I need some input on my workout and diet plan. I'm not looking to bulk up, just get cut and lose the belly fat. I lost steady weight for a month but I feel like I'm hitting plateau now.
Below is my current workout/diet plan which I have been on for about 1 month.
Gym 4 days/week. I do the following almost every time since its what I feel comfortable with.
-Lifting- Chest presses and curls (on the machine) 7 reps each, 3-4 sets
-Cardio everytime for 30-40 minutes (treadmill, elliptical)
-Crunches/sit ups (using the machine)
-Rowing or stair climber for about 10 minutes
I initially started off on a 1200 calorie diet, which may not have been ideal. I just did a new calculation couple of days ago and apparently my BMR requires 1400 calories (with my weight, height, age, activity level taken in to account). From what I've heard you shouldn't eat below your BMR. If this is true then I need to increase my calories intake to 1400/day at minimum.
My meal plan is usually as follows:
-2 eggs with either spinach, broccoli or mushroom with a slice of swiss cheese on whole wheat bread. Sometimes I throw in a couple of slices of bacon or turkey sausage, and on those days I opt for egg whites.
-Usually turkey, egg whites or tuna on whole wheat with smart balance mayo and a slice of cheese.
-peanut butter & jelly sandwich
Once in a while pasta or rice with veggies instead of the sandwich.
also a green tea
-Fiber bar, nutrigrain bar, or apple
Varies a lot. I aim for steamed veggies (carrots, broccoli, beans) or salad with some light dressing no matter what. Additionally, a veggie burger (even though I'm not vegeterian) on whole wheat, and maybe beans. Some nights fish or chicken.
In addition to all this, on the days I go to the gym, 1 scoop of protein powder mixed with water right after my workout.
I think my biggest problem is figuring out the target calorie intake and the ideal workout for burning the belly fat. I have been reading about the target HR and about how prolonged low/medium intensity workouts burn the most fat. I also read about HIIT. Not sure what the best approach is, so hopefully some of you guys can help me out with this.
First off your cheating your legs/back by not using them, even if your goal is weight loss/getting cut you need to be training all parts of your body in your resistance routine. Your definitely going to run into overtraining doing chest/curls 4 times per week esp if your doing 7 reps to failure 4 times per week. Why not do upper body/lower body splits 2 times per week? There are many reasons why you shouldn't just be doing chest/curls and if you want me to go into detail after this post just ask, but for timesake ill just leave it at, you need to be training every muscle when your doing resistance training or youll run into imbalances and it wont look right.
Bottom line for a male that is completely sedentary and does no working out is 1500 calories. Your STILL 100 under that on diet alone, not to mention how many calories your burning while your working out, probably 700-900 just depending on intensity and length. That puts you at what? 500-700 calories for your BMR to use up? That plain and simple is not enough to allow your metabolism to stay up high enough to where you are going to continue losing weight. With that many calories your metabolism is just creeping along and your not going to lose anymore weight. It does seem like a paradox but you have to eat more to lose weight. Idk your stats so I'm not going to suggest a calorie goal just yet but like I said, your way too low in your calories, your not allowing your metabolism to stay working hot, because your body is holding on to all the extra calories it can because your not providing it with the essential amount of calories daily to let it know that you dont need to hold onto the calories you ingest.
There is no specific thing you can do to burn belly fat specifically, you CANNOT pinpoint fat loss, it has to be a whole body loss process. First thing id do is figure out an upper body/lower body split for your resistance training and do each twice per week. Then post resistance training hit the low intensity cardio (if you cant do cardio the other 3 days you dont workout) for 40-60 minutes, I cant give you a HR range guess without any stats. Id rather see my clients for the most part seperate cardio days, and resistance training days, or at least seperate them as far as timing (aka lifting in the morning cardio at night or vice versa) Id need more stats from you resting heart rate and age being the most important of the 2 to help you out with heart rate ranges. Secondly, UP THOSE CALORIES, less is not always best when it comes to weight loss, I can help you out with that too if you provide me with your stats. Yes you will of course lose weight at 1200 calories a day but once you begin eating right for your sex/activity level again your body will start putting weight right back on. Not to mention how lethargic you must feel during the day on 1200 calories, thats bottom line for a sedentary female with no working out. Hope I shed some light on your situation.
Also, you could lift 3 days per week and cardio 3-4 times a week, and do full body 2 exercises per bodypart with 2 sets per exercise for 8-12 reps as a very baseline beginner workout.
-After reading your response, and other posts on this forum I understand why i shouldn't be lifting every time. From now on I'll be training specific body parts on specific days instead of trying to do everything at once all the time.
-Getting the calorie intake figured out has been the hardest thing so far because there's just too many sources on the internet with too many different theories. I'll give you my stats so maybe you can recommend a good calorie intake range and a target heart rate calculation.
I'm 123 lbs, 5 1' and 26 yrs old. I work out 3-4 times/week. I work a desk job so most of the day I'm pretty inactive, therefore my only real activity is going to the gym.
Also, I don't know accurate the cardio machines at the gym are but i usually burn about 3-400 calories on the treadmill and elliptical. I'm not sure exactly how many calories i burn when I'm weightlifting, doing push ups, sit ups, etc.
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