How to Lose Back Fat

How to Lose Back Fat

Question:

What should I eat to help me lose back fat?

– Nicole V.

Answer:

I hear you, sister! Fat that bulges around the bra line or waistband on the backside is uncomfortable to say the least. The fat beneath the skin along the lumbar region isn’t always in proportion to the rest of the body’s subcutaneous fat and may create rolls if thick enough. Bodies with greater overall body fat tend to show more back fat, though it’s possible for someone with an acceptable body mass index (BMI) to be “skinny fat.” Remember that fat distribution among men and women is largely dictated by genetics and hormones.

Most research has been on reducing belly fat since it’s tied to a greater risk of chronic disease. A diet to specifically lose back fact does not exist. Targeting one area of fat, termed “spot reducing,” has long been deemed a fallacy. Dietary interventions will only have effect on back fat if accompanied by exercise. Together they produce metabolic changes in tissues all over the body. Along with a weight reduction diet, greater physical activity and specific exercises for the lumbar region may improve toning and definition.

These top diet tips work to improve body composition and overall health:

  • Get plenty of fiber (25-30gms) – whole grains, vegetables, legumes, fruits, and seeds
  • Avoid added sugars
  • Eat lean proteins – opt for fish and seafood vs. red meat, pork or dairy products
  • Choose unsaturated fats (and avoid trans fat) by adding nuts, plant oils or fish oils
  • Increase your fluid intake, but limit alcohol
  • Drink two to three servings of green tea per day

Resources:

– 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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Build Your Stack One Supplement at a Time

Build Your Stack One Supplement at a Time

Imagine this scenario —

 “I survived the week-long school trip without getting sick like last time.”

“Wow – with all those kids? Good hygiene, I bet.”

“Maybe, but I safeguarded with echinacea, zinc and high-dose Vitamin C.”

“Didn’t you tell me you started probiotics beforehand, too?”

“Yep – my trifecta plus one! I just needed something to make a difference.”

“Uh, okay. But how do you know which ‘thing’ did the trick?”

silence

Immune-enhancing products are akin to a muscle-building arsenal because many weightlifters try everything all at once like the first person in our story. Starting a thermogenic, pre-workout formula, creatine, NO booster, and recovery drink at the same time is like a “throw everything at the wall and see what sticks” approach.

To enhance the effects of rigorous training and a nutritious diet, many people use ergogenic aids to reach top shape or peak performance. And the most popular ergogenic aids are dietary supplements. The term “stack” 15 years ago referred to a product with combined ingredients that had similar effects, such as herbal stimulants or androgens.

Now, it’s about stacking multiple supplements (often with proprietary blends) within the day. Most often targeted for gaining muscle and losing fat, stacking various supplements is promoted for gains in the weight room. The idea is that by grouping supplements together there may be a synergy of certain ingredients that combine to create greater advantages.

For single-ingredient preparations, it makes sense to take more than one dietary supplement, as they have different methods of action and are useful at different times. But by starting several compound supplements at once, it’s more difficult to determine which are effective – particularly if there are 6-8 products on the list! I recommend taking no more than four while ProResults® Master Trainer Geoff Fox advises avoiding performance-enhancing supplements (your wallet will thank us).


For those of you that are stacking your supplements, here are some tips for evaluating product effectiveness and safety:

  • Continue your normal diet and exercise routine.
  • Maintain consistency with your multivitamin/mineral, fish oil, protein, and other basic dietary supplements.
  • Wait at least two weeks before adding another supplement to your stack. Take the time to observe for any side effects.
  • Drink plenty of water.
  • Continue step-wise until your stack is complete.
  • Follow all safety guidelines on each product’s instructions for use.
  • If stacking supplements with the same ingredients, check for guidelines on absolute maximums. (e.g., 400 mg caffeine/day per U.S. Food & Drug Administration, Health Canada, and European Food Safety Authority)

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Eating the Right amount of Protein

Eating the Right amount of Protein

Question:

Hello! I was wondering if you could help me determine how much protein I should be eating everyday. I’ve heard so many things. I am 24yo female, I strength train 4 days a week and do yoga 1x a week to break that up. I may be switching that up a bit, but wanted to get a good idea on how to calculate it (if that’s how it works). Thank you.

– Erol B.

Answer:

The headlines (and advice) are confusing! Between “most healthy adults already get enough protein” and “US adults do not consume enough protein” there is a grey area of observation, based on how the research is interpreted. On the one hand, people that meet energy needs probably meet protein needs, while those that are dieting, recovering from illness or are aging may need more.

For a fit, healthy young adult who is consuming adequate calories to maintain weight, use the protein RDA of 0.8 gm/kg body weight as the guide. Using a range for percentage of calories from protein is less precise. From pounds, divide weight by 2.2 to get kilograms then multiply by 0.8 to get your target amount of daily protein. If you are looking to add lean mass then increasing protein to 1.2 gm/kg is suitable.

To determine if you’re meeting your goal, use a reliable source to count up your protein intake. Check that a diet app or website you’re using relies on the USDA Food Composition Database.

Resources:

– 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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Muscle Building and Fat Burning Myths Debunked

Muscle Building and Fat Burning Myths Debunked

Most of us have been told a lie in the gym at some point. The real question is, did you believe it? If someone has helped you or given you tips, did you ever research what they said or did to see if it was true? There’s a chance that it was completely wrong.

We’re going to go over and debunk a handful of myths surrounding the ideas of muscle building and fat burning.

01.

MYTH: We burn more fat during extended moderate exercise compared to shorter high intensity exercise.

When we exercise moderately, it’s true that more fat can burn compared to carbohydrates. However, this type of training burns fewer total calories and takes significantly longer. High intensity exercises like HIIT (high intensity interval training) can burn more calories in a shorter amount of time and can cause an “after-burn” effect fueled by fat that can last a day or longer. I personally found success with HIIT training.  HIIT by LAF is great for those interested in high intensity workouts looking to burn some calories!

02.

MYTH: Don’t eat after a certain *time at night*.

“Don’t eat late at night.” “Eat dinner earlier.” “No carbs before bed.” These seem to be some common statements we hear for losing weight and they couldn’t be more inaccurate. Calories are calories and if you eat too many of them you’ll gain weight, regardless of what time it is. According to a  , overweight people lost more weight eating carbohydrates at night compared to throughout the day. The late-night eaters had better hormone levels that control satiety and hunger. The Human Growth Hormone (HGH) is a powerful hormone produced by the human body that regulates the amount of body fat you burn and the amount of muscle you build. HGH levels peak while you’re sleeping so if you eat right before bed, your body could utilize those nutrients to build muscle and burn fat at the same time.

03.

MYTH: We must do cardio for at least 20 minutes to burn fat.

What’s going to burn more fat calories in 20 minutes: watching TV, walking, or interval sprinting? If you think it’s TV or walking, you’re wrong. Just because you burn a higher percentage of fat from moderate exercise doesn’t mean you’ll burn as many total fat calories. Interval sprinting burn a less percentage of fat but a much higher total calorie loss, which actually results in more fat calories burned than walking for 20 minutes.

04.

MYTH: When you eat more protein, you build more muscle.

A family member of mine went on a diet a while ago to try and lose weight. She was told to double her protein intake and eat less carbohydrates. She ended up miserable and weighing more than she did before her diet. We’re not saying protein doesn’t build muscle, but there’s a point where protein can hurt compared to help. For every pound of body weight, consuming about Any protein consumption over the 1.25g per pound of bodyweight can get broken down in to amino acids and nitrogen which can either store in your body or excrete your body.

If someone is trying to give you a fitness tip, listen to what they have to say but do your own research and come up with your own opinion. Everybody has a different body and genetic makeup. What works for one person might not work for another. Know what works best for you and own your workouts!


References


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Reaching Macronutrient Goals

Reaching Macronutrient Goals

Question:

Greetings Nutrition: I am trying to get back in shape. I have a trainer at LA Fitness, and I think that I need to eat better. Could you give me some ideas of how I should be eating? Or a good meal plan that I can follow? I have been given a 1,416 calorie per day limit. Macros are: Carbs 203 grams, Fat 84 grams Protein 65 grams. I am having a hard time finding good breakfast options and making my protein of 65 grams daily. I don’t eat eggs so that cause problems for breakfast. I pretty much eat everything else. Any help that you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

– Eric H.

Answer:

First and foremost, your provided macronutrient targets provide 1,828 total calories (812 calories carbohydrate, 756 calories fat, 260 calories protein), a considerable difference from your caloric limit. If the goal is qualitative, then the approach should be more precise. Not knowing which is more important for you, I’d go with the higher caloric target as you are working out and 1,400 calories may only be appropriate for significant weight loss, older or smaller-framed men.

We don’t provide meal plans, though several sample meals can be found throughout our Living Healthy blog. Since breakfast is the most challenging meal for you, here are some breakfast suggestions that provide roughly 550 calories.* I’ve broken that down as approximately 60 gram carb, 25 gram fat and 20 gram protein.

By working on your own lunch and dinner options, you can get close to the remainder macronutrients for the day. Quality can’t be overlooked, though! Foods with high micronutrient, fiber and unsaturated fat content will make a big difference even if you’re slightly off your gram or calorie goals.

* Calculated by Registered Dietitian Nutritionist using Fitday.com’s food log function. Findings were used along with RDN’s professional judgment.

– 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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