Is It Possible to Have A Beach Body All Year Round?
When you have 10% body fat you are beach body ready! You can clearly see all of your ab muscles!
But can you maintain this look 365 days per year?
That’s what we’re about to find out…
Body fat & Ab Visibility…
Typically you would class a physique as lean with anything below 15% body fat for females and 12% BF for males. The less body fat you have the more your stomach muscles will show.
The difference between somebody who is 10% BF and somebody who is 5% is ridiculous…
It’s much easier to maintain 10-15% body fat compared to 5%, in fact, I’ve found that when you go into single digits (9% and lower) your quality of life suffers significantly.
You see these fitness models on stage smiling, flexing their tanned, sculpted muscles but deep down they are feeling cr*p!
As your body fat goes down into single digits it starts to slow down and it becomes more efficient with energy because it’s receiving less fuel (unless you’re taking keto pre workout to give you a surge of energy). It’s like having a Ferrari parked on your drive but with no petrol to drive it!
Your thinking becomes slower, you move less, and it’s unsustainable. Also, the more you push your body fat down the more likely you are to rebound and overeat.
Your body is in survival mode and it’s no longer just a physical battle but also a mental one too! Your stomach and mind are constantly telling you to eat – it’s like your next-door neighbours alarm going off all the time!… and you can’t shut it off unless you eat more food!
Then when you eat more it’s hard to stop and you’re likely to keep eating lots of carby foods to help pick up your energy levels. You’re like a drug addict, but with food, devouring everything in site! Before you know it your washboard abs have disappeared into oblivion!
The only natural way to be safe and save your hardworking exercise is to get involved with sports. Regular swimming or outdoor sports helps to keep your mind and body fresh and active. The more you are onto sports the less you are on the risk of storing unnecessary body fats.
Unhealthy Relationships with Food…
I wrote about my eating disorder last week – read here. Ever since I’ve been into transforming my body shape my relationships with food have changed for the worse. For years I’d yo-yo diet, up and down, going from intense restriction (the chicken and broccoli diet!) too pure gluttonous overindulgence, eating ice cream, cake, chocolate, and pizza until I threw up!
I’d yo-yo from 7-8% body fat all the way back up to 20%! It wasn’t a healthy lifestyle and although I don’t want to tar everyone with the same brush it’s a common pattern I see with guys and women into body transformation.
The more someone is into improving their aesthetics the more insecurity that ensues. You are constantly judging how your body looks and comparing yourself to others. Despite the fact that most people in the country (who are out of shape and overweight) would love your physique, in your head, it’s just not good enough (and it never will be!).
Maintaining 10% Body fat…
For the last year I’ve pretty much maintained 10% body fat – at times fluctuating slightly higher and sometimes lower too. This for me has been pretty easy to maintain.
Alongside working on my relationships with food, I’ve managed to build a diet that keeps me fit, lean and healthy and one which doesn’t make me feel restricted and miserable all the time!
I’ve become more accepting of my body (warts and all!) and built a diet that works for my body. I’ve banned trigger foods (chocolate, crisps, bread, sweets) and looked for foods which I enjoy and don’t overeat. One of the things that’s helped enormously is learning how to cook new, tasty recipes (you can check out my recipes here).
With regards to maintaining 10% body fat all I do is keep an eye on calorie intake, I rarely weigh food but have a good understanding of how many calories I’m consuming each day. On training days I’ll typically have anything from 4,000-5,000 and on rest days anything from 2,000-3,000. I’ll regularly rotate my foods and look to try a new recipe each week to keep me satisfied.
I only train 4x per week, compared to the olden days when I’d over eat and then overtrain (basically getting my body into real kerfuffle!). Sometimes I’d train 10x per week, doing double sessions, it was a miserable existence!
In my opinion it’s much more sustainable year round to eat 80% clean and 20% free choice than it is to be 100% all the time!
So can you maintain 10% body fat year round?