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Question for LM re: Bodyfat %

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
lisa marie,

you seem to be the resident health expert so i wanted to ask you (or anyone with info):

are there any physical advantages or disadvantages to having really low bodyfat?

with summer approaching, i started working out a lot more about 2 months ago, at which time i was ~10-12% bodyfat (measured by calipers and various indices.) Currently, my BF is down to 6-8% and still dropping.

i eat pretty low fat stuff, e.g. veggies, chicken, fish, lots of fruit, etc. my energy levels are good and i feel fine. from a health perspective, can i get too lean?

btw, i'm male. 5'10", ~165 lbs.


[ June 07, 2002, 09:40 AM: Message edited by: Adema ]
post #2 of 16
5% is the limit for males 12% for females. Since you are at a decent weight, you probably have enough lean muscle mass. Since a good part of body fat percentage is hereditary, we use general health as a guideline to determine what levels are acceptable. You seem to be doing fine! [img]smile.gif[/img]
Low body fat will improve speed, especially in aerobic activities, but, interestingly, there have been no conclusive studies that show that having less than 8% fat makes a significant difference.

The real risks of excessively low body fat are for females. Unforunately, the BF levels that are esthetically pleasing for a woman are not always her healthiest.

[ June 08, 2002, 04:20 PM: Message edited by: Lisamarie ]
post #3 of 16

"Yes, i'd like an order of celery stalks with just a smidgen of air molecules on the side.
Oh, they come with that? Wow.
Okay then, i can splurge on and have an espresso.
Be honest. i look fat today, don't i?"
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
thanks for the info, LM.

ryan: she's hot. gag.
post #5 of 16
post #6 of 16
5'6", 97 pounds! Not good. LM - do you think she's naturally thin as she insists? Is this even possible? I've never seen anyone this thin who didn't have more going on, but who knows.
post #7 of 16
Not a chance! Especially since during the earlier seasons of her show {alright, I admit, I watch it [img]redface.gif[/img] } she was not quite so thin.
post #8 of 16
post #9 of 16
Must be nice to be able to move the entertainment center without help.

But, is it worth acquiring "disturbing male characteristics"?

Uh, no.
post #10 of 16
Originally posted by Lisamarie:
5% is the limit for males 125 for females.
You have confused me...5% for males 125 for females?
post #11 of 16
YIKES!!!!!!!! How come nobody else caught that typo?? One of these days I need to get around to taking a typing lesson!

Anyway, its 12%!
post #12 of 16
Did you see the Wall St Journal story about two weeks ago about severely restrictive diets? The theory, and it's supported by laboratory rat and other studies, is that with a diet of ~1500 cal/day for a man and 1200/day for a woman that you can increase your life expectancy by about 30% One lab rat was about 150 in human terms.

I'll never be able to live on 1500 cal/day.

Now, another topic... what about age?

At 50 I eat what seems like less than half of what I ate at 25 yet I am significanly heavier. Is there something about age that makes the body burn calories less efficiently?

post #13 of 16
Yes, you could survive on that "little," if you had to. within reason, the body adapts and we are, when we push, surprised at what we have in us.
watching a feature on TV over the weekend. an oxford u. geography professor and travel writer ventured into the hottest hot of ethiopia and spent time with natives who live in the 125-degree (f) heat and regularly walk 40k (round-trip) for water, along with playing an hours-long "game" involving much running and tackling.( the brit writer was in over his head in this heat, of course.)
these tribespeople were quite lean, of course, and weren't exactly feasting come mealtimes. still, no shortage of energy and strength. fairly phenomenal, actually.
we get so used to our starbucks and danishes, and air-conditioning, and elevators and driving two blocks for this and that (sorry, end of mini-rant) that our bodies view anything out of the "norm" as stressful.
post #14 of 16

I don't drive two blocks for anything.

I AM A PROUD NEW YORKER and I will soon be standing on a nonair-conditioned subway platform, sweating my cogliones off.

Please insert a descriptive photo here ____ .

[ June 19, 2002, 02:08 PM: Message edited by: jamesdeluxe ]
post #15 of 16
post #16 of 16
Originally posted by WVSkier:

... Now, another topic... what about age?

At 50 I eat what seems like less than half of what I ate at 25 yet I am significanly heavier. Is there something about age that makes the body burn calories less efficiently?
Your metabolism slows down with age. So as you get older you have to cut your calorie intake. It is rare that an older person can eat like a 25 year-old and still burn it off as efficiently.

As for 1500cal/day, as ryan said, that is plenty for most males to survive. I have been dieting for the last 2-3 months in an attempt to see how lean I can get for my 40th birthday this summer. I diet every spring to loose the 5-10 pounds I gain in the winter, but this year is special. I want to be as lean as possible. But guess what? My old body is fighting me every step of the way. Results are slow to come and I am eating around 1500-1600 cal/day at a bodyweight of 160lbs. I work out 5 times a week, take supplements (and some creatine for bodybuilding) and eat a low carb diet, similar to the Zone diet.

I know many of you do not believe in diets. I know that eating well, all year long, is the ideal. But I love food and I also love to be in top shape. So my yearly diets are the price I have to pay for my gluttony. Actually it has worked out well since my bodyweight has remained around 165lbs for the last 20 years. But there is no question that over the last 5 years I noticed a significant change in my metabolism and I had to watch my food more closely.
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