Is Having Low Body Fat Worth It?

With so many different ways to measure our health, media influence, and societal ideals, we might have unreasonable expectations of where we should be at with our bodies, body fat, and how much we have to do to get there. We all want to be fit and healthy, but what is an attainable and realistic goal?

Is having the six pack abs and chiseled arms the overall optimal body goal? Here’s an overview of where our body percentages place us, where we should aim to be, and also how to get to where we want.

Body Fat Percentage – By the Numbers

According to the American Council on Exercise, the following are body fat percentage categories for women:

Essential fat 10-12%
Athletes 14-20%
Fitness 21-24%
Average 25-31%
Obese 32% +

Change your Body – One Level at a Time

When looking at numbers like this, the first thing we think of is “I need to be athlete status right now!” This is the first mistake. We want to look at these long term changes as going from one flight of stairs to the next. Are you at the obese level? Let’s work on going from that level to the average level. Are you already at that level and want to reach the fitness level? Making the plan to go from one level to the next is how you accomplish this kind of body fat loss. You can’t jump from the first floor to the third floor without completing every step.

If you think you are ready to change how much body fat you have, start by getting a clear idea of where you’re at.

    • Figure out your goals and priorities. If you don’t know what your priorities are, now’s a great time to explore that.
    • Decide what you’re willing to do right now in order to serve those goals and priorities. Why?
    • Decide how often, and how consistently, and how precisely, you’re willing to do those things.
    • Decide what you’re not willing to do right now. Why not?
    • Be compassionate with yourself yet honest and realistic

(Source: precisionnutrition.com)

Remember, we all start out at different places and phases in this process – but we can all attain our goals with small changes increased over time. Some of our biggest faults are not giving ourselves the time, planning, and gratitude for this change in our lives. Whether you are starting off fresh (cutting out fast food and learning to eat vegetables) or continuing to another level of health (race training, eating clean), we are all built of the same ingredients: Motivation, power, and able-bodied to do this!

Now that you are ready to reduce that body fat, where do we begin? Check out this graph that shows where you are at in regards to body percentage, the “dos” and “don’ts”, and the benefits and trade-offs of going down to the next level in body fat.

Click the Cost of Getting Lean Infographic to see what it takes.

Remember by making changes you will see results, graduating to another level of body fat, and this will keep you going. It’s your choice, your moves, and your ability that will get you through. Live your life with the body that YOU want!

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