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How To Lose Omental Fat - Burning Off Belly Flab, PERMANENTLY

How to Lose Omental Fat – Burning Off Belly Flab, PERMANENTLY

If you have a big ‘ol belly, or even a smallish one but you are apple shaped (that was me), then you have two layers of stored fat around your middle instead of the normal single layer. You’ve got some normal under-the-skin fat, called subcutaneous fat, and then you’ve got some abnormal fat built up around your intestines, called omental fat. Healthy people have a thin layer of fat under their skin. But having fat around your intestines is not normal.

To learn how to get rid of it, it helps to know how it got there. This is my understanding of the process, in a short summary:

When you eat unhealthy foods, your body can’t manufacture normal fat-carrying particles called lipoproteins. Without normally functioning lipoproteins, your body has a hard time transporting fat from place to place, so it tends to stay in the first place it ends up after a meal: Within the tissue that supplies all of your intestines with blood, called the omentum. If your triglycerides are high and your HDL (“good” cholesterol) is low, that’s a sign that you have abnormal fat-carrying particles and are likely to be lugging around more omental fat than someone with the same size waistline who has low triglycerides and high HDL.

So if you want to get rid of omental fat, and trim your waistline, you have to do these two things:

  1. Get your lipoproteins back to normal, and
  2. Burn fat for energy.

If being healthy had the equivalent of a first rule of thermodynamics it would be this: What’s good for one part of your body is good for all other parts. So the same foods and activities that fix your lipoproteins will enable you to burn fat for energy and get rid of belly fat for good.

Isabel De Los Rios follows Deep Nutrition’s principles

For Deep Nutrition readers, Chapter 7 cover the kinds of foods that you need to eat to be optimally healthy from your head down to your toenails. For quickest weight loss, pay special attention to the rules of cooking meat to maximize the protein value, and to the use of fermented and sprouted foods in addition to lots of fresh foods especially vegetables. And though I don’t discuss omental fat in detail, keep in mind that thanks to the first rule of food-o-dynamics, the same diet that will make your bones, brain, and babies healthy will also burn belly flab the most effectively. Chapter 8 explains the sources of “secret” trans fat and how they make your lipoprotiens unstable, while chapter 9 helps you recognize how much you are eating in the way of carbs, and what to expect in addition to the loss of belly flab by cutting your carbs down as low as you can go. And in Chapter 10, you’ll learn how all those cells full of nasty fat can actually work for you to help build brain, bone, muscle cells, and more!

And you can read more about the T.R.I.M. program weight-loss approach, which burns belly flab and builds muscle, bone, and brainpower, at

Dr. Cate

With over two decades of clinical experience and expertise in genetic and biochemical research, Dr. Cate can help you to reverse metabolic disease and reshape your body.

This Post Has 34 Comments

  1. Hi Dr. Cate–just wondering what you mean when you say that you added length to your lumbar spine. –Suzanne

  2. Any food ramifications/remedies for atrial fibrillation? Can diet reverse arterial blockage?

  3. Dr. Cate – How can I follow the T.R.I.M program when I live in Denver, Colorado? I can’t find anything about what to do or how to follow. Thanks, Victoria

  4. Ive been reading up on this column and really excited to buy your book.
    Im a healthy small eater i power walk an hour daily and was always slim. After my 2nd child I ballooned only round my intestines, like a flab hanging down! I hate it and cant look at myself. Can you advise as to what i cando to get rid of it?
    Many Thanks!

  5. Hi Dr. Kate.
    My second baby is just 1 years old and I still breastfeed. I’m 152 cm tall and weight 43 kg, so I’m slim, no weight issues but I’m always had a large waist. I propably eat more than 3000 calories a day, I eat carbs, rarely sweets, limited bread and pasta. Still my fasting blood glucose was 95 and I’ve alway had high cholesterol, last check 240. Although my ratio HDL/total is 3.3! I love good fats.
    Do you really believe you can change a body shape? Cannot be just genetics?

    1. The elevated fasting glucose indicates insulin resistance, which implies a potential for slimming the waistline. If however it’s “short waistedness” then you’d have to add length to your lumbar spine, which is still possible because it happened to me.

  6. Hi Dr. Kate, Can you say more about losing weight when one is insulin and leptin resistant? My fasting glucose is 110, and I’m about 40 lbs overweight, with a very large belly. I’m 55, post-menopausal.
    I’m just wondering if you could give me an idea of how long you think it may take to lose weight and start feeling more energetic? I recently began cutting carbs.

  7. Kay
    Abdominal fat can be deposited around organs (omental fat) and/or under the skin (subcutaneous). The unhealthier your diet and metabolism, and especially the higher your intake of trans and MegaTrans fat, the more likely it is to go around the organs. This is very bad.
    Subcutaneous fat is not as closely associated with inflammatory markers and mortality as omental fat, but an increase in subQ fat is not, as I’ve heard some people say, required for healthy menopause.

  8. Hello Dr Cate

    I too have loved reading your book, Deep Nutrition, and your comment above about ’empowering people’!!

    Is the weight increase around the ‘middle’ that coincides with menopause in women omental fat or ???. While I have been told that this is a natural and important process as hormones store in these fat cells following menopause I would appreciate it if you could clarify what is actually happening at this time.

    Warm wishes

  9. Thank you for spelling that out. It’s easy to remember and flexible. And makes sense, just like everything else you’ve written. People have already said to me, unsolicited, your book has probably saved my life. And since I’m giving it as gifts, it probably will save a lot more.

  10. Dear Dr. Cate,
    My sister died last June of a diabetic coma (gestational diabetes), but I’ve never tested positive for sugar in my urine so I always figured I was in the clear. A month and a half ago, my fasting blood glucose was 101 and I thought, “Right on the line, nothing to worry about” – until I read Deep Nutrition. The entire book was like a horror show making so much sense of so much conflicting information. I found myself saying “omg” on almost every page. I totally freaked, got my act together, took ALL your recommendations to heart and my fasting blood glucose is now 71. All by eating plenty – just none of the same stuff as previously. I mean, I always threw away cartilage and carefully removed fat! The transformation of my body is surreal. I went from a tight size 16 pants to maybe a 10. It was so strange I asked the opinion of a sales clerk and she told me they were too big. (I’ve never worn size 10). I’m no longer overweight – the fat just disappeared. My mother says I’ve never in my life looked this good (I’m 61 and find that a little harsh). The one thing I wish now is that I could find a nice, thick cookbook that embraces your “pillars” fully. The cookbooks you recommended in Deep Nutrition use some ingredients that are not preferred and since I need a lot of support in the kitchen, it’d be great if there were something out there that would be exactly according to your plan. (Thanks for the cow’s liver recipe!) And thank you for the recipes on your site!!!! Looking at them, it looks like maybe I don’t have to be so fanatic about carbs/fructose…?

    1. Hi Kim
      I’m so happy for your succes! To empower people like you is the precise reason I wrote the book. As far as sugars, of all sorts, a few of the recipes may have as much as 30 gm carb, and those are high. I added the numbers so you could tally daily totals. That’s what really matters. Try to keep it under 100 even on an indulgence day, and for the most part, between 30 and 75.

  11. Hi Dr Cate,
    Ive been reading your book and am on the chapter on sugars. My questions pertains to alcohol consumption as a source of sugar intolerance and whether it can contribute to weight gain. What is the general physiological basis for it? Ive been having a glass or two red wine for a few years almost everynight and am concerned that this would be a factor in my recent omental weigh gain and sugar numbers (80)Thanks a bunch!

    1. Alcohol itself is not a sugar, but rather an two carbon molecule known as ethanol. Ethanol is processed by the liver in such a way as to “turn on” some of the enzymes for storing fat and “turn off” some of the fat-burning enzymes. Each different source of alcohol (beer, wine, foo-foo drinks) will have a different amount of sugar.

  12. Hi Suzanne
    Thanks for sharing. Your LDL went up partly because you were on statins and now you’re off. Also because LDL is an important carrier of fat-soluble nutrients, your body may be making up for lost time. To better understand all your cholesterol numbers, I suggest you read about an important metabolic process I call The Lipid Cycle, discussed on pages 188-199 of Deep Nutrition.

  13. Hi, loved your books and followed your Food Rules and lost 20 lbs so far and lowered my triglycerides by 85 pts in 3 mos. I also got off the statins after the first 4 weeks. My LDLs went up by about 100 pts though. Was wondering if you had any idea why? My sugar also dropped to 84 and HDL went up to 56 from 47. I want to lower my LDLs. Thanks for your help!


  14. Tyler
    Hmmm. I agree with you in part: It’s always good to rule out alternative problems. But the Climodophyla genus describes a bacteria, not a parasite. What’s more, to my knowledge members of that genus are obligate intracellular bacteria, meaning they live inside the cells and therefore would not survive in the lumen of the intestine. So, if one were infected a parasitic cleanse would not eradicate it. Fortunately, I can’t see any evidence in the scientific literature that Climidophyla truly are a common cause of intestinal bloating in humans. So Andrea, I dont think you need to worry. Besides, a skiled examiner should be able to tell the difference between abdominal/omental fat, which is solid, and intra-intestinal fluid from inflammation.

  15. it could be infection too. I just listened to sean croxtons interview about “The potbelly syndrome” and aparently an infection called climidophila is very common and can give you a bloated look. possibly a parasite cleanse can help, not sure I really am not trying to fear monger here, just a thought if nothing else works

  16. Dr Catey,

    thank you for your response. I appreciate your help. I got your book and I read it last weekend. Good stuff I will recommend it to my familiy physician and everybody who needs good information about nutrition.
    My physician is a conventional MD but she has no problems learning a ton from me about food, health, Paleo resaerch, Epigenetics etc. A very unusual doctor.

    As I said I don’t eat PUFAs except in olive oil, wild salmon and other fatty fish. My diet is no grains, no dairy, no legumes, no junk, no plant oils except coconut and olive. So I wonder why I have the belly fat and IR.
    I will try to reduce fasting glucose by reducing low carb (chocolate and fruit ) and doing intermittent fasting.

    It just turned out, that part of my belly is actually a “pregnant belly” (symptom of food sensitivities) and my physician thinks of histamine intolerance (typical symptoms). My muscles cramp and my belly get’s “pregnant” after eating.

  17. You are correct; stress and also lack of sleep make it difficult for your body to burn fat. But the 90 concerns me.

    In Deep Nutrition and Food Rules, which I highly recommend also :–) I explain that if you fasting glucose is over 90 you already have insulin resistance. When you have insulin resistance, you have a harder time burning fat everywhere on your body. Belly fat is particularly resistant IF your diet has had a good amount of what I call Megatrans fat, or ‘secret’ trans fats that come from any foods with vegetable oil, so that includes canola oil, soy, and other oils containing a large amount of polyunsaturated fatty acids.

    I hope that helps! (And I hope you enjoy reading!)

  18. Hi Dr. Cate.
    I listened to Sean Croxton’s podcast where you talked about a lot of interesting stuff and I will definitively get your book.

    Now concerning belly fat: I got it although I eat better than ever (Paleo Diet Robb Wolf style for two years, lots of coconut oil). My HDL, LDL; Trigs and CRP lab numbers are good. Fasting glucose about 90. Not good but not very bad either. So why do I have the belly? Can it be too much carbs (fruit, dark chocolate) or the cortisol belly (too much stress) or insulin resistance? Yes I eat too much but no bad stuff and from just eating too much I should get fat (subcutaneous fat) but not only with bellyfat.

  19. Cate: Can you address the benefits of coconut oil over other oils. There seems to be quite a debate going on over it.

  20. Omental fat is not the source of the love handles, no. That is regular subcutaneous fat and if it \hangs\ loosely after weight loss that has to do with the connective tissue supports for the fat, which your body grew to support the fat you were carrying around. The connective tissues may resorb on their own, or they may need to be removed surgically.

    I just attended a lecture about how some plastic surgery centers specialize in removing the extra connective tissue, and if that is ever necessary, you definitely want to go to what’s called a \center of excellence\ in this sort of thing.

    Congratulations on your successful transformation!

    1. Dear Cate,

      I am very curious about this lecture you attended, and if you know the names of these plastic surgery centers. I suffer from severe intra-abdominal fat to the point where it has caused severe back strain and pressure. I am neither obese, nor overweight and do not need to lose weight. I exercise, and eat extremely healthy and nothing works. I have done extensive research with no results. Please let me know any info you may have. Thanks!

  21. Dr. Cate,

    I thought your Deep Nutrition book was awesome! I just finished it last night and this morning downloaded the Kindle version of Food Rules to read while I do some resistance cardio machines at the gym. For the past five months, I’ve done a low-carb diet (Paleo) and lost 71 pounds and 22% body fat while gaining a lot of lean muscle. Even after reading a lot of other low-carb friendly or related nutrition books (including Pollan), I never knew just how insidious trans fats were, or what they did exactly. Serendipitously, I manage to avoid a lot of it as a consequence of going low-carb, but I will be more conscious of them now. Thank you!

    I did have an actual question related to this post: Is this omental fat the same as the fat that forms the so-called “love handles”? I don’t have much of a beer belly now, but the stomach fat on the sides is still there. As I continue losing weight, is that section really the last to go?

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