Studies suggest the healthiest minimum percentage of “essential” fat for men is no less than six percent and for women no less than ten (though statistics demonstrate that the average man has 3 times that and the average woman 2.5 times hers). Hereditary factors do affect the composition of our body fat, though our lifestyle choices impact the range of “underfat” to “overfat.” Some enjoy good health even with high body fat. However, studies have shown that most of the people suffering from heart problems and diabetes have a higher percentage of body fat.
With a family history of heart disease and diabetes, lower body fat is most likely disease-preventative for me. I don’t believe in dieting, but rather adopt a “nutrient-rich lifestyle” for it isn’t merely a matter of what you eat, but when you eat it. I don’t count calories, don’t weigh my food, and don’t need to “cheat” because I love what I eat with my family and friends, and enjoy a healthy appetite.
Arriving today at a clean 6%BF at 43 years of age, I believe I am doing the best to not shorten my life with preventable disease. And I feel awesome, thanks to my teachers and teammates.
I’ve been asked how long I intend to sustain this leanness. I’m not trying to. It’s the result of consistent lifestyle changes. Find what you love to do consistently. Choices lead to changes, but only consistency makes it stick. Don’t do things to sustain them. Do them because they sustain you.