The sweet spot between good looking and healthy BF%
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.
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.
I am a man.
I've been around 8% without much struggle when I lifted weights.
Thanks for your answer.
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 ?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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."
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.
Last edited by Daydreamer; 06-15-2012 at 12:47 PM.