Whether you are trying to lose weight for summer, post-partum, or so that you feel more confident about your body, where you lose fat is different for everyone. Weight / body fat distribution means that people carry excess weight or fat in different areas of their body due to genetics. More specifically, we will be focusing on Belly Fat.
What Causes Belly fat?
Each person is different. This rings true even when it comes to our diets, lifestyles, and exercise routines. Something that is causing you discomfort or bloating may be perfectly fine for someone else. The key is to find out what practices and modifications work best for you!
Some possible causes of belly fat:
- Excess calories
- Inflammatory foods
- Excessive sugar
- Insulin resistance
- Water retention
- Lack of exercise
- Lack of core stability
- Low quality sleep
There are endless solutions that could cater to you, and your lifestyle in eliminating belly fat, but we are going to focus on the most important principles:
- Reducing Calorie Intake
- Get moving!
- Trial and Error with Food
- Strengthen Your Core
- Get Enough Sleep
#1 Reducing Calorie Intake
The most common cause of excess body/belly fat really comes down to the amount of calories consumed versus calories burned. This means that in order to lose weight, you need to be in a caloric deficit.
One lb of body fat = 3,500 calories, which means that to lose one pound of body fat per week, you need to burn approximately 3500 calories, or 500 calories per day. This can be accomplished through eating less, and also by increasing activity levels (burning calories through exercise), which we’ll cover in the next point.
Calories eaten < calories burned = weight loss
Calories eaten > calories burned = weight gain
Calories eaten = calories burned = maintenance
This does NOT mean, however, that you should opt in for extreme diets or restrict calories lower than your Basal Metabolic Rate (the amount of calories needed to maintain basic bodily functions such as breathing). To find out how many calories you should be eating, contact us, and we’ll send you a PDF on how to calculate calorie needs for fat loss.
#2 Get Moving!
To know how many calories you should be eating on a daily basis, it’s important to consider your activity level. For example, someone who is sedentary requires far less food and calories than an athlete.
If you go back to point #1, remember to lose 1lb of body fat we need to be in a calorie deficit of approximately 500 calories per day. That means 1) eating less, and 2) moving more!!
Now this begs the question, are all forms of movement equal? We train our members first with strength training because this not only builds muscle, but also helps elevate your EPOC or Exercise Post Oxygen Consumption. By elevating your EPOC, you are increasing the amount of calories you burn even after you have stopped exercising! We recommend 30 minutes of a combination of strength training and interval training 4-5 days per week. If that sounds overwhelming, that’s OK! What is most important is that you start slow and be consistent
#3 Trial and Error with Food
This next tip is a little more specific and really depends on how YOUR body reacts to foods. Every person’s digestive tract is different because of the bacteria that inhabits it. For example, two people might have the same body composition and activity level but react completely differently to dairy.
Start noticing how foods make you feel by keeping a food journal – write down what you eat and also how you feel when you eat certain things. Pay attention to this even later in the day. Depending on the food you eat, it may have immediate effects or they won’t occur until later in the day. If you often feel bloated at night, that is a clear sign that something you are eating during the day isn’t agreeing with your body.
Using the trial and error tactic is the best approach when determining what works best for you specifically!
#4 Strengthen Your Core
Are abs made in the kitchen? Or are they shown in the kitchen, but built in the gym? If you want to build a specific muscle group you need to train them. That same training principle applies when it comes to your core. Your core is composed of 4 main muscle groups: transverse abdominis, rectus abdominis, internal obliques, and external obliques.
You need to strengthen each of these muscles so that they show through once you shed the fat on top! Steven covered this during his most recent workshop on Facebook. Check out our Facebook Page!
#5 Get Enough Sleep
Rest and recovery is crucial for fat loss. Why? When you are in a caloric deficit, this puts stress on your body. By getting adequate rest, your body is able to recover better. Though it is recommended to get at least seven hours of sleep each night, according to the CDC, over 35% of all adults get less than that everyday.
If you haven’t already, check out our “Why Sleep is Important” blog post. There, we cover how sleep can help cognitive function, productivity, and immune function.
By modifying your lifestyle, you really build a diet that works best for you. It might take some trial and error like we mentioned above, and that’s okay. That’s why we offer nutrition and macro coaching to help guide you to your goals! If you’re ready to jump start a healthier you, apply for free nutrition coaching session here: https://www.trifitwellness.com/contact-us/