First off, I commend you on setting a reasonable goal, allowing yourself at least a month to see results. But let’s get this out of the way, if you’re just starting out on your fitness journey, you will learn a ton about your own body in one month, so you’ll have to make ongoing adjustments. Stick to it though, I’ve never seen someone fail that didn’t quit.
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Second, I commend you on realizing (intentionally or not) that your goal is to lose belly fat, not weight. Too often people set their health and fitness goals around losing weight, which is a flawed understanding of how our bodies work. I’m assuming that if you’re looking to lose weight, you’re looking to get leaner, so that number on the scale can be deceiving. Muscle is denser than fat, so you can slim down and yet weigh the same. But I think we’d all agree that that is 10 times better.
With that said, let’s dive in and see…
How to Lose Belly Fat in a Month
Theoretically, it takes 3500 calories equals one pound of body weight. So, if you were looking to lose 1 pound, you could reduce your daily caloric intake by 500 per day…theoretically.
See, our bodies are ultra-adaptive, and there’s a phenomenon called diet-induced adaptive thermogenesis which occurs when we start losing weight as a result of caloric restriction, our metabolism also adjusts and typically starts to slow down.
Consequently, it takes greater and greater reductions in calories to continue to lose weight, which could result in extreme conditions, such as eating merely 800 calories per day or less!
Not a fun way to live or be healthy.
But, since we’re more knowledgeable on the subject, we’re not worried about what the weight scale says, right? We’re going to attack this the right way, focusing on losing belly fat or body fat in general, and honestly, we couldn’t care less what that darn scale says. Even if it goes up because we’re paying more attention to how we look in the mirror…and how we feel.
Our metabolism is our friend, not our enemy, and like good friends, we’re going to jostle and tease and mess with each other, always leaving ourselves guessing what’s next. You see, in order to lose belly fat, and continue to lose belly fat, we cannot get stale. We can keep our metabolism revved up and continue to lean out without restricting or counting (thank goodness) calories.
The timing of when you eat certain foods will determine how those nutrients are used and ultimately, where they end up. And our goal is, anywhere but that belly.
If your goal is to lose fat and build muscle at the same time, it is possible and will involve diet manipulation and daily exercise. You can’t get ripped sitting on the couch.
If you’re ready to have some fun with how and what you get to eat, AND can’t wait to see results, here are 2 things to keep in mind:
You won’t have to eliminate sugar and sweets from your diet (yes, you can eat that donut). You don’t have to count calories (for the most part, the amount of calories no longer matters).
Still with me? Good, here are the steps:
Move all of your carb intake (that’s cereal, bread, muffins, bagels, donuts, pasta, rice, etc) until dinner time. You have to remain strict, yes, but only from waking until dinner. You can do that, right? Of course, you can. Based upon results you see (i.e. not enough fat loss, plateaus) you will either reduce day by day your night of carbs until you have just one carb night or be able to up your carb intake (i.e. still seeing fat loss, want to build more muscle).
Mix in at least 3-4 days of productive 30-45 minute workouts, and you’ll be on your way to a leaner and ultimately healthier you.
For the why part of the inner workings that occur in our bodies and for true step-by-step explanations and how-tos of this way of eating, you’ll want to refer to John Kiefer’s Carb Backloading or Carb Nite books.
Carb Backloading is best for those who will definitely be incorporating resistance training into their weekly regimen, whereas Carb Nite is best for those who do not train with weights or exercise at all.
I follow the principles of both depending on what I see in the mirror every day. And that’s what I love about these principles:
They work. Results are always great. They’re so easily adaptable on a daily basis. Went a little overboard one night with pies and donuts? Cut out a night or two of carbs. Not seeing enough muscle building? Add in more carbs.