What 25% and 16% bodyfat looks like on a female
On the photo on the left, taken 2 ½ years ago, I’m about 25% bodyfat, considered to be acceptable, measured per calipers and an bioelectrical impedance machine. I loved my big butt and my full face. I hated my thick waist and my larger arms. On the photo on the right, I’m approximately 16% bodyfat, which is low, but healthy and categorized in the athletic zone. At this lower bodyfat, I like how small my waist is, my arms are more toned looking, and that I can see muscle definition. I don’t love that I lost the youthful fullness of my face, and that I had to get smaller bra’s, or that I had to get new clothes since the old ones, hung on me.
This shows that there’s positives and negatives when it comes down to bodyfat percentages, when it’s in the healthy range. I decided that I prefer a flat stomach over a bubble butt. I bought tighter fitting clothes which make me look much better. I added lots of glute exercises to grow my butt (it’s a work in progress). I’m lifting more weight to get bigger muscles for more definition. Everyone’s genetics are different, and I know that I won’t have the curves I’d prefer without gaining bodyfat, but I’m okay with that because I’ve decided that a tiny waist is my main priority.
I did a survey on social media, and wasn’t surprised that people liked the thicker me and the lean me, fairly evenly, with the lower bodyfat photo winning slightly. What this means is that you should make your image into what you want, not what other people want.
Here’s how I lost the bulk:
- I stopped using the stair master. I was doing a warm-up on the stair master for 15 minutes, on level 7, twice a week, prior to weight lifting, which was increasing my cortisol levels and making me exhausted even before I started lifting. My warm-ups are now only 5 minutes and range from riding a stationary bike, banded glute exercises, or reverse lunges on leg day. On days I work just upper body, my warm-ups are only a few minutes, and are typically 2 sets of 12 reps of Y’s and T’s on a incline bench. On chest day, I’ll add a set of push-ups.
- Instead of 4 days of weight training, I now lift 6 days a week. The two added days are shoulders and arms, so the other two workouts are shorter, but total overall time lifting weights has increased, and the results in increased muscle mass in my arms and shoulders were apparent in just two months.
- I switched from ground turkey to ground turkey breast.
- I used to eat all parts of the chicken, except the skin, but now I only eat the chicken breast.
- I reduced the amount of oil I cooked my food in dramatically.
- I stopped eating chocolate (even though it was just a square or two a day), bars, and tortilla chips (even though it was just one serving size).
- Instead of four meals a day and one snack, I eat four meals each day and some nuts.
You’ll notice that these small changes resulted in big results over time (it took me about 6 months to go from 25% to 16% bodyfat). Be consistent without being overdramatic with adjustments in diet and exercise, and you’ll see amazing results too.