Burning Belly Fat & Gaining Muscle
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Health and Wellness

Burning Belly Fat & Gaining Muscle

How you can burn fat and gain muscle by understanding what you eat

Burning Belly Fat & Gaining Muscle
Samantha Mitchell

My friend asked me two nutrition and fat-burning questions that I tried my best to answer in my Vlog & Blog

here is a lot more fat-burning as well as eating proper nutrition for muscle tone and gain; these are some things that have helped me personally in the past.

First question: Will running help burn my belly fat?

This is actually an issue that I have struggled with for many years, even with being active and in shape while running and participating in triathlons. Many personal trainers and nutritionists will tell you that you can’t really target certain areas on your body, and that in order to lose and burn fat, you have to lose it throughout your body.

This being said, running will certainly allow you to burn extra fat in unwanted areas, but maybe not in the way that you originally thought. Speed and sprinting workouts are most efficient in burning fat and can help you to lower your overall fat percentage. However, you will also need to lower your carbohydrate and fat intake every day and watch what you eat in order to get your ideal fitness level and get rid of stubborn belly fat. Trust me, it’s not easy and it can be a very frustrating area to work on. It is also dependent on your metabolism, which can also affect the amount of time and energy it will take to burn the fat around your belly region.

I would say that if you are watching what you eat every day and attempt to get in some cardio at least 3 to 4 times a week, you will be on the right track. I try not to run every day because it can be hard on your knees and the rest of your body. I also try to get in at least one sprint/track workout a week to optimize the amount of calories and fat burning for my body.

Everyone is different and if you are new to running or doing certain kinds of cardio, it may take you longer to reach your optimal fitness level. Also, remember that the more fat burning you do, the more muscle gain you will probably realize, which can be added weight for your body. This isn’t a bad thing, which is why I try not to go so much by my body weight and more by the way that I look and feel. If I feel like I am bulging out a little on the sides, which is likely after a vacation or a lazy workout week, then I know it is time to kick it into gear and to focus on kicking my butt back into shape.

Make sure you’re drinking plenty of water, as it can also help your kidneys function and can help with weight loss and can help your skin to glow! Substituting a soda for water can help you get rid of unnecessary calories in your diet as well.

Don’t be discouraged if you don’t lose the fat or weight that you like right away. Remember that water and fluids account for a large percentage of original weight loss when you’re working out, but can slowly transfer to muscle gain.

The second question: In order to gain more muscle, should I be taking in more protein or just eating more?

This is a great question and I was confused about this myself until the past two years when I started getting more into strength training. When you’re doing a lot of cardio, you can afford to eat a little bit more carbs than someone else that isn’t doing as much cardio. This being said, when you start to lower your cardio sessions per week and try to bulk up more on your muscles/work on your strength, you need to watch the kind of calories you eat. The best thing one of my old trainers told me is not to worry so much about the amount of calories you’re eating, but to watch out for the kind of calories you’re eating instead.

Since it is difficult to supplement protein intake without upping your carbs or fat each day, I suggest adding protein in your diet via protein shake and/or protein bars. In my experience, protein shakes are a bit more impactful and provide more protein for your muscles without as much added carbs. You just have to watch out for the heavily advertised “extra healthy” protein powders that are sold. Some are meant for the heavy weight champions or iron man triathletes of the world that are going out and doing hours of extraneous workouts every day. The others are meant more for the everyday athlete that is looking for a beneficial supplement that is going to help them in their daily attempts to be healthier and more in shape. Both are good, but the first can have more calories and carbs to boot, while the latter can give you just the right amount of protein that you actually need, depending on if you are training to stay in shape or are going for something more.

There are several good protein powders out there, so it can be difficult to decide. My rule of thumb is normally to try to find a powder with a good protein to carbohydrate ratio, which can be more difficult than it seems. It is difficult to raise the amount of protein intake without also raising the amount of carbs in powder and in food products. I normally go with a protein powder that has at least 3 to 5 grams more of protein to carbs, and try to shoot for something that has less than 20 to 30 grams of carbs, depending on if I am training to race or just training to stay in shape.

One side note: Carbohydrates are very beneficial to training for races and for intensive workouts, but are more simple sugars that can transferred to fat when they are not used. This is why it is more difficult to lose weight when you eat a lot of carbs vs. proteins and even fats. In some cases, you can ingest the “right” calories in the food that you are eating to ensure adequate protein without the added powder or food supplements. It is just more difficult to do it this way, and protein powders and bars are better in that they offer extra protein without some of the extra unwanted carbs that you find in some food.

Also, using a fitness app like My Fitness Pal can pay off because you can set goals for yourself and scan/add food into your “daily diary” that can ensure you’re on the right track and eating the right percentage of protein to carbs/fats.

Please let me know if you have any comments or questions! Best of luck and keep up your fitness journey! #SamanthaMitchellLive

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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