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I'm a 20-something woman trying to get to 16% body-fat.

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created May 24, 2013 at 6:44 PM

I am trying to get my body-fat percentage to around 16%. My body-fat is at 20% right now (135 lbs, 5'4") and here's my active schedule and eating plan:

Crossfit 3x a week Yoga (vinyasa) 2x a week give or take. I might take a gentle yoga class instead. Run 5miles give or take a few times a week.

In the morning Ill have my coffee w/ coconut milk creamer and a little bit of truvia. Then maybe 2 eggs, a slice of bacon and lots of veggies (spinach, mushrooms,avocado, tomato maybe).

Maybe a little bit of snacking throughout the day (nuts, jerky).

Dinner: Usually a bigger meal. 2 beef patties with veggies, fruit, nuts. It' a big meal.

Am I doing anything wrong or are there any suggestions out there for me as a woman? Im definitely a 'list maker' person and if there is a list that would be even more helpful. How fast can I reach my goal of 16% while still being safe and healthy?

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 26, 2013
at 02:58 AM

I agree with AstrumMortis 100%. Body-fat percentage only goes so far. Focus on your athletic ability, and the necessary changes in body comp will come as a by-product.

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on May 25, 2013
at 09:13 AM

Chia seeds - I make a vegetable juice and then mix in a big spoon, leave to stand for 10 mins and then drink. Very filling on little calories Personally my body will not tolerate anything below 20% bf.

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 25, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Thanks! I appreciate your kind words. I understand that it isn't all about muscle. Thanks again!

618fc5298c4a96b817c4918c795a875f

(1217)

on May 25, 2013
at 01:31 AM

Can I ask WHY you want to get to such a low body fat? Are you a model or a high level athlete? How does it serve your life? Do you want to have children in the future? A low percentage of body fat is associated with hormonal and fertility problems.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:33 PM

Dani, you can be crazy-strong at a health body fat %. I say just strength train and accept your body fat % either way- law enforcement isn't about vascularity, after all, which I'm sure you know. And you can kick ass at 18--or even 24-- % body fat :)

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 24, 2013
at 09:33 PM

I was researching an asked my doctor about the cycle issue and she said that anything below 15% would inhibit my cycle. But, that is a great point that you brought up about the cycles. every woman's body response differently and if 16% will affect my cycle while it might not affect another woman's cycle, then 16% would be too low for me. Also, how do chia seeds work out for you? I've been using flax seeds, but I had just read Born To Run and they talked very highly of chia seeds.

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 24, 2013
at 09:29 PM

I'm aiming for 16%, but I would even be really happy with 18%. Im training to become a cop and I must keep up with all of the younger, male officers (who are all very fit in our city's police department). I want to see if I can do it, but if 16% is too low, then I will be very happy with 18%.

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5 Answers

3
68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on May 24, 2013
at 08:16 PM

It might not be possible to get to 16% bodyfat while being safe and healthy! If you can get to that low a bf without losing you cycles, then it's fine for you, if not, you might want to rethink, unless its temporary

Regarding fruit, cut it and keep a very close eye on your thyroid function - VLC can give you hypothyroid and that makes it very hard to lose weight. You need a bit of insulin to keep your leptin out of the gutter!

At 16% you're looking at female fitness model/bodybuilder territory. I'm not sure how they get their bf quite that low but it does involve a lot of time in the gym and a lot of calorific restriction

WRT reducing calories without dying of hunger. I eat a lot of protein, veggies, and chia seeds simply to keep my stomach full. Lots of carrots, celery and squid rings. Other than that I just go hungry, mask it with coffee, and distract myself with chewing gum

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 24, 2013
at 09:33 PM

I was researching an asked my doctor about the cycle issue and she said that anything below 15% would inhibit my cycle. But, that is a great point that you brought up about the cycles. every woman's body response differently and if 16% will affect my cycle while it might not affect another woman's cycle, then 16% would be too low for me. Also, how do chia seeds work out for you? I've been using flax seeds, but I had just read Born To Run and they talked very highly of chia seeds.

68655ec9711d207d69a63ebf96b37573

on May 25, 2013
at 09:13 AM

Chia seeds - I make a vegetable juice and then mix in a big spoon, leave to stand for 10 mins and then drink. Very filling on little calories Personally my body will not tolerate anything below 20% bf.

0
F299706618ad5d2c014130cb35d07dcf

on May 24, 2013
at 10:22 PM

I'm 21, 5'4", and 120lbs. I am currently maintaining this weight and using the Bulletproof coffee protocol. I had a problem with snacking too much before I started this but it has gotten much easier. I avoid all fruits and occasionally eat nuts (on the weekends). I eat about 70-100 carbs a day. I'm am unsure about the calories... but I eat until I am full. My dinners are similar to yours.

Here is a link to the bulletproof coffee protocol. http://www.bulletproofexec.com/bulletproof-fasting/

Let me know if you have any questions.

0
8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 24, 2013
at 07:26 PM

Cut the snacking and cut the fruit.

Can I ask why you're aiming for 15% body-fat? Are you training for modeling or physique competitions? 'Cause 20% body-fat looks good to me (and 24% for that matter). http://images1.friendseat.com/2012/10/Women-Final-SMALL1.jpg

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 24, 2013
at 09:29 PM

I'm aiming for 16%, but I would even be really happy with 18%. Im training to become a cop and I must keep up with all of the younger, male officers (who are all very fit in our city's police department). I want to see if I can do it, but if 16% is too low, then I will be very happy with 18%.

Medium avatar

(1097)

on May 24, 2013
at 11:33 PM

Dani, you can be crazy-strong at a health body fat %. I say just strength train and accept your body fat % either way- law enforcement isn't about vascularity, after all, which I'm sure you know. And you can kick ass at 18--or even 24-- % body fat :)

765fb8b7ceccbbce2be7f6a4b1c46bff

(0)

on May 25, 2013
at 02:08 AM

Thanks! I appreciate your kind words. I understand that it isn't all about muscle. Thanks again!

8d386bf2c5ba20fcc1a2a0c805b217c9

(743)

on May 26, 2013
at 02:58 AM

I agree with AstrumMortis 100%. Body-fat percentage only goes so far. Focus on your athletic ability, and the necessary changes in body comp will come as a by-product.

0
5f678ffff153bfc8a17ac1ee438c054f

on May 24, 2013
at 07:11 PM

I would say you should try sprinting rather than endurance running, cut out fruit, and try and up the protein!

0
7c09a44d334ef8a8c7c2644b0b7e1383

on May 24, 2013
at 07:03 PM

I'm also a 5'4 20-something around 140 lbs. and am having a hell of a time getting any more fat off, so I will be watching this thread with interest.

Based only on what I've read, you may want to consider switching out the fruit and replacing it with some starches like sweet potato. Fruit can stall weight loss for some, while sweet potato is a pretty safe and satisfying carb, especially if you're doing as much exercise as you are. However, if it's just a handful of berries or something then I'm sure that's fine.

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