Gaining More Muscle and Less Belly

Gaining More Muscle and Less Belly

Question:

I am a 50-year-old man. My weight is 154 lbs. and I’m 5’ 10”. When I look at myself I’m not satisfied. I want more muscle and less belly. I go to the gym 5 days a week. I think I have too much fat on my abdomen when I eat a lot.

– @peurn_ma

Answer:

If your weight is acceptable but you’re not satisfied with its composition, you’ll need to change two things: what you’re eating and your workout plan. Though toning your abdomen is largely a result of resistance and cardiovascular work, reducing body fat can show off those new muscles. Belly fat cannot be ‘targeted’ per se, but the type of fat around your midsection should respond to some nutritional tweaks given the right exercise.

The following can help reduce stubborn abdominal fat:

  • Increase your fluid intake, but limit alcohol
  • Get plenty of fiber – whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and seeds
  • Opt for fish and seafood vs. red meat, pork or dairy products
  • Choose unsaturated fats (and avoid trans fat)

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

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How to Eat Right – Advice for a New Member

How to Eat Right – Advice for a New Member

Question:

I am a 5’7″, 225 lb. male and I just started going to LA Fitness as I am trying to lose weight. I am trying to do this alone, but I need some nutrition advice. I am going to the gym for 6 days a week, doing 30-45 minutes of cardio every day and some weight training, but I would like to know how to eat right. I would like some tips on how to eat properly. Can you give me any advice that would help me lose the weight fast or at a steady pace?

– Jeremy L.

Answer:

Welcome, Jeremy! Bravo on your consistency working out. Some people’s appetites increase with greater exercise à  energy deficits from physical activity may be neutralized by compensatory intake. That means you may be eating more than you think. You may want to consider portion control as a first step to eating right. Look for areas you can cut back on volume. Order smaller servings or split meals to allow for leftovers. The idea isn’t to reduce drastically and cause hunger but to pare down consumption up to 25 percent. Once your intake is at a level to just satisfy you, then turn to improving your food choices. See our previous post The 3 Pronged Attack for Weight Loss – DIET for examples of proper eating plans.

– 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.

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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High Fiber Sample Diet Plan

High Fiber Sample Diet Plan

Question:

I need a 1,200-calorie meal plan that’s super high in protein and has the required fiber needed. Any suggestions?!

– Trina H.

Answer:

We don’t provide weekly or monthly meal plans, but to get you started here is a sample day for a very high protein (35% calories), 25+ grams fiber, 1,200 calorie day:

  • Breakfast – 1 egg + 4 egg whites, 1 slice whole wheat bread, tsp. peanut butter, small orange
  • Lunch – 4 oz. grilled chicken breast, ½ Cup baked sweet potato w/ skin, 1 Cup cooked broccoli
  • Snack – ½ Cup hummus, 8 baby carrots, 8 snap peas
  • Dinner – 4 oz. white fish, ½ Cup quinoa, 1 Cup cooked spinach

Analysis on www.FitDay.com by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist = 1193 calories, 35% prot (106 gm), 31 gm fiber

Make your own weekly rotation! You can substitute two plums or a cup of strawberries for the orange, other very lean proteins for the fish and chicken, plain Greek yogurt + salsa for the hummus, and another green vegetable for the broccoli or spinach.

Most 1,200 calorie plans we observed online provide 70-80 grams protein and up to 20 grams fiber. To increase the fiber and protein of other plans, substitute fat-free legumes and whole grains for other starches, opt for the least fat proteins available and limit starch to 1 per meal while doubling up on vegetables.

– 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.

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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 How to Lower Body Fat Percentage

 How to Lower Body Fat Percentage

Question:

I weigh about 183 pounds and I am about 5’9″. I’m not sure what my body fat is but I want to get it down. What is the best way to do that? And how many calories should I be eating a day to lose weight? I work out with cardio 4-5 days a week. Thank you.

– Jonathan K.

Answer:

Determining your body fat percentage can be done at LA Fitness with one of our Pro Results® trainers or using a hand-held BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis) device. Some LA Fitness clubs are equipped with a BIA scale with integrated upper body measurement. Such segmental devices get an overall picture by looking at hydration status of all 4 quadrants & torso of the body. No matter the tool or method, the most accurate body fat % value is obtained from repeating measurement for a few days. Measure again after a couple of months to evaluate change.

The calories you need to lose weight depends on your age and metabolism. Using calculations to estimate energy needs might provide a range of 2,500-2,800 calories per day. If you’ve been maintaining under that intake, you will need to reduce further… but not less than 1,600-1,800 calories per day. It’s better to add resistance training to your workout routine to amp up lean mass and calorie burning.

– 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.

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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Are All Calories Created Equal?

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Question:

Hello, I am a 45-year-old male. I’m in good shape but I’m wanting to drop body fat. I’m at about 19% and would like to get down to 15%. I was wondering in regard to my daily calorie limit, is it more important to watch the types of foods I eat or is it more important to stay under a certain number of calories?

– Adam

Answer:

Well, since you are already in good shape with an ideal body fat percentage for your age, I’d say to you have to focus on both food choices and calorie limit to obtain further fat loss.

You can’t eat 1,500 calories of junk and expect to get definition! Limiting calories by itself will help lose weight, but you need to retain lean mass to get that body fat % down. Selecting healthier foods alone can keep you lean but you’d have to be super in tune with your satiety to create a calorie deficit on purpose.

Just for illustration: If your estimated energy needs for weight loss were 2,000 calories, then comprising that from 40% carbohydrate (mostly complex), 30% protein (up to 0.8 gm/lb. body weight) and 30% healthy fats would help achieve your goal.

  • Breakfast:3 eggs, 1 Cup nonfat Greek yogurt, Large banana, Slice whole grain bread, 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • Lunch:5 ounces chicken breast, Medium sweet potato, 1 Cup green beans, 2 teaspoons margarine
  • Snack:Large bowl chili [made with 3 ounces ground turkey, 1 Cup pinto beans, ½ Cup diced tomato, 1 small onion, 1 bell pepper, any spices] topped with 1-ounce cheese
  • Dinner:5 ounces salmon, Medium ear corn, 2 Cups broccoli

Analysis on www.FitDay.com by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist = 2060 calories, 41% carb, 26% prot, 33% fat

– 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.

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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