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The sweet spot between good looking and healthy BF%

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  • The sweet spot between good looking and healthy BF%

    Hello.
    I've got a question which is kind of strange.
    I need to gain weight, in fact, the story is very very long. (You can read about the whole thing here : http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread57305.html)
    Been through an important weight loss and degradation of my body, at first because of mistakes I made, then because of hypogonadism. Typically, I'm treated and I'm now eating in order to gain weight steadily and slowly. I don't have much muscle mass but it seems to rebuild itself quite well now, I'm even more muscular than when I lifted weights (I can't at the moment though because of my health state), but my bodyfat percentage is also too low, measured around 5% by BIA or 9% by DXA (which is more precise but tends to give higher percentage than what the "internet" thinks, in bodybuilding forums and such...)

    So my question is, how much is enough ? My weight is slowly and slowly increasing, and my bf% reading too, I don't look fat at all however, but I want to know if it's possible to be on the lean side without exercise, I'm 18.
    My body shape seems to become quite enjoyable as I'm more and more looking like a man, with a good muscular base, but I don't want to blur everything with too much fat. But my health is what matters the most for me so do you have any idea what bf% I should aim for on the long term ?

    I've been told that around 8-12%, more 10%-12% for a sedentary teenager, is quite possible.

    Thanks =)
    Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
    (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

  • #2
    Daydreamer, healthy body fat percentages will be different for men than for women -- men can have lower BF without ill effects. So the first question is, are you male or female? If you're male, then 10 - 12% is low but I believe still in the healthy range. If you're female, it's too low.
    F, 44 years old, 111.8 lbs, 4 feet 11.5 inches (yes, that half inch matters!)

    **1st place sparring, AAU TKD regional qualifier, 2/15/15 - It's damn good to hit like a girl!**

    **First-ever 5K race 11/28/13: 37 minutes, 18+ seconds, no stopping**

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    • #3
      I am a man.
      I've been around 8% without much struggle when I lifted weights.
      Thanks for your answer.
      Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
      (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

      Comment


      • #4
        Could someone guess any calories intake I should be getting as a 18 yo man who has yet to develop his muscle mass but who is quite sedentary ?
        Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
        (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

        Comment


        • #5
          That's a really good question with a lot of different ways to answer it. Personally I would ask why you don't want to do exercise? You're 18 years old and should want to go out and kick every rock, throw every spear and stick mini Grok in every knot hole!!!

          So what's going on? Do you feel lethargic? Are you just feeling lazy? Are you depressed? You're at THE optimal time in your lift to gain strength and muscle. This is the time when your body changes into the man you will become. Use it to it's fullest! There's nothing like the feeling of walking proud after you've lifted the heaviest weight you've ever lifted before. Reach out and grab the opportunity young brother. Make your daydream a reality.

          Comment


          • #6
            I don't know if you truly realize the influence of testosterone levels on overall health. Because you wouldn't even dare to say these kinds of things. However, thanks for your answers but I suggest you do some researches.
            Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
            (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

            Comment


            • #7
              I would go for the 10-12%, maybe a little more, while lifting and exercising when those become options for you again. you want a little extra fat to fuel any growth you might still experience. once you reach the underside of mid-20s, you can go down to 8-10% without worrying about hurting your body.
              my primal journal:
              http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

              Comment


              • #8
                Great. I have a long way to go before being able to lift again, but I'm slowly gaining healthy weight back and my overall state is progressively improving.
                I don't want to hurt my body anymore as I experienced what it's like to feel asexual and to put obstacles on the path of my own growth and manly development.
                Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
                (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

                Comment


                • #9
                  that's unfortunate, but i think you have a long life ahead of you to regain that. i didn't read your whole story but i think that it's wise to consider if you're worried about the health implications of body fat: it's healthier for your body to be just a little higher in fat than lower in fat. it can be difficult to gauge the percentage that's right for you, so i think it's best to be on the safe side and have a little higher body fat. you won't have any trouble losing it later when you're "out of high water."
                  my primal journal:
                  http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum...Primal-Journal

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I totally agree with you. However I don't want to fall in a disorder of binge eating just for the sake of gaining fat quickly. It would stress my body more than it could do it good.

                    EDIT: So I'm trying to find a healthy calories intake given my age, my condition and my current living habits.
                    I'm quite sedentary (because I need to rest, just doing some grocery shopping and house caring on alternate days), I'm 18, 5'11" and around 132 lbs/5% BF (BIA). I used to be 138 lbs/8% BF (BIA)/12% BF (DXA) before this severe hypogonadism. However my test levels were not optimal at all, around 300 ng/dl when it should have been around 700. Before being treated with testosterone enanthate it was around 20 ng/dl which is extremely low.

                    Any help please ? Been eating around 2500 kcal, is it enough, too much ? Will I end up being just fat or is it normal for someone of my age and my height ? Just want to know where I'm at naturally when I'm healthy and I'm respectful of my body before heading back to lifting weights in order to develop myself more.

                    Thanks
                    Last edited by Daydreamer; 06-15-2012, 11:47 AM.
                    Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
                    (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I read your original post and still pose the same question to you. Are you still feeling depressed? Are you still getting testosterone therapy?

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                      • #12
                        I don't feel as depressed as I used too. I'm still getting HRT, it's even the "beginning" of the real one, the first two months being less frequent injections and being a "test treatment" (as in testing something).
                        However it's a very long process to heal from so many months of severe body degradation.
                        Been in a stage of severe denutrition with peripheral edema...etc
                        So even if mentally I feel a lot better (even if I'm a little grumpy right now because I caught a form of flu haha), and I can rest up, my body is not "complete" yet.
                        Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
                        (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Here are a couple of other things that you might add that help to increase your natural production of testosterone. I don't know what you have for natural health stores in France so you may have to see if these are available to you.

                          Maca. Maca is an adaptogen that helps to regulate hormone levels. If you're low in T it will increase, if you're high in Cortisol, it will help decrease it. etc. It's a tubor from south america and has no known toxicity level so I would suggest increasing the RDA by 50% (RDA = 6 pills take 9 pills)

                          Zinc. Zinc is a mineral that helps increase T-levels in the body. Find a zinc picolinate if you can as it's easily absorbable. Zinc you have to be a little careful with as if you take too much in can lower your immune system. My suggestion is to take 50mg twice a day (Pills are usually 25mg) monitor yourself for heart burn. If you start feeling heart burn after ingesting the zinc, cut your pills down to 50mg daily.

                          Magnesium. Magnesium is a mineral that helps with relaxation of muscle and sleep. Find Magnesium taurate if you can as you'll get the added benfits of taurine (great for heart health and mental focus) The best time to take Magnesium is 1/2 hour before bed as it will make you sleepy. Take 500mg 2x daily (preferably in powder form) and if you can find a topical, rub it behind your knees and inside of your elbows. You also have to be a little careful with Magnesium. Although our body is sadly lacking it, you can also take too much. If you start getting diarrhea then lower your dose by half. BTW Magnesium also helps with adrenal fatigue.

                          Fish Oils. Cold water fish oil with the highest amount of omega 3's you can find. This stuff is amazing. Fish oils lower depression, anxiety, increase mental focus, regulate hormones, makes your metabolism more efficient, lowers your fat % increases testosterone, is anabolic. Personally I take 15 grams a day. I would suggest you take 6-9 a day. 3 morning, 3 noon and 3 night.

                          Vitamin D. Need I say more? Vitamin D works better is taken in large doses once or twice a week vs small amounts daily. start out with 20 000 IU's X 2 on monday and another 20 000 IU's on Thursday.

                          Vitamin B complex. Helps with energy levels, increases appetite, helps with iron update in the body.

                          As for training, you know your body and you know what it can do. I can't tell you when you've over trained. However you've had first hand experience about what it feels like when it is. Always remember your body needs to rest. 8 hours of sleep everynight in a completely dark room. Take out all electronic devices. No tv, no computer, no video games in your room. Period. Sleep is the most important thing your body needs to recover. Go to bed everynight at the same time, and wake up everyday at the same time. Everyday day during the week.

                          I still say to you lift heavy and I could get more indepth than that but I feel like I've written a book already. I meant no offence to you from my earlier comment, I was just stating a fact about how you should be feeling at 18. These suggestions will help you get to that point. Cheers young brother. Rip the shit out of those weights.

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                          • #14
                            I read your story and I think it's important for you to get rest, but also to realize that sometimes when you rest a lot, you get lethargic. So I would suggest that you try to lift heavy (as others have suggested), but otherwise avoid exercise except for normal daily activities. Lifting weights will help with your appetite and allow you to eat enough to gain some healthy weight! 132 at 5'11" is definitely underweight, so just focus on putting some meat on your bones! Eat, eat, eat!

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                            • #15
                              Thanks for your advices Iron Will, it's very helpful.
                              I'm already taking Vit D3, Vit C, Vit B complex, Magnesium and Zinc, however not quite in the quantities you advice me here.

                              Oh I just have to give you an important precision : I'm don't have problem with my appetite. I just don't know how much I should allow myself to eat given my age, my height, my activity level, my growth...etc
                              Some doctors want me to eat anywhere near 3500-4000 calories but I'm very afraid to put on too much fat.
                              It sounds too much for me since I'm sedentary.
                              Am I wrong ?
                              Young self-caring Paleo-eater from France.
                              (So please forgive the strange way I tend to express myself in your beautiful language )

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