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Old 06-11-2010, 12:15 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Default I know it's off topic, but...

While I agree with everything else you said, I have to disagree with the statement that 10-15% body fat is an "ideal level" for women. Body fat is essential to nerves, joints, brain function, organ function, and a whole host of other stuff. I have read a lot about it in trying to set my goal weight and then in changing that to a goal body fat and I have never seen a range for women listed that low; that range is usually listed as "essential fat" and even an athlete's range is listed as 15-20 or so, with "fitness" being the next step up at 21-24%. So I would say it is ideal only if you are entering a bodybuilding competition, but not as a general rule.

I guess from personal experience, my (albeit low tech) measure of body fat is at 19%, down from 28 or 29% when I started this journey. I do weight training and I have good muscle definition but am not bulky. Parts of me (ribs, breastbone) are kinda bony and I can't imagine having less body fat, and certainly wouldn't consider that "ideal." Obviously I'm continuing to work out and progress with the weights, but I would think at most I'd get another percent or two out of it.
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Old 06-11-2010, 04:03 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yauncin View Post
But if you are looking to reduce your body fat to within ideal levels, 5-8% men or 10-15% women -- these percentages should reveal ab definition,
I agree with cjohnson. These percentages are what you would see from Bodybuilders or Figure competitors at competition time. (Understand that these competitors diet down to this point for the competition and don't maintain that level.) Men's ABs will show at 10% women's around 18%. Check out Bodybuilding.com there are usually posts in the forums of members asking for body fat % estimates.
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Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)
Mini-Goal.......................215
Goal..............................200



My log: http://www.fitday.com/fitness/Public...Owner=rpmcduff
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Old 06-11-2010, 10:02 AM   #13 (permalink)
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I agree with the above posters that food is the most important component with weight loss. However, if you want to tone up at the same time and burn some extra calories, then you obviously have to work out as well.
I tend to decide on a day-to-day basis how I will reach my calorie restriction. If I will not have the time to workout, I will try to eat less, if I know that I will exercise I might allow myself a little treat.
I guess it really is about trial and error. You just have to find out what works best for you.
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Starting Weight: 130 lbs (04/27/10)
Body Fat: 28.8% (ugh!!!) (10/10/10)

Current Weight: 130 lbs (ugh!!!)
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Goal Body Fat: 18-20%


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Old 06-11-2010, 01:00 PM   #14 (permalink)
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First off great discussion. Second I hope we helped answer the original posters question.

@cjohnson728 & @rpmcduff
My definition of "ideal" was down to the percentage body fat which was essential. I could be wrong, so if you think this is too low I would like to see your sources. Bodybuilders are not the only ones who have these percentages; There are many athletes who maintain these levels during competition. Anyway, I realize your average Joe/Josephine would not want to reach this percentage of body fat. It was an extreme example for when it was absolutely necessary to design the proper diet.

As for when your abs show... well that depends on body composition. I've seen a guy who had no definition at 10% and a woman who had no definition at 18%. And even though they might start to show at 10% you might not get that chiseled effect till you reach 6-7%. And I've seen sculpted abs at 8%. But my point is, and I think you both would agree from the posts I've seen from both of you, everyone's body is different. Range's have been set as a guideline but everyone's mileage may very. For most people the mirror test will work. If you like what you see in the mirror then you are good!
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Old 06-11-2010, 02:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Here is a good article about Body Fat percentages for anyone that is interested. A Guide to Body Fat Percentage
Here is some information from the article:
Average Body Fat Percentage of Athletes
Sport Male Female
Baseball 12-15% 12-18%
Basketball 6-12% 20-27%
Body building 5-8% 10-15%
Cycling 5-15% 15-20%
Football (Backs) 9-12% No data
Football (Linemen) 15-19% No data
Gymnastics 5-12% 10-16%
High/long Jumpers 7-12% 10-18%
Ice/field Hockey 8-15% 12-18%
Racquetball 8-13% 15-22%
Rowing 6-14% 12-18%
Shot Putters 16-20% 20-28%
Skiing (X country) 7-12% 16-22%
Sprinters 8-10% 12-20%
Swimming 9-12% 14-24%
Tennis 12-16% 16-24%
Triathlon 5-12% 10-15%
Volleyball 11-14% 16-25%
Weightlifters 9-16% No data
Wrestlers 5-16% No data
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Male, Age 53 Height 5'-11"
Start, Spring 2009....,.. 270.0 lbs
January 21, 2010. ....,...255.0 lbs (Joined Fitday)
September 10, 2010..,..223.8 lbs. (-46.2lbs)
Mini-Goal......................225 Achieved 9/21/2012
Mini-Goal......................220 Achieved 10/26/2012
Current.........................216.2 lbs. (-53.8 lbs)
Mini-Goal.......................215
Goal..............................200



My log: http://www.fitday.com/fitness/Public...Owner=rpmcduff
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Old 06-12-2010, 02:50 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Losing weight itself is more about eating then exercise. 5-6 years ago, went on an Atkins/SB type diet and lose 20 kgs without any exercise regime. That said, I put it all back and more. Now I am trying to lose 30 kgs. I go to the gym every week-day and am on a low-carb (but not no-carb) diet.
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Old 06-12-2010, 04:29 AM   #17 (permalink)
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As far as I know, the diet/exercise balance is about 70/30. There is an adage in bodybuilding and weight training that goes, "you can't out-train a bad diet." Both parts are required to get to 100% but diet is definitely where you can make or break your physique.
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My rules:
1) eat real food - more vegetables, moderate meat, moderate fruits, less grains, less sugar, less vegetable oils.
2) exercise - moderate intensity cardio, sprinting, heavy lifting, dedicated stretching and mobility.
3) live - relax, de-stress, meditate.

Disclaimer: I'm not professionally qualified to make any formal recommendations. I've just done my homework and I'm my own guinea pig. All of my data, unless otherwise cited, comes from a sample size of n=1 (me).
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Old 06-22-2010, 04:43 PM   #18 (permalink)
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i think good food makes you feel better, and so does exercise!
I like to think when im eating unhealthy food(or thinking about eating unhealthy food) to put down the fork! theres some delicious fruit and veggies and lean protein i could be eating. and when i sit on the couch or be lazy, i think of how fun my exercise routines are ( especially if i listen to a song i workout to).

Healthy food should give you the energy and nutritional value to get your ar5e off the couch and get moving. but more important than just exercising is that you find something you like to do. For example, its quite unconventional but i play wiifit, play Dance Dance Revolution, do pilates/yoga by video and rollerblade. I have a blast doing any of these things and look forward to it. I also work in nyc and walk everywhere. every little bit helps!
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Old 06-24-2010, 10:32 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Default Both ways will work to some degree

As someone who has battled with my weight for my whole life, I can testify to the fact that it is possible to lose weight with either diet or exercise. And, at different times in my life I have lost weight with one or the other exclusively.

At my very lightest weight in my adult life, I was eating garbage. I would have a big chicken quesadilla off the roach coach for breakfast, some type of fast food for lunch, and typically a 7-11 hot dog and soda for dinner. Added that was an occasional candy bar and/or gatorade (full sugar version), as well as way too much soda. I was in the Navy at the time, and I would do some type of aerobic exercise (typically running or calisthenics) for an hour every morning, then go straight to my karate studio after work in the afternoon and spend 4-5 hours working out with drills, bag work, or sparring. I would come home thoroughly exhausted, and after about three months of that regimen I lost a good 30 pounds in spite of my terrible eating habits.

At the second lightest weight in my life, I used strictly diet. I adhered to the Atkins induction phase for three months and lost 30 pounds without ever working out.

Obviously, neither of these methods is sustainable. I found a girlfriend and quit working out 5-6 hours a day in the first example, and I got so ecstatic about all the weight I lost in the second example that I started going out and partying a little too much. Before I knew it, the Atkins plan was gone and my weight was back.

Now, I am using a combination of both and the results are pleasing. I am doing a ketogenic diet again (the new version of Atkins, which includes plenty of green vegetables, and guidelines for calorie and protein intake along with carb restriction). Because I am tracking it more closely this time and plan to follow through with the other phases past induction, I anticipate it to be more sustainable than my last attempt. Likewise with exercise. I am nowhere near that 5-6 hours of exercise I had before. But, I do try to get between 30-60 minutes of exercise of some kind every day. Even on days when I don't have the high motivation to do some more exhausting exercise I will go for a walk or casual bike ride. Because it is only 30 minutes a day, I see this as rather sustainable as well. Under this regimen I have already lost nearly 30 pounds in two months, proving that a combination of the two is the best formula.
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