Do you work out hard day in and day out, eat right and maintain a healthy lifestyle? Yet, you still struggle with getting rid of un wanted stomach fat? Don’t worry your not alone. Stomach fat can be the most stubborn of all fat areas to get rid of. This article will cover some great tips on how to lose stomach fat!
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Does running on a treadmill for hours on end sound boring? I bet it does. Turns out it’s not even all the effective when trying to lose stomach fat. A great way to boost the process and have fun is by incorporating short bursts of high-intensity intervals into your workout routines. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) will keep you burning calories up to 16 hours post-workout.
Stretch Those Muscles
Believe or not stretching helps when trying to lose stomach fat. Spend some time before your next workout with either a foam roller or just stretch the old fashion way. It turns out that your core muscles are usually super tense when you hit the floor to do your ab work. By spending the time to limber up you won’t overcompensate with your hips and back. Thus allowing you to target those abs and focus on getting shredded!
Curb The Cravings, Stay Hydrated and Enjoy Healthy Fats
Try to avoid those late night, pre-bed snacks. Even if they are healthy. While your resting you want your body to use up the stored fats for energy and not that apple or yogurt you just munched on before calling it a day. Try to fill up at dinner and let your body attack that unwanted fat.
Staying hydrated is critical in maintaining a healthy metabolism. A good start is to focus on getting the recommended 8 glasses of water a day. Anything more than that is great! And if you don’t need it well . . . we all know what happens.
Olive oil has been getting a bad rap these days. But, lets not forget the great health benefits of this Mediterranean treat. Researchers have shown that olive oil actually tricks your brain into thinking its full. Try tossing some olive oil on a salad or dipping a bit bread in it.
Chill Out And Catch Some Z’s
Stress can be a killer. When trying to lose stomach fat keep your stress levels at a minimum. When your stressed your body produces cortisol. Which is a hormone that will totally mess up your goals when trying to drop those unwanted pounds. And make sure you get plenty of rest. By not getting enough sleep your bodies hormone are all thrown out of whack. Getting the right amount of sleep will help you to keep your metabolism regulated and on your way to losing that unwanted stomach fat.
Hard Work Pays Off
Losing those last couple pounds can really be a pain in the behind. Try following these simple tips on losing stomach fat. It may not happen over night but don’t give up. Eventually you will start to see some amazing results.
If you have any tips of your own we would love to hear them in the comments box below. Also if you found this article useful please feel free to share with your friends and family!
Long hours in the gym are most often times coupled with a few sessions of cardio. Your body and mind are all ready conditioned and strong. Workouts are fun and exciting. But every week you dread doing cardio. Sometimes you skip it all together.
Week after week the alarm rings. Getting up seems to be a chore. But why? Isn’t cardio supposed to be good for us? Then why neglect it? Quite frankly I can say that cardio is one of the most boring tasks I have ever encountered. Whether I’m running, swimming, walking, biking, using the elliptical, doing sprints, or even some H.I.I.T.. It’s just plain boring.
Knowing I have to do it. I grudgingly lace up my shoes and head to the gym or sometimes run outside. Not always consistent but occasionally I would go.
Until, one day my mind changed and I thought about looking at cardio from a different perspective.
How Biking Became My Number One Choice For Cardio
Out and about with my girlfriend, I decided to stop at a bicycle shop. She had a mountain bike at the time and I thought it would be cool to entertain the option of owning one. Stopping at a few stores allowed me to get an idea of what they cost. In speaking with the manager of one of the shops he told me about a style of bike called a hybrid or fitness bike. It has all the aspects of a road bike. Light, nimble, and fast. But has the rigidity and riding position of a mountain bike. They were affordable and a great starter bike.
Needless to say I didn’t go home that day with a one but the seed had been planted. Over the next few months I himmed and hawed about buying a bicycle.
Christmas time came about and present talk was in the air. After exhausting her brain countless numbers of time my girlfriend finally blurted out “I don’t know what to get you! I’m thinking about buying a bike.” Shocked and amazed I resisted at first. But after some speculation I caved in and we went shopping.
Quick bits of internet research lead me to believe I was going to be going home with the Trek 7.2 FX Disc, which is an awesome bike for the price point of $599 msrp.
However that was not the case. My gut told me to head out west to one of the biggest bike shops in town. I was sure to find a deal there.
Walking in to the store I stood there amazed at the amount of bikes available. But slightly sadden but the limited selection that was available for a rider like myself. Being 6’5″ I need a XL frame. Not finding anything I liked the clerk said he was going to check in the back if anything was there. It just so happened that when he returned, he returned with box in hand. Placing it down on the floor he began to open it up. Exclaiming “Check it out”. Inside the box was my new bike. A nice shiny black frame accented with my favorite color, green. Lime green at that. Putting it together and presenting it to me. I knew that right before my eyes was the bike I was taking home
Behold the Giant Escape 2. Great adventures awaited!
Turning Cardio Into Adventures
The new year was around the corner and resolutions were to be had. I was determined to get consistent with cardio. New bike in hand I went strong for a few weeks. Trying to ride at least twenty minutes a day. But like most new years resolutions that began to fade.
Time went by and my bike sat there. Looking sad. I kept saying I was going to go for a ride and I didn’t. Until one morning I had decided to try something new. Sitting down for my morning coffee. Looking out over my veranda admiring nature I decided I was going to try medicating with cannabis before I went for a bike ride. I had heard stories from friends and other riders I met. They said they would smoke a little and go riding.
The following week with my coffee at bay, I grabbed the lighter took a puff, or two and set out on my way. “Let’s see what this cannabis is all about,” I thought. For the first time I had decided to really ride. The beginning of my trip started off with a fast paced push so I could warm up my legs and get ready for the long leg of the trip.
The cannabis began to take effect. Not too much. Not too little. Just right. Having smoked a sativa, Golden Goat to be exact, I felt a rush of uplifting energy. It was just me and the road. My ride that day lasted about an hour and a half. I spent most of it cruising through neighborhoods by the beach. Discovering new areas of my town. Really appreciating what the city had to offer.
Why I Feel Cannabis Improved My Cardio
My overall experience with marijuana and cardiovascular training was far greater than I ever could have imagined. Contrary to what most would think the cannabis actually enhanced the experience. The uplifting energy allowed me to push forward and want to ride. The child-like curiosity made me want to explore and learn about the area. I was focused and in tune with the moment, really enjoying what was happening. At that moment my mind wasn’t full of chatter. The relaxing effects marijuana has allowed my bronchial tubes to dilate and increase my breathing abilities.
At the end of the day I can say that cardio was fun. I don’t honestly feel that marijuana was the deciding factor as to whether or not I enjoyed the session. But I do feel smoking a little bit of cannabis had an effect. I and I alone are responsible for the mental shift to enjoy something that was once mundane and boring. Adding to the experience was well worth it. Cardio can become fun for anyone. First we have to learn to enjoy the experience. And if your someone that already does then it will be second nature. But cardio and cannabis are like no other.
The positive effects the cannabis had on my experience with cardiovascular training lead me to believe that marijuana can be a great addition to other physical activities like weightlifting or even sports. In the past there has been much controversy over the subject. With new and exciting laws being passed we can now really see the benefits of this plant and what it can have for society outside of recreation. For those of you that live in an area where medical or recreational marijuana is accepted, then smoking cannabis and doing cardio may be an awesome way for you to really make something that can be boring and repetitive. Fun and exciting. Please remember that marijuana is still illegal or not tolerated in some areas of the world. Be responsible and make smart decisions.
If you have or are thinking of trying cannabis before you partake in your cardio training I would love the hear about your own experiences in the comment box below. By sharing our knowledge we can all benefit and grow together.
Nutrition cannot be overlooked. It is a deciding factor in what your body will look like. Without the proper nutrition you cannot build muscle, gain any strength, nor burn fat. Your body needs the fuel for the fire. In order to have energy you have to feed the furnace with good sound nutrition. Building and repairing the muscle requires proper protein and carb intake.
Without sufficient nutrition your body will not burn fat. You will go into starvation mode and you will retain more fat in your cells. Definitely not what we are intending. So what the heck do you do? Well its actually rather simple. Let me explain.
Getting the proper nutrition takes work just like your training and cardio. However this is the path you have chosen and these are your dreams you’re making a reality. Therefore you have to do what it takes to be a champion in any regard.
Making nutrition fun is the key
First things first, you want to always make sure you have a very healthy diet that consists of whole foods. Not Whole Foods the grocery store. Which I do like by the way, if you have one near you and budget allows, by all means shop away. But what I mean by whole foods are foods that are unprocessed and in their most natural state.
If you’re still unclear your best bet is to always avoid any type of a processed food. Instead of frozen chicken strips buy a package of whole chicken breasts, cut them and cook them yourself. Keep it natural. Keep it lean. Keep it healthy. Other examples of whole foods are fresh meat, fish, poultry, eggs, veggies, legumes, fruits, rice, oats, and quinoa.
Meal frequency is king. Eating 5-6 smaller meals throughout the day actually revs up your metabolism. This is good, you want to get the nutrients into your body so they can feed the muscles and allow for the naturals functions to exist without any interruptions.
Along with food staying hydrated is critical. Get down some water and plenty of it. Drinking water throughout the day is a sure fire way to make sure you get enough. For myself on training days I usually consume about 1.5 to 2 gallons depending on my intensity and how much water I loose working out. I am a big guy weighing in at 255 lbs so that has to be considered.
By eating whole food based diets and getting enough water you prime the engine for hefty horsepower (shameless car analogy). One thing, to consider is you can overfeed yourself and any excess will turn to fat. Keep an eye on your macronutrients and get the right amount of food.
Nutrition is a game of numbers
Basically what you need to do is determine what your daily caloric intake is in order to maintain your weight. What? By figuring out how much fuel your body needs to maintain its current weight will tell you how to gauge how many calories you need to either loose or build.
Building muscle and losing fat are quite simple. Once you know how much energy or your body needs you can then judge how much you either need to cut by creating a deficit or how much you need to add by creating a surplus.
How exactly do you calculate your caloric intake. By using math, our least favorite subject in school. All that stuff we never thought was practical comes in handy now. But incase your not a math wizard thats totally cool. Using a simple formula called the Harris-Benedict principle you can can assess your basal metabolic rate aka BMR.
BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to function. We use about 60% of the calories we consume each day for basic bodily functions such as breathing. Other factors that influence your BMR are height, weight, age and sex.
Step 1: Calculate your BMR with the following formula:
65 + (4.3 x weight in pounds) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
66 + (6.3 x weight in pounds) + (12.9 x height in inches) – (6.8 x age in years)
Please note that this formula applies only to adults.
Step 2: Incorporate activity into your daily caloric needs, with the following calculation:
Sedentary : BMR x 20 percent
Lightly active: BMR x 30 percent
Moderately active (You exercise most days a week.): BMR x 40 percent
Very active (exercise intensely on a daily basis or for prolonged periods.): BMR x 50 percent
Extra active (You do hard labor or are in athletic training.): BMR x 60 percent
Add this number to your BMR.
The result of this formula will be the number of calories you can eat every day and maintain your current weight.
Protein and carb intake are important also. They will make up a good portion of your daily calories. A rule of thumb for calculating your protein intake is to take your bodyweight and divide it by 2.2 to get weight in kilograms.
Take your weight and multiply it by anywhere between 1.8 to 2.3 grams of protein per kilogram. The same will apply for carbohydrates except multiply anywhere from 3 to 5 grams per body weight which will be determined by your activity level as well as fitness goals.
Supplementation is secondary to sound nutrition
I’m not going to cover a lot about supplements in this section. Just a basic rundown and a few things I suggest looking into for yourself.
Supplementation is just that, an addition to your diet. Not always necessary but a good way to get a little extra pep in your step. Supplementing with sports supplements or vitamins can also fill in some holes that you have in your diet.
If you’re not getting enough fish in your weekly meals you may be short on necessary omega 3’s which is essential to torching fat. The idea is to get the most you can from foods and then add on any extras.
One of the most common supplements is protein. Protein powders are a great way to make sure you hit your mark each day. They come in a variety of types and flavors. Try some out for yourself and see what you like. Protein powders are best for a quick meal replacement shake a couple times a day. Don’t get crazy and think you can just drink your meals.
Creatine is by far one of the most researched sports supplements. And with good reason. Studies have found that creatine does work and helps build muscle and increase strength. Creatine allows you to push your intensity a little bit further and get the most out of your workout. There are a ton of creatine supplements and one better than the other (so the labels claim). I have found that any brand of creatine made with Creapure creatine is great.
Pre-workout supplements are great if you’re not a morning person and you have to get up and workout in the morning. They give you a little extra drive and motivation to get out of the sheets and onto the streets heading towards the gym. I find that a lot of pre-workout drinks get me jittery and shaky, usually due to cheap manufacturing products. Best bet is to go to your supplement store and see what kind of samples they have and find one that works for you.
Many bodybuilders and fitness experts recommend getting in your BCAA’s (branched chain amino acids) as well as glutamine. They both are excellent in helping with recovery. Most BCAA powders have glutamine in it but you can get it separately.
Like I stated before food is your best source of energy and supplements are not always necessary. You can get everything you need and more by keeping a close eye on what your eating and how your eating. A natural boost in the morning before the gym could be a cup of coffee or an apple. Both excellent sources of caffeine.
Analyze your diet and focus on that first. Then look into further supplement research.
What’s better than a naturally low in fat, great source of lean protein and high in Omega 3’s dinner?
How about one of our quick dinner ideas that it only takes 10-15 minutes to cook . . .
Pan Seared Sesame Crusted Tuna – Fast & Easy!
Select nice firm raw tuna steaks.
Place Tuna Steaks in a deep dish, bowl or casserole.
Pour Less Sodium Kikkoman Soy Sauce over the steaks – Coat but do not saturate or soak!
Less sit while you prepare side dishes – Turn over and make sure top is wet with soy sauce as well.
While Tuna is sitting in a light puddle of soy sauce – prepare your vegetables.
Choose a nice bunch of broccolini – which is similar to broccoli but smaller florets and slender long stems.
Broccolini is quick and is much more tender than typical broccoli.
Steam the broccolini with a small amount of water and a little olive oil or avocado oil – DO NOT COVER – let steam and add small amounts of water if needed to not burn the pan or broccolini.
Smear Tuna Steaks with Sesame Seeds on both sides.
Cook on Medium heat for about 10 minutes – flipping sides.
Pan Sear enough so that center is still mildly raw or cook longer if desired.
Perfect pan searing should have both sides cooked with middle somewhat small raw center. Depending on the thickness of the steaks, cooking about 5-8 minutes on each side should be sufficient, again all depends on thickness of your tuna steaks.
Toss broccolini – do not let get soggy or too soft.
Serve your quick and protein jacked tuna steaks with the broccolini – drizzled with a tiny amount of olive oil and salt – and along with a hearty brown and black rice and a touch of wasabi!
Done! Now chow down on this healthy protein enriched and packed with Omega 3’s – Simply and Delish– almost gourmet!
Without over generalizing too much, most things that taste good to our pallet, either food or drink related, are not going to be good for us in terms of their health and nutrition benefits. Water is one healthy drink option that isn’t going to set your taste buds tingling, but there’s simply no escaping its critical to your health. With the human body consisting of approximately 60-70% body weight from water it’s easy to see why it’s so vitally important to stay hydrated at all times.
Every system and function in your body relies on sufficient water levels to function efficiently and effectively. Going into a state of dehydration can not only create internal disruptions, but it can also bring about a state of fatigue and mental confusion. At higher levels of dehydration it can become both critical and life threatening.
Water really is that important….
Ways To Make Your Water Intake More Appealing
Infuse Your Water With Herbs – and Even Veggies/ Fruits
Already a trend in California and other health conscious areas, infused water is a big hit. It offers a blast of freshness to your water and gives it some excitement – and not to mention people like fashioning a nice water bottle with some colorful herbs and fruit to show off.
Infuse your water overnight with some basil…yes basil….sounds strange but just try it. Be creative and mix and match herbs and fruit to make a unique drink. The key to extracting all the oils and flavor from an herb..is to “smack it” . Smack the herbs in between your hands – do not tear or shred…then place the herbs in a glass bottle or pitcher and fill with water and let marinate overnight.
Some best herbs to infuse: Basil, Oregano, Mint and Sage
Mix with some fruits / veggies with herbs or infuse what you wish: Cucumber slices, Orange Slices, Lemon, Lime, etc.
Cucumbers are a very fresh veggie that make your water taste extra clean. So experiment away…
Try some Mint and Orange Slices ….Get Refreshed !
Add A Little Juice
Why not add a few drops of your favorite juice to your glass of water to spice things up a little. Find something with natural ingredients and preferably no added sugar which will hopefully satisfy your taste buds for a short while! Cranberry is a sure favorite.
Create Some Frozen Alternatives
With the summer months now upon us, what better way to celebrate than by creating your own ice cubes and/ or ice lollies. Add flavorings such as those described above to create your very own flavorsome iced masterpieces!
Don’t forget that water can also be obtained from the foods you consume. Previous research has demonstrated that up to 25% of your water requirements are met through food consumption alone. Vegetables and fruits tend to contain the highest percentages of water, so why not opt for a salad on a regular basis or ensure these foods feature regularly in your diet. Alternative foods such as soups and broths also contain high water levels and with the British summer being as unpredictable as ever, you might just need a warm meal in the near future!
Don’t Forget – Caffeine Intake Requires More Hydration
Limit the caffeine intake as well…or note that for every glass of coffee – you will need at least two glasses of water to supplement the dehydration from your coffee and other beverages.
In the first part of our series we gave a brief introduction on what we were going to cover. Now were going to get into the thick of things and begin to discuss what a calorie is and how to calculate your daily calorie needs.
Each day we go through numerous tasks. Some are mundane and some very physical and demanding. In order to complete those tasks we need energy. Our energy comes from the foods we eat and the beverages we consume. These energy units are more commonly known as calories. Calories act as gasoline if you will.
If you wanted to go on a road trip you would need to fill up your car with gas. In a way calories act in the same manner. When you workout your body is going on a road trip, at the end of your lifting session your tank is going to be empty. You have expended calories and used up your nutrients.
Like your car, your bodies gas tank needs to be refilled. Consuming more calories in this case refills your body with what it is missing. But not just any type of calories, you need good nurturing calories. Let me further explain.
To go a little bit more in depth we also need to understand that when reading a food label the calories listed on the label are representing the amount of energy needed to digest that item. Along with being a beneficial energy source too many calories can become detrimental.
Like most things moderation is key. Calories can come in two forms. Good and bad, sometimes known as empty calories. If we have too much of either our body will store the excess and we will put on fat. And I don’t anyone that wants to get fat. There are some exceptions power lifters are not usually as concerned with physical image as bodybuilders, and weightlifters, but that’s not to say this are the norm. Point blank period too much of anything can have side effects unwanted.
What Are Your Daily Calorie Requirements?
Based on latter we have gathered that calories are something to have an eye on. Consuming the right amount of calories is very essential and based on the route of our individual sport or fitness goals. They are a very important factor in determining the end result. Calculating the amount of calories you need is typically referred to as calorie intake.
Knowing what your calorie intake is helps you to gauge whether you want to maintain your weight, build muscle, gain strength, or burn fat. Having too many calories is the cause of obesity and weight problems here in America and in many other countries. People tend to put on weight by eating without any regard.
It is very quick and convenient to stop at a fast food restaurant and order dinner than it is to go home and cook. We have all experienced that. And sometimes in some cases it can become the only option available at that moment. However more and more people tend to eat out whether it be fast food or not and they are not keeping an eye on the amount of food they are taking in.
In weightlifting and fitness related sports we need to take in the proper amount of calories to fuel us for our workouts and create the necessary change we are looking for in our bodies. A good example would be a bodybuilder preparing many months for a show. Bodybuilders will go through phases whether it be bulking, losing fat, or cutting.
Each phase has a series of variables that are in place to help the end result. During a bulking phase a bodybuilder will be looking to put on lean mass and growing their muscles. At this point in time the bodybuilder will have decided what an appropriate surplus calorie intake is. Meaning they would be consuming more nutrients than those being spent allowing for the body to have the right amount of macros available. While the bodybuilder is trying to lose fat they are eating a deficit of calories and trying to maintain the muscle they created while losing any unwanted body fat.
Closer to a show, the final stage of preparation for the bodybuilder would be to cut. At this point in time they are looking to shred the last few inches, get rid of any excess water weight, and really hone in their figure. This period of time is about 2 weeks out from a competition and sometimes can become drastic in measures.
During the previous two stages a solid foundation allows for the least amount of work possible towards the end of the journey.
Knowing that our bodies need a specific amount of calories during any phase of any fitness career can help us to take a look at what we are already consuming and aligning it with what we are doing. Your goals will determine what you need to factor. This is a personal journey so make it yours.
How To Calculate Your Calorie Intake
Now that you have a grasp on what a calorie is and what all the hoopla is surrounding calorie intake lets go over what we need to factor in order to decide where on the scale we need to go. No pun intended.
Factoring your calorie intake rests on a few things. There are a few methods available for concluding this number. One that I know of personally and feel is an easy approach is the Harris-Benedict principal. Which calculates your basal metabolic rate or BMR.
BMR is the amount of energy your body needs to function. We use about 60% of the calories we consume each day for basic bodily functions such as breathing, digesting, talking, moving about, et-cetera. Factors that influence our BMR are height, weight, age, and sex.
Men and women can calculate their own BMR by using a simple formula.
Women: 65 + (4.3 x weight in lbs) + (4.7 x height in inches) – (4.7 x age in years)
Men: 66 + (6.3 x weight in lbs) + ( 12.9 x height in inches) – ( 6.8 x age in years)
After you have calculated your basal metabolic rate you now need to factor in your daily activities. We can do this by using the following guides.
Sedentary: BMR x 20%
Lightly Active: BMR x 30%
Moderately Active: BMR x 40%
Very Active: BMR x 50%
Extra Active: BMR x 60%
A moderately active person would work out on average 3 to 4 times per week. Those that are exercising intensely on a daily basis could be considered very active. And for those that are performing hard labor or vigorous athletic training you can safely assume you a extra active compared to most.
The results of our fun little trip down math lane will be the number of calories you should be aiming to consume each day. Calories and calculating your calorie intake is just the start. Another term used quite often in fitness and nutrition are macros. Macronutrients are just as important as calories.
If you continue to follow along we will begin by breaking down what macronutrients are and how they are essential in bodybuilding.
Tell us your story. How many calories do you consume? What is your daily activity like. Comment in the boxes below.
Let’s face it nutrition plays a big role in our daily lives. And if it doesn’t it should. Nutrition cannot be overlooked. It is a deciding factor in what your body will look like. Without the proper nutrition you cannot build muscle, gain strength, or burn fat. Your body needs the fuel for the fire. Feed the furnace with good sound nutrition, build and repair the muscle with the proper protein, carb, and fat intake ratios.
Learning the Ropes to Beginners Bodybuilding Nutrition Should Be Fun and Enjoyable!
Understanding the basic fundamentals of nutrition does not have to be challenging. Albeit there is an immense amount of confusing and contradicting information simple principles can be applied and modified to create the appropriate personal formula.
Beginners Bodybuilding Nutrition Starts With a Plan.
In order to prepare ourselves for the gym or any physical activity we must first start in the kitchen. Your food intake is the major deciding factor on whether or not you will achieve your results. The main things you will be concerned with are:
Calories and Caloric Intake
Setting Up a Meal Plan
Bodybuilding is a Lifestyle, Beginners Can Take Their Nutrition To The Next Level.
Getting the proper nutrition takes work. Just like your training or cardiovascular exercise fitness is a lifestyle and you have to be committed. Grasping these concepts early on will not only help to pave the way towards making your dreams a reality. But also help to instill the knowledge it takes to make a physical difference in you!
Follow along as we dive deeper into understanding the concepts behind bodybuilding nutrition. Share your experiences, tips, and tricks in the comment box below.