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  • Body fat



    Many people here seem very concerned with reducing their body fat to what I consider very low levels. In particular I see women complaining about persistent fatty deposits on their hips and thighs (!).


    How many of you have what is considered 'low' body fat? By calipers or water displacement if you've had it done, those vibrating scales are BS.


    I would be surprised if many people eating primal (and not lifting a lot of weights and supplementing) had truly 'low' body fat. Lower than what's considered 'normal', sure (over 21% for women). And much, much lower than the average...


    We are a naturally fatty animal, as far as I have read. Few land mammals have the level of subcutaneous fat we do. You can see this in pictures of 'primitive' people who still eat our kind of diet (Masai, Kung Bushmen, etc). They are slim and narrow, but have a layer of fat all over, and are soft around the hips and middle, especially as they age.


    So, why this concern with lowering body fat as much as possible? Is it mainly to do with looks? Or do you believe it's healthier to have a low body fat percentage?


    I am a 24-year-old woman, underweight and always have been (BMI 17), eat a high-calorie diet, and have 18-19% body fat as measured by calipers. I consider this healthy, normal, and attractive and wouldn't want to go any lower. Actually I would like a higher percentage! I haven't had weight loss and haven't noticed any fat loss from eating high-fat, low-carb... if I did I would up my carbs!


  • #2
    1



    We live in a culture that pushes into us that beauty = skinny..especially for young women, the social pressure to be as skinny as possible can be overwhelming. If you are comfortable with how you look, that is good and you can just eat to maintain what you have going for you.


    Consider the commercial ramifications of constantly telling people they don't have the perfect body. People are more willing to buy products and spend spend spend. Holidays have been commercialized in the same way as well. Amazing how money has perverted a lot of our society.


    I'd say fitness and what you are eating is much more important than anything. My personal goals (I'm 25) for becoming very lean and defined, and im just about there, has more to do with breaking away from my past of eating bad foods and following the dangerous conventional wisdom. Conventional eating has done a number on my body in the past just like conventional medicine has...and they all seem to work together to make you sick and medicated. In that case, there is tons of money to be made.

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    • #3
      1



      I want to (a) be healthy and (b) look good. Being healthy is a long term goal which includes eating clean and being functionally fit so that I can enjoy life. Looking good is a byproduct of that, a really fantastic byproduct. I feel like when I look my best, I just have a better outlook about everything. Confidence is really important for personal happiness.

      As for people having desires for very low BF, I think it's just one standardized scale that people use to compare themselves to others. I wonder how many people have a warped perception of this, because they actually don't know what their own body would look like if they were to reach such a low level (i.e. it might not be so hot).

      Everything in moderation, including moderation.

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      • #4
        1



        A little over a year ago I got to 9% bf and I had pretty good definition in my body, but my face was really gaunt. I'm now looking for a good compromise.

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        • #5
          1



          At one point, I desired a lower BF percentage because I thought it really reflected how hard I worked... That extra "fat" would just mask the muscle that I spent so hard building. So, in that case it was vanity..


          Now I'm really not concerned with it. I'd rather look feminine, healthy and be able to fill out my clothes well. (While still being a strong little lady, of course. ) I think too many people don't give themselves a freaking BREAK! A little fat is sexy, healthy and necessary.

          On a mission to help others master movement, build unbreakable strength, & eat MORE food (can't beat that.) Weekly fitness, health & nutrition articles at indulgentfitness.com.

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          • #6
            1



            "A little fat is sexy, healthy and necessary." Amen.


            Low BF on a woman is unnatural and downright weird.


            Why would a woman want to look like a man? There's a reason evolution has made BF on a woman higher than on a man.


            And besides, it fills out the boobs!

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            • #7
              1



              Good point Bayou! Whenever I've gotten too lean and completely lost my boobs I've laughingly called it "the shrinkage of the boobage". It's a double edged sword. I can relate to what Jess said. You want to be lean and see all your hard work but then you lose your boobs and start to feel like you're losing your female-ness. At one point I started getting a big vein popping out on my stomach which completely freaked me out. That was from moderate running and relatively light weight training. A guy I ended up dating told me he was intimidated by me at first which blew my mind. It's hard sometimes to see what other people are seeing.

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              • #8
                1



                I got measured with calipers and a scale, and both said 39.5%


                I think I can lose quite a lot of boob before anyone notices. Then again, who knows what people notice! I'm flabbergasted that people have commented on my hair but not my weight loss (I've lost 2.5 inches at my waist). I mean... my HAIR! Sheesh :-)


                Anyway, I guess I'm not sure how lean I'm aiming for. I'm (just) aiming for healthy and gorgeous. I think both of those require that I don't go too low.

                quette's journal

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                • #9
                  1



                  @DelMarMel: If you're like me, you will start to realize that you're not really that attracted to men who find you intimidating ;-)


                  There's a bunch of good ones out there who LOVE strong women...don't be afraid to be one!

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Kuno, I agree with you. It wasn't that he was freaked out about a strong woman but I was coming from a pretty athletic place and was pretty fit at the time. Most of my boyfriends have been pretty great athletes so that was my world but not this guy's. He was a great guy actually. A photographer I met on a week long swimwear shoot I was coordinating. He was much more used to models who bat their eyelashes and cop attitude. I know I was a breath of fresh air as he explained. I pretty much would need to jump off a bridge if I worked in that environment all the time. What a male fantasy job, huh? Still makes me laugh.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      As a woman, I'm not fixated on my body fat percentage. Sure, I want to lose some fat (and I have) but I still want to look womanly. I actually don't know what my % is, but I know I still have a little too much. However, my main aim is to be healthy and fit, within the confines of what I can physically do at the moment, given my herniated disc problems.


                      I'm never going to be an Olympic athlete, so I'm going to live my life well and healthfully. Lowering my % is a bonus to the primal way of eating, as far as I'm concerned.

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                      • #12
                        1



                        a friend of mine is getting her PT licence and used me as a guinea pig for a long time to measure fat% with calipers...

                        i remember the measuring she did about 2 weeks before my avatar pic was taken said 15,7%... I really dont have any feelings about that whatsoever. My goals now are more to do with gaining muscle and strength and staying healthy.

                        challenge yourself
                        i blog here http://theprimalwoman.blogspot.com/

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                        • #13
                          1



                          I'll be quite honest why, right now, I'm aiming for a low body fat percentage. My wife and I have a wager. If she reaches her ideal bodyweight by sometime next year (can't remember the exact date), I've got to sport myself in a speedo on the beach in the summer. lol


                          Damned if I'm going to have a muffin top in that outfit! After that, I'll re-adjust my goals. Yup, it's pure vanity and I'm ok with that for now.


                          I can appreciate women of all body types, but I do like those curves!

                          I grok, therefore I am.

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                          • #14
                            1



                            Anyone else stuck on losing the last few pounds?

                            .`.><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>
                            ><((((> .`.><((((>.`.><((((>.`.><(( ((>

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                            • #15
                              1



                              I don&#39;t feel stuck. After 2 decades, I&#39;ve finally managed to love the body I have. Now I have lost some weight I needed to lose on primal, I refuse to get hung up on &#39;the last few pounds&#39;. I saw myself reflected in a shop window this morning. I was actually pleased with what I saw. If I lose a bit more, all well and good, if I don&#39;t then I&#39;m not going to agonise over it. I&#39;m not someone who&#39;s easily satisfied, I set myself riduculously difficult targets to aim for. But I am happy. I look good. Even naked ;-)

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