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View Full Version : How hard is it to stay below 10% bf??


0range
09-06-2008, 06:16 PM
For any guys who are into fitness knows their body fat %.. how hard is it to maintain a single digit of body fat all year long?

chess9
09-07-2008, 07:12 AM
It's mostly about diet. Among American adult males, I'd say 1-2% max are under 10%. I hover around that number unless I'm training for a race or running a lot. I've been as low as 6% in the last year.

There is little reason, I suspect, to get really low in bodyfat unless you want to look perfect on the beach/bed. Some physiologists think you are risking more infections/colds/injuries if you get really low.

Edit: Oh, to answer your question, it's not hard to do if you have the right genetics. :) For most folks, it's extremely difficult.

-Robert

albino smurf
09-07-2008, 08:44 AM
how hard is it to maintain a single digit of body fat all year long?

Depends on genetics as stated above, but also climate and your ability to maintain a consistent high level workout. Where it gets really cold in the winter it is harder than places where the climate is mild in the winter.

goober
09-07-2008, 09:52 AM
The older you get the harder it is to stay under 10% body fat. I was tested at 7% at 18 years old and its been all down hill since I hit my 30s:)

malakas
09-07-2008, 09:54 AM
...and I try to bring mine down to..20% :neutral: all you people make me feel awful.

0range
09-07-2008, 11:34 AM
...and I try to bring mine down to..20% :neutral: all you people make me feel awful.

You're a woman right?

Male 6-13% is roughly equivalent to Female 16~20%... ;)

(woman who have less than 10% body will probably look maciated and asexual... and dying)

0range
09-07-2008, 11:38 AM
It's mostly about diet. Among American adult males, I'd say 1-2% max are under 10%. I hover around that number unless I'm training for a race or running a lot. I've been as low as 6% in the last year.

There is little reason, I suspect, to get really low in bodyfat unless you want to look perfect on the beach/bed. Some physiologists think you are risking more infections/colds/injuries if you get really low.

Edit: Oh, to answer your question, it's not hard to do if you have the right genetics. :) For most folks, it's extremely difficult.

-Robert

The older you get the harder it is to stay under 10% body fat. I was tested at 7% at 18 years old and its been all down hill since I hit my 30s:)

Wow 6 and 7%! that's like bodybuilders when they're peaked for competitions!

Yeah I guess it's largely due to age and genetics... my last roommate was 20, he's tall and "skinny", he usually eats whatever he wants, doesn't exercise (only plays martial art about once a week) and I tested him at 8%.

I asked a couple of my very "skinny" friends (girls, haven't asked guys), and they don't have perfect eating habbits either (eg. skipping meals when they're too busy...etc.)

malakas
09-07-2008, 11:39 AM
You're a woman right?

Male 6-13% is roughly equivalent to Female 16~20%... ;)

(woman who have less than 10% body will probably look maciated and asexual... and dying)

yes,but I have problem with bodyfat.My body just loves it.It must be the genes.:/ I would like -2% every month(about 4 pounds) but it's almost impossible.I had some doctors tell me that bellow 20% there would be physiological problems,that's why I don't aim lower.(18%). I could really use any advice.

malakas
09-07-2008, 11:41 AM
Wow 6 and 7%! that's like bodybuilders when they're peaked for competitions!

no don't say this.You can have low-body fat but not necesseraly a lot of muscle-mass.With low body-fat you just look ripped not buffed.One friend of mine,has 6% and though he has six packs he doesn'e look anything like a body-builder.

0range
09-07-2008, 11:53 AM
no don't say this.You can have low-body fat but not necesseraly a lot of muscle-mass.With low body-fat you just look ripped not buffed.One friend of mine,has 6% and though he has six packs he doesn'e look anything like a body-builder.

I totally agree with this. In my case, it doesn't matter if I have lots of muslce-mass or not, I just wanna look "ripped". :D

Topaz
09-07-2008, 11:54 AM
yes,but I have problem with bodyfat.My body just loves it.It must be the genes.:/ I would like -2% every month(about 4 pounds) but it's almost impossible.I had some doctors tell me that bellow 20% there would be physiological problems,that's why I don't aim lower.(18%). I could really use any advice.

Malakas, if women go too low, they will not menstruate. Think about it...your body would be too skinny to support carrying a child, so your body shuts down the whole process! Not a good sign!

Like you, I have a hard time with the BF percentage. I have to remember to be *patient*, and it goes really slow. For me, I also have to eat *clean*, extremely clean. I just wasn't blessed with those 'lucky' genes...I even look at some sweets, and I gain weight! I also try to eat small meals every few hours. When I stick to it, it does make a difference.

You're also much younger than me, so hopefully it won't be as hard for you!!! ;) If you're at 20% and active (and I know you are), then I would say just concentrate on eating a healthy diet (everything in moderation) and you should be fine (barring any other medical conditions).

malakas
09-07-2008, 12:00 PM
Malakas, if women go too low, they will not menstruate. Think about it...your body would be too skinny to support carrying a child, so your body shuts down the whole process! Not a good sign!

Like you, I have a hard time with the BF percentage. I have to remember to be *patient*, and it goes really slow. For me, I also have to eat *clean*, extremely clean. I just wasn't blessed with those 'lucky' genes...I even look at some sweets, and I gain weight! I also try to eat small meals every few hours. When I stick to it, it does make a difference.

You're also much younger than me, so hopefully it won't be as hard for you!!! ;) If you're at 20% and active (and I know you are), then I would say just concentrate on eating a healthy diet (everything in moderation) and you should be fine (barring any other medical conditions).

Hey Topaz!Yes I know,that's what the doctor told me too!I'm not at 20% yet,I'm working on it.I do proper nutrition,though I have a little trouble with protein ( very difficult to get it to 1 gram per 2 pounds!),and frequent meals and everything.My problem is that with my new nutrition I lose weight even if I don't want to!:(But this weight it's not fat it's also muscle.I lose 50-50 muscle and fat.:( I do weight training with heavy weights (even though the trainers at the gym warn me of getting buffed :rolleyes: )and I do HIIT and once a week slow cardio.

Topaz
09-07-2008, 12:03 PM
Hey Topaz!Yes I know,that's what the doctor told me too!I'm not at 20% yet,I'm working on it.I do proper nutrition,though I have a little trouble with protein ( very difficult to get it to 1 gram per 2 pounds!),and frequent meals and everything.My problem is that with my new nutrition I lose weight even if I don't want to!:(But this weight it's not fat it's also muscle.I lose 50-50 muscle and fat.:( I do weight training with heavy weights (even though the trainers at the gym warn me of getting buffed :rolleyes: )and I do HIIT and once a week slow cardio.

Ugh...I know...you lose weight, and it turns out your losing muscle. But you know what, I always thought of it this way...if I get myself down to where I want, then I can work on the specific composition when I get there. Make sense? I started a long time ago with this...and almost 60 pounds heavier than I am now...I still would love to lose 20-40 more.

It sounds like you are doing the right things...just stick with it! :)

0range
09-07-2008, 12:07 PM
Hey Topaz!Yes I know,that's what the doctor told me too!I'm not at 20% yet,I'm working on it.I do proper nutrition,though I have a little trouble with protein ( very difficult to get it to 1 gram per 2 pounds!),and frequent meals and everything.My problem is that with my new nutrition I lose weight even if I don't want to!:(But this weight it's not fat it's also muscle.I lose 50-50 muscle and fat.:( I do weight training with heavy weights (even though the trainers at the gym warn me of getting buffed :rolleyes: )and I do HIIT and once a week slow cardio.

Heee.. I think for women it's difficult enought to _maintain_ msucle mass let along _gain_ muscle mass. I wanted to buff up; last year I did some serious weight training (followed a program... used heavy weights, low rep, usually to fatigue... split muscle groups and worked on them in different days..) after an entire year not only was I feeling sore all the time I barely gained any muscles (the difference was negligible).

I think the only way for women like me who wanna buff up is to eat a surplus of calories... and that will almost definite result in _fat_ gain as well. We just don't have the hormones ;)

malakas
09-07-2008, 12:10 PM
Ugh...I know...you lose weight, and it turns out your losing muscle. But you know what, I always thought of it this way...if I get myself down to where I want, then I can work on the specific composition when I get there. Make sense? I started a long time ago with this...and almost 60 pounds heavier than I am now...I still would love to lose 20-40 more.

It sounds like you are doing the right things...just stick with it!

WOW!Congratulations Topaz!!:D Exactly as you,I have lost weight too recently,and I'm working on the better fitness and bf% now.I threw the scale out,because it was very misleading.Right now I have reached the lowest of healthy weight and I'm kinda afraid to lose more.:/ My friends even accuse me of becoming an anorexic.:roll:I try to make muscles and eat over maintenance but my metabolism is now crazy!!!:( Listen,if you have any diet or nutrition question,ask me.Also if you need motivation,support and just to make some new budies come here: http://caloriecount.about.com/community
It has helped me a lot,especially when from time to time I fell off the bandwagon.:)

malakas
09-07-2008, 12:14 PM
Heee.. I think for women it's difficult enought to _maintain_ msucle mass let along _gain_ muscle mass. I wanted to buff up; last year I did some serious weight training (followed a program... used heavy weights, low rep, usually to fatigue... split muscle groups and worked on them in different days..) after an entire year not only was I feeling sore all the time I barely gained any muscles (the difference was negligible).

I think the only way for women like me who wanna buff up is to eat a surplus of calories... and that will almost definite result in _fat_ gain as well. We just don't have the hormones ;)

I'm very happy to meet another woman who wants to actually make muscles!In my gym and environment it seems every single female I know is afraid of them!I'm sick and tired of the pink dumbells gazillions of reps advice!:roll: I have seen great results in my fitness goals:like I can almost do a pull-up!:p Which for me is great achievement.lol I do weight lifting 2-3 times a week.Reps is 6-8 and by the last rep I can't do one more.I do usually 3 sets.
I'm very sorry you haven't seen results.:( I started eating a little surplus but like you I'm scared I will gain mostly fat.

Topaz
09-07-2008, 12:22 PM
Thanks Malakas! I will check it out. I've been on about a 2-year plateau, but my fitness has definitely improved in that time.

Orange raises a good point...so many women worry about bulking up...it is silly. Lifting not only helps build muscle, it also helps strengthen bones, which as women we especially really need.

Malakas, maybe that is why you're struggling to stop losing and maintain? More muscle mass will help that metabolism burn better.

malakas
09-07-2008, 12:27 PM
Thanks Malakas! I will check it out. I've been on about a 2-year plateau, but my fitness has definitely improved in that time.

Orange raises a good point...so many women worry about bulking up...it is silly. Lifting not only helps build muscle, it also helps strengthen bones, which as women we especially really need.

Malakas, maybe that is why you're struggling to stop losing and maintain? More muscle mass will help that metabolism burn better.

have you tried zig-zaging your cals?Mixing up your exercise and your diet also helps!Also make sure you consume enough calories.Put your stats here to see the reccomended amount of calories consumed: www.phord.com/cc/
You must absolutely eat your cals back after exercise...
I try lifting.I hope it works.:(

Topaz
09-07-2008, 12:38 PM
have you tried zig-zaging your cals?Mixing up your exercise and your diet also helps!Also make sure you consume enough calories.Put your stats here to see the reccomended amount of calories consumed: www.phord.com/cc/
You must absolutely eat your cals back after exercise...
I try lifting.I hope it works.:(

Lifting is one of the best things you can do for your body, especially if you are a woman!!!

You know, when I lost the bulk of the weight, I wasn't working out AT ALL. Just dieting, plus working (which is somewhat physical...I'm on my feet with kids all day). When I starting working out, I got back into tennis and running, and since then I've still lost more, but yeah...finding that balance is tough. Weight Watchers helped...using points to track food and fitness, and making sure I ate back my points earned that I earned working out.

Though, my cholesterol and blood pressure...all perfect. So, even though I have more to go, I started seeing (and feeling) some other benefits a long time ago! :)

Edited to add: Wow, what a cool website, thanks for the link!

goober
09-07-2008, 01:55 PM
Wow 6 and 7%! that's like bodybuilders when they're peaked for competitions!

Yeah I guess it's largely due to age and genetics... my last roommate was 20, he's tall and "skinny", he usually eats whatever he wants, doesn't exercise (only plays martial art about once a week) and I tested him at 8%.



Uh not bodybuilding. I was doing a lot of long distance running. Many long distance runners have body fat in the 6-9% range. I have read the some of the elite long distance runners are in the 4-5% range.

0range
09-07-2008, 02:04 PM
Uh not bodybuilding. I was doing a lot of long distance running. Many long distance runners have body fat in the 6-9% range. I have read the some of the elite long distance runners are in the 4-5% range.

Hi can you talk about how much long distance running is a lot and whether it had a negative impact on your body (such as join pain, tendonitus...etc.. but then again you were young so you probably didn't experience any?)

goober
09-07-2008, 02:20 PM
Hi can you talk about how much long distance running is a lot and whether it had a negative impact on your body (such as join pain, tendonitus...etc.. but then again you were young so you probably didn't experience any?)


Yah it really didn't have any impact. I started running comptetively around age 13 and continued through high school. I pretty much quit when I started college and have not done any running since then. During cross country season, we worked out twice a day early morning for about 90 minutes and then after school for about 2 hours. I thought it was pretty demanding physically, but I never had any injuries or negative lasting effects. I am sure if I did this now, it would not be the same. :)

malakas
09-07-2008, 02:29 PM
Long distance running burns down muscle.

snoopy
09-07-2008, 04:15 PM
Malaks, why are you having such a hard time getting enough protein?

It's really not that hard, especially as you stated, you are only trying to eat 1g per 2 lbs.

I believe it's recommended that men trying to add muscle (and maybe women ?, idk) determine the number of grams of protein they should eat by multiplying their bodyweight by 0.6-0.8 (depending on how much muscle they are looking to add).

malakas
09-07-2008, 04:20 PM
Malaks, why are you having such a hard time getting enough protein?

It's really not that hard, especially as you stated, you are only trying to eat 1g per 2 lbs.

I believe it's recommended that men trying to add muscle (and maybe women ?, idk) determine the number of grams of protein they should eat by multiplying their bodyweight by 0.6-0.8 (depending on how much muscle they are looking to add).

I have to eat eggs,meat or tuna every day to reach it!:( Protein powder is out of the question because I don't trust the products (they mix them with carnitine,tavrine and some steroids).I don't see a way of getting the 44 grams I need on a 1200-1500 cals diet.:(

snoopy
09-07-2008, 04:41 PM
Come on, 44g of protein, that's so easy to achieve. One 6oz can of tuna alone has 30g of protein in it. Two eggs in the morning, thats 12 g. That's 42 g of protein already.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-amounts-in-food/

As far as losing weight is concerned, don't worry so much about the calories. Counting calories meticulously will drive you crazy. Focus on eating the right things, lean meats and other protein sources(nuts, eggs, maybe some cheeses, etc) plus mostly vegetables and some fruits for your carbs (I guess if you are really active you might want to eat some grains, but generally avoid them).

The new science on why people gain weight claims that: carbs drive insulin levels which drive fat

That's what you should remember and take into consideration when you choose your meals. Lower your insulin sensitivity by lowering your carbs intake and your sugar intake. Become a fat burner and not a carb burner.

malakas
09-07-2008, 04:51 PM
Come on, 44g of protein, that's so easy to achieve. One 6oz can of tuna alone has 30g of protein in it. Two eggs in the morning, thats 12 g. That's 42 g of protein already.

http://www.marksdailyapple.com/protein-amounts-in-food/

As far as losing weight is concerned, don't worry so much about the calories. Counting calories meticulously will drive you crazy. Focus on eating the right things, lean meats and other protein sources(nuts, eggs, maybe some cheeses, etc) plus mostly vegetables and some fruits for your carbs (I guess if you are really active you might want to eat some grains, but generally avoid them).

The new science on why people gain weight claims that: carbs drive insulin levels which drive fat

That's what you should remember and take into consideration when you choose your meals. Lower your insulin sensitivity by lowering your carbs intake and your sugar intake. Become a fat burner and not a carb burner.

Thanx very much for the advice.I have learned a lot about glycemic Index and insulin sensitivity and I try not to spike my blood sugar with white bread and pasta,white rice etc.
My problem is I don't like meat very much to eat it everyday,and I hate eggs.I'm a dairy and vegetable person.:/ Anyway,what I believe is that nutrition is important but to make a lifestyle change you have to fix the diet to suit YOU,your taste and your everyday life and not the other way around.That's why I don't just eat tuna and meat everyday that I dont like,but I try to find other solutions.I drink lots of milk,yogurt and low fat cheese but I barely reach my 44 grams.:/
I'm done with counting calories for now.It's all about nutrition and macronutritient ratio now.:)
thanx for the link!!

snoopy
09-07-2008, 05:18 PM
I agree that in order to make a permanent change you have to establish a program that suits you and your tastes. You shouldn't be eating foods that you think taste disgusting. I guess I am lucky bc there are very few traditional foods that I won't eat.

But it's going to be tough to pack enough protein into your diet if you aren't eating more meat. Meat, fish, and poultry are very high in protein and there are so many different kinds (turkey, chicken, buffalo, beef, lamb, shrimp, tuna, salmon, crab, lobster, etc.). I'm sure there is a way you can add more meat to your diet. Be creative, try new recipes.

How about this: make yourself a salad or a stir fry. You have so many options from choice of meat to choice of salad dressing or sauce (be careful not to smother your meals with the dressing or sauce though). Make a salad with some nice mixed greens and other vegetables. Throw some pieces of shredded chicken (or other meat) on top. Add bits of crumbled hard boiled egg, maybe even some almonds and beans if you want even more protein. Add a little salad dressing and you will hardly taste the meat. It's easy.

malakas
09-07-2008, 05:40 PM
I agree that in order to make a permanent change you have to establish a program that suits you and your tastes. You shouldn't be eating foods that you think taste disgusting. I guess I am lucky bc there are very few traditional foods that I won't eat.

But it's going to be tough to pack enough protein into your diet if you aren't eating more meat. Meat, fish, and poultry are very high in protein and there are so many different kinds (turkey, chicken, buffalo, beef, lamb, shrimp, tuna, salmon, crab, lobster, etc.). I'm sure there is a way you can add more meat to your diet. Be creative, try new recipes.

How about this: make yourself a salad or a stir fry. You have so many options from choice of meat to choice of salad dressing or sauce (be careful not to smother your meals with the dressing or sauce though). Make a salad with some nice mixed greens and other vegetables. Throw some pieces of shredded chicken (or other meat) on top. Add bits of crumbled hard boiled egg, maybe even some almonds and beans if you want even more protein. Add a little salad dressing and you will hardly taste the meat. It's easy.

You throw some very good ideas Snoopy.I also eat a lot of legumes (beans,lentils),mushrooms and mange-tout(?).Their protein may be of lower biological value but if combined with grains,like whole-wheat bread the protein is better absorbed and digested that is meat's.:) I try to find some alternative solutions,I'm not vegetarian but meat everyday I just can't.Also I live in Greece,and the pressure to follow the mediterranean cuisine is huge.:rolleyes: (White meat 1-2/week,red meat 1/month,dip olive-oil to everything,feta cheese etc).
Anyway,I wouldn't worry about this if I didn't care about nutrition.Most people have terrible diets with as little as 5 grams of fiber,50% fat surplus of calories..I used to too,since I started this not diet,but lifestyle change.:)

onehandbh
09-07-2008, 10:15 PM
I think diet is the key. One of my friends ballooned up to 200+ lbs
from about 160 and I suggested that he eat mostly veggies, chicken
and fish. He also ran on the treadmill a couple times a week. Result?
He got down to about 175 after 5 - 6 months. Unfortunately, he
gained it all back by eating junk food & pizza again and quitting
exercising. He's trying to be healthier again now.

I eat fairly clean, but I think it's mostly genetics that keep me from
getting fat. I eat large portions and eat often and I always eat a large
bucket of popcorn w/butter and a large root beer when I go see a movie.
The downside is that it would be really hard for me to gain weight if
I wanted to, and when I get busy and skip meals I begin to lose weight.

superman1
09-07-2008, 10:24 PM
I have to eat eggs,meat or tuna every day to reach it!:( Protein powder is out of the question because I don't trust the products (they mix them with carnitine,tavrine and some steroids).I don't see a way of getting the 44 grams I need on a 1200-1500 cals diet.:(

Drink skim milk at every meal. Problem solved.

I think a good idea is to eat a lot on days you lift weights, and then diet and do cardio on the days you don't lift weights. Women won't get muscular at all from lifting weights unless they're on 'roids, but if you don't eat more calories then you won't get stronger either. This way your muscles get the calories they need to grow, and you also keep the fat in check.