How Do I Lose Belly Fat? A Proper Balance
We are all at different stages when it comes to weight loss. Some are struggling to lose the spare tire because of excess fat around the waistline. Some have a small waist, but feel rather flabby. I see this ALL the time by hard working exercisers. This can be frustrating either way. I am going to dig in a little deeper after our last post on how to lose stomach fat by showing how you can measure your calories and pick the right food to lose belly fat.
Hardest Part is the Start
First, let’s be honest: this is going to be pain staking for some of you. Some of you may have never touched something that has been cooked or felt it was sin to not take your food out of a box and microwave it. Others may be fine with cooking, but don’t have the time because your job, kids, school, or a million other things that get in the way.
I fit in both of these categories. I don’t have time and I am lazy.
So chances are all of you are going to have to stretch yourselves a little to figure out the best way to lose belly fat for you.
You have to take some time now to educate yourself on how to eat so you can find something to devour no matter where you are at or how little time you have.
High Protein diet
Initially when you start eating right you want to include more protein than carbohydrates. This doesn’t mean you stop eating carbs, but you want to look to lose belly fat fast initially. Most people have a high diet in carbs that accounts for about 60-70% of what they eat. That isn’t a problem when you are Usain Bolt, but I am guessing you are not Usain reading this blog.
So by replacing that with lean protein foods like chicken, turkey, tofu, ham, shrimp, and fish, then you are not only replacing that food, but turning your fat into muscle. This is how you lose belly fat quickly. You initially want a balance of about 50% protein, 30% carbs, and 20% fats like olives and olive oil.
For example, say if an average daily intake is 2400 calories, that means 1200 calories of protein foods, 720 calories of carbohydrates, and 480 calories of fats.
You have to go for the right carbs or this will be pointless for you. Eat foods like fruits, vegetables, whole wheat products like wheat bread, wheat pitas, and wheat bagels. As I said before, white flour and simple sugar is your biggest enemy.
Feed the Energy
This type of diet shouldn’t last forever. You need carbs to support exercising and just simply breathing. Just like some of you may have heard of muscle confusion to stop the plateau effect of working out, the same thing has to be done with your eating.
You have to mix up your diet.
I am not just talking about different foods, I am talking about shifting the various categories of foods. You eventually want to shift to a 40% protein and 40% carbs.
Exercise, especially high intense trainings like Insanity or P90x, can cause a lot of physical tear. You should never let your body feel hungry.
Some people think that is a good thing and that they are losing fat.
You are losing lean muscle and fat.
So all of the hard work you are putting in is having little effect on your muscles whether you want to get toned, ripped, or a big bodybuilder.
Food is the gas to your car that is the body. You need to keep plugging in portioned amounts of food, 200-400 calories depending on your size, to sustain a decent work out of 45-60 minutes. Otherwise your exercises to lose belly fat won’t mean as much.
Making the food shift keeps your body guessing and helps to properly nourish it with carbs in a few ways:
Before Workout: It helps to delay fatigue and stores up energy to keep you going during a long work out.
During Workout: Carbohydrates help to maintain blood sugar to fuel muscles during exercise.
After Workout: If you are fast to move then replenishment of your energy supply after exercise keeps your body strong for the next exercise event. This is key if you work out daily or are pulling two-a-day exercises.
As you go for endurance you are going to want to shift your carbohydrates up higher to 60% or possibly even 70% of your diet. Some of you may say, “Cade, I am already there.”
Well it may not be the right food and spaced out appropriately during the course of a day. Toss out the junk food today. All sweets, chips, soft drinks, etc. Start replacing it with food that will make a difference with your belly fat.
Listen to your Body
This can be hard to do at first. If you have gotten yourself into an eating rut, then you need to follow a well balanced lifestyle diet of 200-400 calories every 2-3 hours. Get your body used to it and then start shifting the proportion of protein and carbs as your body tells you.
After you start doing it, then it can become a science and an art. A science in the sense of counting and measuring calories (I keep a spreadsheet on my iPhone to mark each item I eat). And an art in that you listen to your body and see how it responds to what you put in it.
You should be getting stronger by doing more reps or more weight, losing noticeable fat in the mirror, or doing cardio for longer periods of time or with more vigor. If you aren’t, then it probably has to do with your eating habits.
I will give you a personal example to provide clarity:
I have noticed that with a recent nutrition plan I am following that I am losing weight and fat. It is exciting, but I notice I can’t go as long in my workouts. There are certain workouts I am doing where I can’t lift as much. So what is my body telling me?
I need to add more protein. I need to drink more water. That will help keep up my lean mass while lowering my fat.
Fat and muscle is the ying and yang of your body. People, mostly women, get scared of putting on muscle. Muscle is a good thing, one of the best of things.
You CAN put on muscle without looking bulky. I promise.
If you are losing fat, then you have to replace it with muscle. As simple as that. If you are losing both, it doesn’t do you a lot of good and most importantly you won’t look or feel as healthy. It is the best way for you to lose belly fat.
In some of our future posts here we will talk about more of the type of foods you should look for, portions, and how to figure out where you need to be in the battle of fat vs. muscle.
I have to finish and go eat because my body is telling me to.