Saturday, December 11, 2010

Truth about body fat

Time to discuss the truth about body fat. Readers always ask me, "What is your body fat in your photo?" and "What % body fat are you all year round?"

Well, here's the answer. The truth about my body fat will surprise you.

My body fat is 10%. In my opinion, you want to be around there to see your abs.

(NOTE: Because of physiological gender differences, a lean woman with abs is 16% - but will have more lower body fat.)

Yep, I'm 10%. Not 8% like many think. After all, I shake my head at guys who tell me they are <8% fat all the time. Very, very, very few people are 8% fat.

But don't get obsessed with actual %, because it is hard to measure accurately. If you can't measure your body fat, just focus on hip & waist
measures and progress in before and after photos (take these every 4 weeks).

BTW, I've known people to get results with almost every type of program and diet. Your job is simply to find the right diet for your personality and lifestyle and to use a fitness program that you like - so you stay consistent - that has some amount of resistance training.

If you are struggling, then I have a free resource that will help you identify possible sticking points. Check out this fat loss questionnaire:

=> Fat Loss Client Questionnaire

Once you've done that, consider the data as your baseline. Your next step is to turn your body into one giant experiment. After all, two legends believe self-experimentation and measurement is vital for success.

"All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better." - Ralph Waldo Emerson

"What gets measured gets managed." – Peter Drucker

So here's what I want you to do:

The 4-week experiment

Write down everything you eat for the next 4 weeks and record how you feel after you eat these meals. Make the connection between food and mood/energy. Do this short experiment to help you eat better for the rest of your life.

Two other "legends" who believe in self-experimentation are Tim Ferriss and myself. (Just kidding about the legends part!)

Later this week, Tim's latest book, "The 4-Hour Body", hits the stores. Tim is a NY Times Best-Selling Author and has been recording his
workouts for years and years. John Berardi has too, and so should you.

Record your diet and workouts, and you'll learn a LOT about yourself and what works for your fat loss.

By the way, watch for a free one-hour interview where I ask Tim about the fat loss section of the book. Pretty interesting - and controversial - stuff. Comes out Wednesday.

Get tough,

Craig Ballantyne, CSCS, MS

PS - Reward yourself for meeting goals.

Buy yourself something nice Be thankful for what you have accomplished. A positive attitude goes further in fat loss – and in life – than a negative attitude.

1 comment:

J. A. Miller said...

I'm trying to figure out what I can glean from your site and materials but it's a little difficult since you place such stress on burning fat and body fat percentages. I don't need to lose any fat, so far as I'm concerned. I don't think my body fat percentage is anything like 10%--probably more like 15%. And I don't really care to know precisely what it is. I think I'm fine the way I am and I don't intend to enter any bodybuilding contests or go running around on the beach with only shorts on--though if I did run around like that and people knew my age (51), they'd probably think I was a remarkable specimen. But, no, I don't want to burn off any more fat. I do mainly cycling for exercise and have augmented that over recent years with some upper-body strength training--mostly by excerpting parts of some beachbody routines (parts of P90X, of Power 90 and of Power Half Hour--the parts that focus on upper-body workouts). Really what I'm trying to do is find further variations on upper body workouts and strength training. I don't need anything aerobic; my cycling suits just fine for that. And it keeps the legs toned as much as I need them to be. But I've heard positive reviews of your site and routines, and came looking for ways that I can further vary my upper-body workouts: can I find anything like that here? No total body workout is needed, just upper body. And I try to keep equipment costs to a minimum. If you can direct me to any resources on your site that would suit my needs, I'd appreciate it. You're welcome to look at my blog for the lowdown on my fitness endeavors--they're nothing earth shattering, but I think I do pretty well for someone my age.