There is a fitness article going viral right now called "the cost of getting lean". You can find it here: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/cost-of-getting-lean
I love it. For two reasons
1. It is a no bull sh*it answer about what it really is going to take to get to your body composition/weight loss goal.
2. It encourages you to set a weight loss goal based on what you are going to change in your life to make it happen.
And I like how they touch on the fact that this isn't a complete guide that will work for every sincgle person.
Let's dive into the article a little further:
For a women to have between 23-25 % body fat (which is considered an appropriate body fat for health), they suggest:
1. East slowly until satisfied with 75 % of your meals.
2. Include 1-2 palms of protein in 2-3 meals per day.
3. Exercise 30-45 minutes daily.
4. 1-2 exercise sessions per week should be hard and cause sweating.
5. Sleep at least 7 hours a night.
6. Practice stress management.
7. Limit deserts and processed carbds to 3-5 times per week.
8. Limit calorie beverages to 3-5 times per week.
So in order to have a good looking healthy body this is a general guideline on how to live! I like it because:
– Nowhere does it say diet/restrict/stop eating chocolate/stop eating your favourite foods.
– Nowhere does it say exercise for hours a day every day.
– Nowhere does it say do anything crazy to achieve that goal!
It is a very realistic way to achieve this level of body fat.
If you are looking for a lower body fat then you need to take a look at the website and see what it's going to take! Pay special attention to how women with less than 20 % body fat can start to experience health issues (low sex drive, loss of period) as well as social issues (don't eat out as much, act like that anal peson at the party who can't try anything!!).
Please remember all bodies are different. For me, when my body fat goes under 21% I lose my period, experience hormonal dysfunction, and my body is not happy! I know many people who can healthily have a lower body fat than myself. I also know that even at 16-19 % body fat range for myself, I still didn't even have abs!! (That article touches on that too!!!).
ALSO- please note that for some people these general rules aren't going to be enough/are going to be too restrictive. Some peope who follow those 8 steps are going to end up extremely lean and low body fat, and for some they might not be strong enough rules. So what I would suggest is practicing these rules for 2-3 months, and if you find no change, make the adaptations necessary for your body.
I would encourage you to look at what you are currently doing. Perhaps you aren't including 1-2 palms of protein in most meals, aren't getting enough sleep, or are eating well 65 % of meals (rather than 75). These are all reasons why your body fat might be higher than you'd like.
I know for me, I have no interest in doing what it takes to have a lower body fat %. I don't enjoy my life when I become obsessive about eating well 95% of the time, eating all perfectly balanced meals in a day, or doing carb cycling. I missed out on many social occasions, delicious restaurants, and good times so far by trying so hard to be leaner! I would rather do my best, enjoy my life, and stay within the 23-25 % body fat range. How about you? Where are you comfortable? What are you willing to do to achieve your goals? What do you think of the article on the PN website?