of limiting the supply of carbohydrates to 30-50 g per day. Most fat, moderate protein and very few carbohydrates are delivered. It is very well suited for reducing body fat, not necessarily for building weight. In the diet calculated at 2000 kcal per day, 20-50 g of carbohydrates per day is provided.

The distribution of macronutrients in the ketogenic diet

  • 30% – 35% protein
  • 5% – 10% carbohydrates
  • 55% – 60% fat

In turn, the following proportions of macronutrients are found in the VLCKD (very low carbohydrate ketogenic diet) diet:

  • 15% – 25% proteins
  • 5% – 10% carbohydrates
  • 65% – 80% fat