How do you know when to stop losing?
That's the question that's been on my mind the last few weeks. My goal for the last three months or so has been to get down to 14% Body Fat, improve my strength through training, and continue to lose weight. Ive done that with some consistency and now I'm sitting at 138, 15% body fat (thereabouts) and my strength has improved a bit (can now do half a pullup as opposed to none when I began).
The original reason for the goal of 14% body fat was to get rid of the last remaining of the gut... which is still hanging around. It's (in my opinion and the opinion of others) likely loose skin from my dramatic weight loss over the last 11 months (down 128 pounds). It bugs me visually but three months ago it was worse... it's not much better since then but it's better.
At any rate, it's now getting to the point where I'm wondering if losing more weight is really needed right now. I stand at about 5 feet, 7 and half inches (5'8 rounded) and sitting at 138 I feel is just a bit too low for me. Dropping down to 15% body fat initially thrilled me but I've been reconsidering whether it's really right for me.
Getting down to that 15% body fat didn't take a lot of work. I ate my one big meal of the day and I did some moderate exercise, nothing hardcore, and I got there. It's not so much the work that bugs me as the need for it now that I know that 14% isn't going to get rid of the gut-it'll still have that saggy, loose skin hanging there for the world to see and it'll be like that for the immediate future.
Today was especially eye opening as I'm at the beach for the week and I threw on my swimsuit and was shocked to see myself in the mirror. I took some pics as reference (despite the fact I feel it's a total douche move on my part to take pictures of myself in the mirror in my swimsuit, a visual reference is necessary for this question IMO).
I don't think I look that bad off... I think more work needs to be done as far as strength building goes (which I plan on doing) but what concerns me is how my bones show-my ribs, my collar bone particularly-and how it just looks...off. Not "oh my god he needs medical treatment" off but "hmm... that might concern me" off.
I'm pleased to be this thin, don't get me wrong. It's great wearing small/medium shirts and size 30 (need some smaller ones but they'll do) pants/jeans. I mean, the swimsuit I'm in I had to buy in the teenage boys section...
That's also part of my concern though. I'm 23 and I get mistake for 16 at most. I have a 15 year old brother whom I get mistaken for despite me being nearly 9 years his senior.
Long story short, am I at the point where I should just stop losing weight? I feel I'm close to that point but 14% body fat was my goal and I hate to leave that goal just hanging out there, unachieved.
Follow up question; if I am at the point where I should stop, how do I achieve maintenance? I've been eating to lose weight for so long now I don't know what type of adjustments I should aim for to maintain what I've done.
As always, any and all comments are welcome. Thanks in advance.