So you’ve decided to shred some extra fat for Summer, the big question is - So, how do I reduce body fat?
If shredding for summer is your main goal, whether you're an athlete who trains on a regular basis or just a casual that enjoys the odd work-out, you are in the right place.
Let’s get this straight, shredding fat takes commitment and drive. If you have an ideal physique in mind, you will be able to get there, but it won’t come for free. There are no shortcuts, no quick and easy methods.
You’ve got to eat healthy, get moving, get sweating, sleep well, and look after yourself mentally. Mental health helps hold all of this together.
Why reducing body fat percentage is a great base goal?
Being focused on decreasing weight by shredding fat is a great way to start the journey to being a better, fitter, healthier and happier you! Firstly, identify the amount of fat you need/want to lose. Remember that you don't want to shred ALL your fat, however - Having balanced levels of body fat are essential. A lot of evidence suggests that people who have a high percentage of body fat are more at risk of things such as metabolic syndrome or diabetes.
What is a healthy body fat percentage?
A lean body fat percentage is around 5 to 6% for males and 12 to 15% for females. This is an absolute best case and very low scenario. So when people talk about aiming for 3% and 5% body fat, it is very difficult or in some cases, far too low, even dangerous. Anything between 12 and 20% for a woman can be considered healthy, and for a man, you are looking at no lower than 8%. Some healthy males will have a body fat percentage of 10 to 15%.
Age is another factor that may affect your body fat percentage. As we get older, the body fat percentage increases slightly. It isn’t essentially an unhealthy thing. It is part of the ageing process. It is important not to get too obsessive about that one number. It is the overall level of muscle mass as well or having a healthy height-to-waist ratio and having a healthy waist circumference. All those factors are important. Sometimes, it's also important to look good and feel good in the gym, Oxyfit provides the essential gym clothing to make this happen. New Zealand based supplements are a great addition to include in any food plan you set yourself and can help achieve your overall goal.
How to lower your body fat percentage.
Eat for fuel.
To get below that 15% mark, you will need to be laser-focused on getting enough good fuel in your body. For example, you should consider looking at chicken with no additional sauces, 5 to 9 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, selecting the leanest protein sources possible, good natural fats, nuts, oils, and chia seeds. It is also time to think about ditching some saturated fats, consuming decent carbs and more so, exclusively dense carbohydrates such as sweet potatoes, quinoa, ancient grains, and brown rice.
Sure, you should enjoy the food, but if your aim is to look as good as humanly possible, you have to prioritise what the food provides your body over what it provides your taste buds.
Spend your calories better.
When you are over your ideal weight, you want to prioritise the right positive calories over negative ones. At 15% body fat, your concentration should be on getting lean by increasing muscle as well as reducing fat stores which means you need to eat more.
Some critical factors: Increase carbohydrates before or after your workouts for fuel and recovery. Lock in your protein at 1.5g of protein per Kg of bodyweight.
Our vegan and natural protein products offer a range of alternatives to traditional whey supplements.
Cut back on alcohol.
At 15% body fat, you can likely afford to have a couple of alcoholic beverages during your week. But to get to 10% you will need to cut that back to 2 or 3 drinks on one night a week but ideally, cut it altogether.
Alcohol slides into your indulgence’s category, of which you are getting once, perhaps twice a week. When you decide to spend it, stick to light-coloured, juice-free drinks such as vodka with soda water and lime.
Look at what foods you can cut.
To get past 15% body fat, there becomes a smaller and smaller margin for error. Once you have kicked the large-ticket items to the curb, you have to take a magnifying glass to your meals. Perhaps you are taking coffee with additional extras. That milk is 30 calories, but daily for a week, that is 200 calories that can go.
If you are one of those people who loves coffee as a pre-workout, perhaps look at a more traditional Pre-Workout Supplement that expends fewer calories.
Look at all the liquids you consume and check them for calories - This extends to oil or sauces. Scrutinising healthy packaged foods like protein bars and pre-made smoothies is also a real eye-opener.
Ditch the takeout.
I know I know, this may be difficult but it will make a HUGE difference. You likely have your go-to restaurants who make a killer clean macro salad or a tasty salmon fillet. Food prepared by others is the big wild card when it comes to calories. It may be cooked with all sorts of saturated oils and other hidden calorie gold mines. Not what you want. So, unless you control what is present on the plate, you likely will eat out once a week as an indulgence.
The 15% body fat workout strategy.
To get to 15%, you will likely need to go to the gym 4 to 5 days a week and also have a solid next-level baseline of strength and conditioning.
One essential note: If for some reason, you walk into the gym at 15% body fat for the first time, it is critical to begin the conditioning from zero to build a base of strength.