An overall healthy diet is great, in addition, there are certain types of food that promote brain health. Debbie James, RDN, provides a rundown of these brain preservers.
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.
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.
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.