The recommended percentage for body fat for optimum health is between 20-29 percent for women and 15 to 19 percent for men. Women tend to store more fat for reproductive reasons. A low body fat doesn’t always mean that you are very healthy it’s where the fat is placed on the body. Having a lot of body fat around your belly seriously increases your risk of getting cardiovascular disease. In general, low body fat cuts the risk of developing cardiovascular disease.
Exercising regularly and eating a balanced diet, helps the body utilise fats. Exercising a minimum of three times a week is recommended; twice at a high intensity and at least once at medium intensity. This could be done by exercising with a heart rate over 80%MHR for a short duration, as well as longer, but more steady state aerobic activity.
Benefits of Healthy Body Fat and Losing Weight
- Less excess body fat will help you reduce the risk of developing diseases such as diabetes.
- Cardiovascular health benefits.
- Metabolic health and appearance.
- Improved sports performance.
- You will motivate others to lose weight.
- Increased energy levels.
- Skin health is significantly improved.
- Can help with your brain health and memory.
- Improved mood and reduced feelings of depression.
- Relaxation and sleep quality is improved.
Weight Loss Tips
- Exercise everyday, this counts even if you walk to the shop to get your paper.
- Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables, more the latter.
- Drink plenty of water.
- Prepare your kitchen with healthy food and don’t buy snacks.
- Build lean muscle to burn calories at rest.
- Choose low fat complete proteins to help with weight loss. Combine the protein with carbohydrates such as vegetables and salad.
- Training at certain heart rates can help fat loss and body composition change.
- Sleep can help your body recover from the exercise you are doing to help lose weight.
- Focus on fat loss not weight loss, this is a huge psychological barrier that is a very important component.
Selected Weight Loss Articles
Long-term weight loss maintenance. Full article found at The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition
Weight loss can be boosted fivefold thanks to novel mental imagery technique. Article from Science Daily.
Effects of an Energy-Restrictive Diet With or Without Exercise on Abdominal Fat, Intermuscular Fat, and Metabolic Risk Factors in Obese Women. Full article found at American Diabetes Association.
People choose healthy and sustainable lunches if given the green light. Full article found at Science Daily.