What Is Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage?
If you are looking at your ideal weight, then it would be around 15% body fat. If you have been following the right nutrition plan, then you will achieve this goal very soon. You don’t need to worry if you do not reach this goal because your body will adjust itself and gain muscle mass over time without any effort from you.
You might think that getting rid of all excess body fat is going to be difficult. However, it’s actually quite easy when you follow the right nutritional program. You just need to make sure that you are eating enough calories and protein. If you don’t eat enough calories and protein, then your body will store some of them as fat which will slow down your progress.
How To Get A Lean Female Body?
The first thing you need to do is lose excess body fat. This means that you have to reduce your body fat percentage from unhealthy levels. You can start with small steps like walking or jogging every day. Then gradually increase the amount of exercise until you reach a level where you feel comfortable doing more than one hour of physical activity per day. You should also make sure you are consuming a nutritious diet. This doesn’t mean that you can eat anything you want as long as it provides you with sufficient nutrition. Instead, you need to be very selective about what types of food you eat on a daily basis.
How To Get A Lean Body Quickly?
If you are serious about getting a lean body right now then you need to go on a crash diet. This means you severely limit the amount of food that goes into your stomach on a daily basis. Sure, you will lose a lot of weight in a very short period of time but this is not recommended for various reasons. First of all, when you go on a crash diet, your body goes into starvation mode which means it doesn’t function correctly anymore. You also run the risk of weakening various different systems in your body which can result in serious long-term health issues. Furthermore, when you go on a crash diet, you lose mostly muscle mass instead of fat. This is bad because you want to get rid of mainly the fat, not the muscle. The best option for most people is to go on a gradual diet where they limit the amount of calories they consume every day.
Does Eating At A Caloric Deficit Result In Loss Of Muscle?
Do not confuse this with “starvation mode”, which is a myth that will be explained later. When you eat less than your body needs to maintain homeostasis (all the normal daily functions your body performs) , it is called a caloric deficit. This does not mean you are starving, rather, you are feeding your body less energy than it is expending. This is what most people refer to as a diet (though dieting implies failure and weight gain so I prefer the term caloric deficit). There is much controversy over what happens when you are in a caloric deficit. Some people say you lose primarily fat, some say you lose primarily muscle, and some say it is a combination of both. Most people assume that a caloric deficit will lead to loss of muscle mass followed by loss of fat mass. This is true to a certain extent. The problem is, it isn’t as simple as that. There is no set pattern of muscle loss or fat loss, your body loses weight in a way that depends on multiple factors including how much muscle you have, your activity level, your genetics, your health, and your diet (calories in vs calories out).
Most people think that as you lose weight, your body becomes a highly efficient machine and begins burning fat instead of muscle. This does not happen to any significant degree for a few reasons. The main reason is, when you are running a caloric deficit, your body begins eating into your glycogen (and then fat) storage which is energy that has already been stored and requires no effort to burn. Your body prefers to burn glycogen rather than muscle tissue and will generally avoid doing so until it runs out of glycogen. Once your glycogen is depleted your body has no choice but to turn to other stored energy (fat, then muscle).
The most important factor in determining how fast you lose weight is your current weight. The heavier you are, the faster you will lose weight even if you are eating a caloric surplus. The lighter you’re the slower you will lose weight even if you’re eating at a caloric deficit. This is because it takes more effort for a larger mass to move. This is why an elephant can go 3 months without food whereas a fly can only go a few hours. The amount of muscle you have also affects things. The more muscle you have, the faster you will lose weight on a caloric deficit. Having more muscle also means that your body needs more energy to sustain itself. This is part of the reason why body builders are so “ripped.” They have a lot of muscle which means they need to eat a lot in order to sustain it and look “ripped”.
The biggest factor in determining how fast you lose weight, however, is your diet. The diet you’re on will have a massive effect on how fast you lose weight. The more you restrict your calories below your TDEE (Total Daily Energy Expenditure) the faster you will lose weight. The greater your caloric deficit, the faster you will lose weight. An even split of nutrition and exercise will result in no weight loss for you regardless of how hard you try.
A few more factors that affect how fast you lose weight are activity level and genetics. If you’re not active at all (sitting at a desk all day) then you can lose weight at a faster rate than if you’re very active (sports, biking, hiking, etc). If you’re very active then you will be burning a lot more calories than someone who is sedentary and you can lose weight at a slower rate than them even if you’re on the same diet. Genetics also play a role in this. Some people just have fast metabolisms and will burn fat at a faster rate than others, while some people just have slow metabolisms and will burn fat much slower.
This brings us to the term “starvation mode.” This is a term that gets thrown around a lot but it’s definition depends on who you ask. Most people describe the condition by saying that your body “enters a state of shock” and “your metabolism grinds to a hault” when you start eating less than your TDEE.
If this were true, then how do obese people exist?
If your body truly went into “starvation mode” then you would not be able to eat less than your TDEE without adverse effects. Since it’s possible to exist on less than your TDEE, “starvation mode” is a myth.
With all of that being said, there are still some downsides to eating at a caloric deficit. Our bodies are very good at adapting to their surrounding circumstances. If you suddenly start eating at a caloric deficit, your body will immediately begin to react. It does this through a process called leptin regulation.
The first thing that happens is your leptin levels drop. Leptin is a hormone that sends signals to the hypothalamus in your brain to tell it if you’re full or hungry. Due to this drop in leptin, you not feel as full and will most likely continue strive for more food.
The second thing that happens is your appetite increases. This is because as your body releases more leptin, it believes it needs more energy and will send the signal to consume more food.
This can be combated through mental discipline and distract yourself from thinking about food, however, most people cannot do this and end up binging, which is the last thing you want to happen if you’re trying to lean out.
Another thing that happens when you’re in a caloric deficit is your metabolic rate will decrease. This is entirely normal and nothing to worry about. Basically, the less active you are, the less energy your body believes it needs and will thus slow down its metabolic functions.
While this may sound concerning, this has a positive effect on weight loss since your body now believes it needs less food to sustain itself. This means that even if you’re at a caloric deficit, your body will continue to lose weight.
One thing that you need to remember is that muscle and fat have different caloric values. This means that if you’re building muscle while in a deficit, you may not lose as much weight as expected or desired. While this is somewhat of a positive thing since you’ll be building muscle instead of losing it, it also means that it will be harder to see the physique changes that you want.
As said in the beginning, you will be measuring your progress through body fat measurements and pictures. I know that many of you may not have access to a camera with which to take pictures every couple of weeks. However, I would still encourage you to measure your body fat and take full body pictures every month.
You may be thinking, “Well it’s just as easy to lie to yourself and think you’re making progress when you’re really stagnant.” While this is somewhat true, it’s very easy to delude yourself when taking measurements and looking at pictures. Since taking pictures is the easiest way for you to track your progress, it will be the method I’ll be using for assessments.
Finally, even though it won’t be as accurate as a scale, try to take measurements. Record these measurements in chart form (just like the one you just completed) every 4-8 weeks. This will give you a general indication of whether you’re losing fat or not, but remember, it won’t be as accurate as the pictures.
Now that we’ve got all that boring mumbo jumbo out of the way, let’s talk about how to cut properly.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is “Do I really need to cut right now?”
If your answer is yes, then you NEED to cut, then awesome. You’re ready to get started. If your answer is no, then you need to think long and hard about whether you really need to cut right now.
The reason for this is that cutting is quite a bit more work than maintaining or gaining muscle. Not only do you have to worry about doing the right training, but you also have a lot more measuring and weighing you have to do. You also have to worry about getting into a caloric deficit, which can be mentally straining and may turn you into a cranky person. If you don’t really need to cut, then it’s not worth doing all that work.
The second thing you need to ask yourself is “Am I already at 12-15% bodyfat?”
If your answer is no, then you may or may not need to cut right now. There’s a very small margin of error here and you might be at 16% bodyfat, which means you’re better off either maintaining or gaining muscle mass and then cutting later on. If you are already at 12-15% bodyfat and are happy with how you look, then you most likely do not need to cut right now.
You also need to ask yourself if you have the willpower to do this properly. A lot of people think that they can cut calories for a few days and then binge for the rest of the week and still lose weight. Unless you have incredibly good self control, this is a recipe for disaster and not to mention a waste of time. It can also screw up your metabolism if you’re doing this on a regular basis.
So having said all that, if your answer to both of the above questions is yes then let’s move on to the next step.
Determine How Much You Want To Cut
This is going to depend on how much fat you want to lose. The higher the number, the more aggressive your cut is going to be. This is also going to determine how strict you’re going to have to be with your diet. Here are a few sample goals and the amount of weight you’ll need to lose in order to achieve them:
These numbers are all just rough estimates because everyone is different. For example, some people can get to 6% without losing much muscle, while others will be closer to 10%. Don’t worry about being super exact, just aim for a range and then calculate how much you need to lose.
Now that you know how much you want to cut, let’s set up your diet.
The Guide To Setting Up Your Diet
We have a lot of information to go over and unfortunately I can’t just give you a one size fits all solution. I need to know a few things about you before I can point you in the right direction.
First, let’s talk a little bit about weight loss in general. The number of calories you burn in a day is more or less dependant on your bodyweight. So the more muscle you have, the more calories you burn and therefore if you have more muscle you’ll lose fat at a faster rate.
If you want to figure out how many calories you should be eating then use this calculator . Fill in the requested information and read the result at the top.
Take that total and use this calorie calculator to find out how many calories you should be eating every day to lose weight at the rate you desire.
Now we need to set up your macros. Macronutrients are carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. The grams that your body needs of each can be found using this calculator .
Let’s use me as an example. The calculator tells me that I need 283 grams of carbohydrates, 84 grams of proteins, and 83 grams of fat per day to maintain my weight. Now I need to set my macros up so that I lose weight.
I can’t just drastically reduce all macros though, or I’m going to lose muscle which isn’t what we want. We need to slowly reduce our macros which will result in a greater loss of weight. Let’s say for example that I want to lose 1 pound per week. All I need to do is reduce my macros by 1% from what the weight loss calculator told me to eat.
In my case that means lowering my macros by 4 grams of fat, 2.4 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbohydrates.
I can do this a number of different ways.
I could just straight up reduce each macro by the said amount. Eating 82 grams of fat, 80 grams of protein, and 17 grams of carbohydrates per day for example. Or I can try to get creative by using other foods in place of the ones I’m removing. For instance I could use half a cup of olive oil in place of the fat and some fruit for the carbohydrate.
I’ll leave it up to you to figure out the best way for you to get the macros you need while still reaching your calorie goal.
Now that you know how many calories and macros you need to lose weight, all you have to do is set up your meal plan to fit those numbers. It’s very simple, however it can be a bit monotonous. There are tons of resources online in which you can find thousands of recipes for meals that are specifically created for weight loss.
I strongly encourage you to try and eat whole foods as much as possible. By this I mean foods that come from nature and are unprocessed. Fruits, vegetables, meats, dairy, and grains are all good examples of whole foods. Processed foods like chips, soda, and candy are the opposite of this and will only cause problems for you in the long run.
Remember to keep your diet as balanced as you can. Even if you’re just counting macronutrients, you still want to achieve the right ratio of fats, carbohydrates, and proteins. It is impossible to survive on junk food alone no matter how little your calories may be.
Finally, keep in mind that it is okay to have treats every once in a while. If you find yourself getting really hungry or upset with the diet, then it’s time to throw in the towel. No diet is worth harming your mental or physical health. If you need a break, then take one and re-evaluate your goals.
Hailey’s finally at a healthy weight and has been maintaining it for a year now. She still has her moments, but she’s much happier than before. Her boyfriend even proposed to her last month and she said yes! I’m so proud of how far she came and I know she’ll be just fine from now on.
I hope my story and advice helps you on your journey to a healthier life. Best of luck to you.