Can Cardio Get Rid of Belly Fat? | Q+A

Can Cardio Get Rid of Belly Fat? | Q+A

Question:

I am 6’2″ and about 215 lbs. and average build. I started working out the last two weeks after long time. I am doing 20 minutes of Stairmaster and 15 minutes of treadmill. Along with that, I’m doing push/pull/legs alternative days. My goal is to build muscle and lose fat. I think I have large/moderate amount of belly fat. I’m wondering whether doing cardio will help to get rid of belly fat and what my caloric intake should be. Thanks for your help.

– Prabhu M.

Answer:

Yes, it takes at least 30 minutes of moderate intensity aerobic exercise to increase fat burning. This is because of the body’s use of available fuels in metabolism processes. There are other sources of energy burned before body fat and these reserves last approximately 30 minutes. There are a series of reactions and hormones that kick in after the first half-hour of exercise that allow stored fat to be accessed. Abdominal fat is both under the skin (subcutaneous) and between organs (visceral), necessitating a diverse nutrition approach beyond just caloric restriction.

Am I doing the right things with my diet and exercise to lose belly fat?

Your estimated energy need is about 2000 calories daily, but you will need at least a 500 calorie energy deficit between actual intake and expenditure. In a study of 768 overweight or obese individuals following diets that represented a deficit of 750 calories, at 6 months the average waist circumference reduction was 5-6 cm, and at 2 years an average 4-6 cm loss in circumference was maintained. That’s about a 2-inch reduction, with the best results from the group consuming 20% fat, 25% protein and 55% carbohydrate.

Weight-Loss Diets, Adiponectin, and Changes in Cardiometabolic Risk in the 2-Year POUNDS Lost Trial. Ma W, Huang T, Zheng Y, et al. The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism. 2016;101(6):2415-2422.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Why Do I Feel Tired When I Work Out? | Q+A

Why Do I Feel Tired When I Work Out? | Q+A

Question:

When I exercise, I feel tired. What do I need to take during day? I work in construction but I’m not doing any hard job.

– Raumir

Answer:

Right off the bat, you shouldn’t need to “take” anything. Look at your sleep, energy intake, and hydration. Chances are you are depleted in one of those areas accounting for your tiredness. Exercising too heavily or intensely may prevent adequate oxygen utilization and cause you to burn out early.

Solution:

  • Fully allow your body to rest and repair, enabling you to maximize your physical and mental performance. Be sure you are getting at least 6 hours of uninterrupted quality (deep) sleep.
  • Eat a proper diet of sufficient calories, assisting you to complete a full workout. Constant movement can burn up to 5000 calories per day, even if you never lift more than 30 pounds or use great force!
  • Drink adequate fluids to support physiological processes responsible for energy production and muscle movement. Consume at least one ounce per kilogram of body weight. That’s about 1 cup of fluid per 15 pounds.
  • Work out at a moderate intensity such that you can still carry on a light conversation.

If you’re already practicing the above and still have problems with sleepiness or lack of endurance, be sure to check with your physician to rule out any other underlying cause, such as anemia.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

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Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Help! I Need to Lose Weight | Q+A

Help! I Need to Lose Weight | Q+A

Question:

I’m having major problems losing weight. Using MyFitnessPal to track calories. Consumed calories averages 1200. Exercise 400-600 per day. Alternate day’s cardio and weights. No major “wrong” foods etc. Weight constant at 159. Tried upping calorie to 1500 in case I was undereating but no change. What am I doing wrong, what do I need to change?

– Hemant P.

Answer:

Since your age, height and weight are not stated, I’m unsure of your estimated energy needs. Definitely go with at least 1500 calories daily since you’ve not gained at that level. What those calories are comprised of matters a lot! Not knowing how you are actually eating, my general advice is to:

  1. Consume 500-600 of those at breakfast but less than 60 gm carbohydrate at that meal (to force you to consume the rest as protein and fat).
  2. Avoid any liquid carbohydrates (aside from milk if consumed), so no smoothies/juice, sports drinks, sweetened tea, alcohol, etc.
  3. Get at least 25 grams fiber daily.
  4. Include lean protein and healthy fat at each meal and snack.

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

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Recommended Reading - Q+A

Pre-Workout For Females | Q+A

Pre-Workout For Females | Q+A

Question:

As a female looking to build lean muscle, would you recommend pre workout, BCAA’s or neither? If you do what products do you like?

– Brittany H.

Answer:

The basic nutrition approach to gaining lean mass for a female is quite similar to that for a man – increase fuel and building blocks to support the increase in anaerobic work. How can I gain weight in muscle, not fat? 

Suitable easily digestible protein and carb-balanced snacks are discussed in previous articles Is an actual breakfast or a pre-workout drink formula best before a morning workout? and What are the Best Foods to Eat Before & After a Workout? | Q+A to name a couple. 

It seems you’d like to know specifically about supplements to give you an edge. Creatine is known to improve weight-training results and is generally safe. Branched chain amino acids “BCAAs” (though I prefer longer peptides) can be part of a pre-workout formula which also has medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs) and some carbohydrates to give enough energy to support a workout. See Do I need a pre workout drink? answered. I am a big fan of real food, so don’t promote any products by brand. In looking for a pre-workout powder, avoid more than 200mg caffeine, vasodilators like nitrous oxide (NO) and combinations of more than 3 stimulants. 4 Myths and Facts You Need to Know about Dietary Supplements

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Sweating for the Wedding | Q+A

Sweating for the Wedding | Q+A

Question:

Hi, I’m getting married next April and want to lose 50 lbs. I’m a male 6’4 currently 280 and 53 years young! Is this realistic? By the way, I’m getting married to a fellow LA fitness member I was dating and we are now engaged.

– Gabe R.

Answer:

Woohoo! Congratulations, Gabe. Yes, it’s realistic for someone your age and size to lose 50 pounds in under a year. With regular exercise and significant dietary changes over the next 9 months, it is possible to reach your weight goal of 230 lbs. Check our other LA Fitness members’ weight loss achievements Keely’s Success Story, Footsteps Leading to Success, Mary’s 50 Pound Weight Loss Side-Effect, People Aren’t Recognizing Her! and those posted from the National Weight Control Registry at http://www.nwcr.ws/stories.htm.

You will need to maintain a consistent daily 1,000 calorie deficit and I would recommend you consume about 1800-2000 calories for now, so that means lots of physical activity. Later, if you reach a plateau or are nearing your wedding date, you can reduce to 1500 calories daily.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

LA Fitness Living Healthy subscribe button

Want more? SUBSCRIBE to receive the latest Living Healthy articles right in your inbox!

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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These 7 Foods Help Promote Brain Health

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