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How to lower my body fat?



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UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/2/13 10:08 P

Actually, you've received very good 'how' information from:

Me, BARBANNA, MOTIVATED@LAST, JUSTEATREALFOOD, SERGEANTMAJOR

And Coach Nancy's response to Cheri is also good info, although not directed at you personally.

While many of us have mentioned, along with our good advice about how to lose bodyfat, a concern over whether the goal is healthy or not, only one actual poster has commented solely on that aspect without offering you any advice.

I think you might find you're just a tad sensitive about it and probably over-reacting.

On a message board, it's not always feasible for you to go into your whole back story and past life just to explain why yes, it's a healthy goal for you, whenever you ask just one simple question. So yes, you'll get "are you sure that's safe?" from people, but feel free to ignore that part and focus on the advice they give with that, since you do know that you're not one of those people of concern that they're worried about.

Just as it's infeasible for you to go into your whole backstory, it's infeasible for us to assume you did and you're fine. Neither is really gonna happen, though they both 'could'.

Ignore the bits you feel don't apply to you. Take the advice. Carry on! :)



ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/2/13 9:18 P

I know. Sorry all. I get that people esp the whole thinspiration subculture are going on a destructive path to be less than 100 lbs, including starvation. That isnt what I am trying to do.

It's just my goal weight/body is of concern to just two people: myself and my doctor. Anyone else's opinion is just that, their opinion. I have been with my doctor from my heaviest weight until today. She has never said anything bad about my weight or health. We do tests every 1-2 months and she has me keep a diary of mood, food and exercise habits. My parents always complain about my weight..they used to call me fat (yeah, great family support said sarcastically) and when I lost weight, they flipped and said I was a skinny freak. My doctor told me to ignore it and do what I want as long as my health doesn't suffer and I can function. She realized I was persistent to get to a goal weight and she supported me every step of the way but would give her medical input if she saw fit.

So am I going through extreme measures to get stick thin under 100lbs in a very short period of time? No. Do I understand basic nutrition and exercise principles? Yes. I am just sick of hearing people complain and criticize (online or in person). And I have just the personality that will create conflict with unwanted criticism. So I either completely ignore people and their hate or I fire back. My mom says I am too hard-headed :P

I can respect the opinions here, but ultimately it is my decision and my opinion that matters. I just wanted help with the HOW not the WHY. I want to get this on the right track so it is one more check I can put on my list of things I want to do for myself. I do what I do for my benefit and for what makes me happy. My parents CHOOSE to be heavier and eat a lot. I CHOOSE to lose the weight and go to a leaner/healthier body. It is always about changes and choice.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/2/13 8:26 P

Please don't take it so personally. It's only because we care. We care if someone wants to have unrealistically healthy goals and harm themselves trying to get to them.

That may NOT be you, after all. You did followup with a statement that your doctor is happy with you achieving that weight. So that's fine.

But there's lots of misinformation out there, and lots of people, especially girls, who think they "have to be" some kind of arbitrary and unrealistically low bodyfat percentage. If people point out it's not healthy to do that, they're not slapping you on the wrist and pointing out how naughty you are - they're concerned for your very health and wellbeing!

Isn't it great that strangers are so concerned?



ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/2/13 5:34 P

It's funny how people do that on message boards. I asked for the how not a lecture. I see it a lot of fitness/nutrition boards when people pose a simple question of how and people go on the attack and say things about how dumb they are and blah blah.

I was 110 lbs and 17% body fat before. I had no negative issues associated with my body. I was menstruating and full of energy. I could run 8-15 miles a day, 3-4 days a week. Clothes fit, had great self-confidence and felt great in MY OWN SKIN. And that is it: you have to feel comfortable and happy in YOUR own skin. There are people who are "big" or "obese" or "overweight" and love/accept their bodies. They do not mind it and have learned to love the extra fat that comes with them. They do not complain about being "fat" and do not really see themselves as being fat (but of course, people will tell them that they are). I have been fat and I have been skinny. I would take skinnier and happy over being overweight/fatter and not happy.

So I thank the people who put their believes aside to actually help. I have done research and know now what I am going to do for myself to reach my goal. I cannot change my height (well heels can help but naturally). I CAN change my body. I am short but that was the bad hand I was given. But I do not have to settle for being fat/overweight. That is under my control with the right determination, knowledge and effort.

I think people hating on people who are skinny or trying to be skinny do damage just as people who hate on people for being too fat. It doesn't help things. As long as someone is practically healthy and the size they want to be, who cares. It is their life and bodies.

I've enlisted the help of my friend's brother (found out he is a trainer). He will work with me twice a week with boot camp and military style training (body weight). I will also do 1-2 more days a week of my own body weight training. I will continue my running program. I have my new set point for nutrition and how to manipulate it to better my energy and weight loss efforts. I will check in with my doctor every month to ensure I am doing well. Here is to a well-deserved journey back to my old self and back to a more energetic me !



SERGEANTMAJOR
Posts: 6,412
4/2/13 1:23 P

A point to remember, percentage of body fat and weight can be mutually exclusive terms. In general when you employ a quality strength training programme your percentage of body fat will reduce but the increase in muscle density can cause you to stay the same or even increase in bodyweight. A scale is a device which measures the force of gravity on an object, nothing more nothing less.

If you want an accurate assessment measure yourself then use that to determine if you are making progress and forget the scale. If you are obsessed with your percentage of body fat get some skin fold calipers and learn how to use them.

A bodyweight training programme is all you need for strength training, all the necessary "equipment" is inside your skin suit. See if your library has a copy of "You are your own gym" by Mark Luuren or check the internet for bodyweight training. You physical appearance is more a function of your muscularity than your body weight.







SIMPLELIFE2
Posts: 704
4/2/13 12:06 P

"That was what I was before and I was very happy and content. That is where I am going back to."

I think it's sad that your happiness and self-image is so wrapped up in achieving a borderline unhealthy body fat percentage. Your doctor says you are fine now, but I do hope you get a recheck when and if you reach your goal.

As mentioned, even the fitness models do not maintain at that level and athletes hit that level during peak season, not off season. That is *not* a maintenance level of body fat for females.

Your happiness and feeling good about yourself should come from inside, not external things like weight, especially since you are already healthy and fit.




ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/2/13 11:45 A

Like I've said before, I want to go back to pre-injury weight and body. I was heavier growing up and hit my highest weight of 185lbs on a 5'3'' frame senior year in high school. I was depressed, lethargic and living a sad excuse of a life. I started working out at the gym (a buddy on my friends' pass) and got down to 110lbs in 2009. I maintained that weight up until 2011 when I was injured in a car accident. I went through a whole depressed, I can't believe I survived but my friend who was driving died phase. I ballooned up to 125lbs and sadly it seemed that is most pretty much pure fat.

I feel just as miserable at the weight and body composition now as I did when I was at my heaviest. My parents have complained about me being "too thin" but they are heavier and everyone on both sides of my family are on the heavier/overweight/obese side of things. I eat but I work out. I am careful what and how much I eat. The doctors had said I was fine, though on the low side, for the 110lbs I was at when they ran tests and did checks to ensure adequate nutrition and functioning.

So yeah, most people are going to have a bone to pick with me about how low is too low when it comes to weight/body fat but that is my body and my happiness and health matters more than what other people think about it. I just want tips and guides on how to accomplish my goals. Not to seem rude or mean spirited. It's just I've dealt with criticism my whole life. It was "you're too fat" "you're ugly" etc to "omg you're too skinny" "don't you eat?" "feed this twig". I just want to be happy for MYSELF. At the end of the day I can only live for me, no one else. We only live once so why not live it the way we want to the best of our abilities. I could have died but I lived. My friend was smaller than me and dealt with people always criticizing her for her weight. And guess what? She didn't care even after her mom disowned her because she said having skinny daughter was a disgrace to the family (they come from a culture where the bigger the girl, the more attractive and likely she will be to marry).

So thank you JUSTEATREALFOOD. I'll do some research into workouts and nutrition that fitness models and the like tend to use and try incorporating those elements.



JUSTEATREALFOOD
Posts: 1,181
4/2/13 8:31 A

I think in order to obtain the results you are looking for you should probably look into how fitness models eat and exercise.

One thing to consider though is that fitness models have to eat an incredibly restrictive diet before photos shoots and competitions to obtain such a low body fat percentage. They only eat that way for a short period of time because it is really tough to maintain and very hard on the body. As a PP said women are supposed to have a certain amount of body fat, if you drop too low you can really mess up your hormones and lose your menstral cycle. You have to ask yourself, Is your overall health or your appearance more important to you?

As for gaining muscle, I second or third the body weight exercise. They can be incredibly tough, think pistol squats or jumping lunges.

Best to you.

Edited by: JUSTEATREALFOOD at: 4/2/2013 (08:33)


MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 14,044
4/2/13 6:43 A

Bodyweight strength training can be as challenging as you like (certainly more than 5-10 lbs).

Take a look out some challenging variants of some bodyweight exercises (eg. single leg squats, decline pushups, etc).

M@L



CHERIJ16
SparkPoints: (60,867)
Fitness Minutes: (27,076)
Posts: 1,819
4/1/13 11:57 P

Thanks so much Coach Nancy! I really appreciate the information. I think I need to step up my cardio workouts. emoticon



SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
4/1/13 10:44 P

Hi Cheri,

According to a study published in the American Journal of Physiology, belly fat (the fat surrounding the internal organs) will respond better to cardio training versus strength training. While ST is important for improving strength and lean body mass, it is aerobic exercise that torches the calories which in turn leads to a small mid-section. In a Duke University study, aerobic exercise "burns up to 67% more calories than strength training." So if your goal is to shrink your midsection or fat in general, cardio is king. However, both cardio and ST have been shown to help make you more insulin sensitive too.

Coach Nancy





BARBANNA
SparkPoints: (103,025)
Fitness Minutes: (79,484)
Posts: 3,329
4/1/13 10:36 P

cardio helps to reduce fat and lose weight



CHERIJ16
SparkPoints: (60,867)
Fitness Minutes: (27,076)
Posts: 1,819
4/1/13 8:50 P

Thank you for the suggestions. I appreciate your concerns but I already have a dietician who set up a food plan for me, I saw my doctor for my check up at the end of December 2012. He advised me to lose weight and to start walking when I got to TX for the winter. I also was given a good bill of health re: my torn rotator cuff by the PT. I was just curious about the lower body fat subject. I didn't understand some of the lingo they were using and thought it might be interesting to hear about. emoticon



SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
4/1/13 8:41 P

Hi CHERIJ16,

As a diabetic, it is best to discuss your concerns with your doctor--this is true for any member who has diabetes, thyroid disease or cardiovascular disease. The reason, this advice is outside the scope of practice of our experts and our members to offer. You may want to see if a referral to a Registered Dietitian can be made.

Coach Nancy



CHERIJ16
SparkPoints: (60,867)
Fitness Minutes: (27,076)
Posts: 1,819
4/1/13 8:19 P

I am just starting out. I have lost 12 lbs. since 2/7/13 but don't know much about my body fat. 2 years ago at my diabetic classes I got on a scale that said I was 50% body fat. I was appalled! emoticon

I am 64 and I have a rotator cuff tear but since PT I can do wall push ups and several arm exercises. I am walking 10,000 steps per day and doing some aerobic videos, walking, and a few ST exercises. I am also staying under 1500 calories. What else should I be doing?

emoticon



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/1/13 7:52 P

Oh gee, I didn't include the link, did I?

Here it is:
www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fa
t-percentage-chart/


I don't think dumbbells are a useful addition to bodyweight, no. I think you can get what you want from bodyweight only.

Eg take the humble pushup. Many beginners start with standing pushups against a wall. Then move to a bench or fence rail. Then to a step. Then to knees on the ground. Then to toes on the ground. Got the hang of the normal 'full' pushup? Great - do decline. Put your feet higher than your hands. Then handstand pushups. Then single arm.

There are SO many variations of every possible move that you can do an entire routine for any person at any level purely with bodyweight, and maybe a few environment things (like steps, a swiss ball or a rail). Children's playgrounds are generally great for having a variety of environments you can utilise.



ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/1/13 7:14 P

Thanks UNIDENT.

I know it seems unhealthy to most people, but that is something that I had been happy with. I hate being anything higher. Not only does it make my self-esteem and happiness suffer, it takes a toll on my quality of life and my wardrobe. My doctor said I still have quite a bit of fat and will check in on my progress throughout the process.

We had some resistance bands but I do not know what happened to them in the move to our new house. So your saying that the dumbbells won't be a good addition to the bodyweight exercises?

If you check here (below) you'll see that average healthy women should have bodyfat percent between 25% and 31%. You're already on the lighter side of healthy. A goal of 16-17% would be unhealthily low unless you're an athlete.

They don't say what defines "an athlete", but I would imagine this is more than "someone who works out a lot" and really means a pro or semi-pro athlete in training for a major event such as national or olympic events, not an ordinary person who gets a healthy workout daily.

If it's safe and healthy for you to lose more, that is done by the same old advice everyone gets - because reducing bodyfat percent is how you "lose weight".

So keep up the healthy exercise and a very small calorie deficit (you're not fat enough to have a large calorie deficit). Weight loss and fat reduction will result. Make sure you're doing good quality ST - you can think about purchasing a set of resistance bands to provide variable resistance without having to buy new dumbbells, or look up "bodyweight training" for a heap of bodyweight exercises for every level. Buying more metal isn't necessary, but the 5 and 10lb weights you should probably ditch. They're likely too low. Use bodyweight instead.



ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/1/13 7:07 P

Calipers. I wanted to go for the DEXA but I cannot shell out that money right now.

That was what I was before and I was very happy and content. That is where I am going back to.



UNIDENT
Posts: 33,498
4/1/13 7:04 P

If you check here (below) you'll see that average healthy women should have bodyfat percent between 25% and 31%. You're already on the lighter side of healthy. A goal of 16-17% would be unhealthily low unless you're an athlete.

They don't say what defines "an athlete", but I would imagine this is more than "someone who works out a lot" and really means a pro or semi-pro athlete in training for a major event such as national or olympic events, not an ordinary person who gets a healthy workout daily.

If it's safe and healthy for you to lose more, that is done by the same old advice everyone gets - because reducing bodyfat percent is how you "lose weight".

So keep up the healthy exercise and a very small calorie deficit (you're not fat enough to have a large calorie deficit). Weight loss and fat reduction will result. Make sure you're doing good quality ST - you can think about purchasing a set of resistance bands to provide variable resistance without having to buy new dumbbells, or look up "bodyweight training" for a heap of bodyweight exercises for every level. Buying more metal isn't necessary, but the 5 and 10lb weights you should probably ditch. They're likely too low. Use bodyweight instead.



SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
4/1/13 6:22 P

Hi,

How was your body comp measured? Why is it that you want to be 16-17% body fat?

Coach Nancy



ANGELZBABE100
Posts: 63
4/1/13 6:11 P

I am at 116lbs and 26% body fat. I was measured by my doctor last week. I am F, 25 yrs and small framed.

I want to get to 16-17%, which is where I was before I got injured in an accident. I already run 3-5 days a week (4-8 miles depending on the day, some days steady and others incorporating sprint work) and I strength train 3-4 days a week, full body with 5-10lb weights. Now before anyone says anything about the weights, right now that is ALL i have to make due with because I am broke and cannot buy anything heavier. I won't be able to do that until the summer when I start my new summer job.

I seem to be carrying most of my weight in my upper arms (triceps), lower stomach (blasted "stomach pouch") and thighs.

Besides eating less, obviously, and exercising, is there anything else? A better or more effective way? And also, I do not have access to a gym. What I do is run at the big park so nothing that involves buying anymore equipment than I already have. :)



 
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