10 tips for a lower body fat percentage
If you do not so much want to lose weight, but rather want to dry train, we mean lowering your body fat percentage. Your fat percentage is the amount of fat in your body compared to your total weight. The less fat compared to muscles, organs, and bone mass, the more muscle definition you will have and the more chance of making that six-pack visible. In this blog, we give you 10 tips for a lower body fat percentage!
What is a healthy body fat percentage?
A healthy fat percentage says more than your BMI. Your BMI only says something about your overall weight in relation to your height. For example, if you are very athletic and muscular, your BMI may be officially too high due to your muscle mass, but of course, you are not unhealthy overweight.
On the other hand, many people think they are doing well because of their weight, and therefore their BMI, is within the normal range. But if in proportion this is mainly fat mass, then there is little health.
Measuring your fat percentage is therefore a much better indicator of your body composition. But what is a healthy fat percentage to aim for? We make a distinction between men and women.
Healthy body fat percentage man
- Essential fat (lower limit): 2-4%
- Athletic: 5-13%
- Healthy: 14-17%
- Slightly overweight: 18-25%
- Overweight: more than 25%
Healthy body fat percentage woman
- Essential fat (lower limit): 10-12%
- Athletic: 13-20%
- Healthy: 21-24%
- Slightly overweight: 25-31%
- Overweight: more than 32%
How much time does it take to reduce your fat percentage?
The speed at which you can lower your fat percentage is of course strongly related to how quickly you can lose weight. If you lose weight in a healthy way, you can count on half a kilo per week. But how this translates into a reduction in your fat percentage depends on several factors:
- If you do not exercise, lose weight too quickly or take in too little protein, you will also lose muscle mass. Your weight may drop, but your fat percentage will hardly drop. Therefore, always use a nutritional schedule so that you continue to take in enough protein and can lose weight at the right pace without muscle loss.
- At the start of your diet, the energy supply in your muscles (glycogen) starts to drain. It even seems as if you have suddenly lost several kilos of muscle instead of fat. But don’t panic because it only seems that way because the fuel tank of your muscles is empty.
- If you start with a lot of overweight, this effect is even more pronounced. In this case, it is better to focus on losing pounds and achieving a healthy BMI first. Then you can focus more on your fat percentage.
- Your hormonal health is also important to be able to burn fat mass and build or maintain muscle. This includes keeping your stress hormone (cortisol) under control and optimizing your insulin sensitivity.
How do you lower your body fat percentage? 10 tips!
1. Stick to your calorie and macro needs
When you can’t see the forest for the trees, return to base. Losing weight and fat loss stands or falls with the correct intake of your amount of kcal. If you take in less than you consume, you will lose weight. It’s that simple. If you also optimize your macros, you ensure the maintenance of muscle mass, the balancing of your hormones and you radiate with energy!
2. Eat only raw and fresh
Unprocessed fresh food contains numerous healthy nutrients to keep you feeling full and energized. Unprocessed and therefore natural food is also usually low in calories and does not contain any thickeners such as an excess of glucose, fructose or trans fats. It’s the best rule of thumb out there. Is a food natural and unprocessed? Then it is most likely very healthy and good for your fat percentage!
Eat soup or salad as an appetizer
To satisfy hunger and not make you sick in your high-calorie main meal, it is wise to have a healthy starter first. By starting with, for example, a soup or a salad, you can satisfy your hunger with healthy nutrients that are low in calories. When the main meal eventually arrives, it will be easier to control yourself and stick to a normal portion.
Fill half of your plate with vegetables
We all know we should eat more vegetables, but we often don’t. When scooping up the meal, we too often focus on high-calorie foods such as meat and grain products. And we all eat what we have scooped up, as we have learned. Therefore, start by scooping vegetables until your plate is half full. The rest can be supplemented to a limited extent with your favorite fish, meat and grain products.
5. Use carbohydrates as a topping
This is a bit like the previous one but takes it one step further by changing your entire mindset around vegetables. When we prepare a meal, we often first consider which fish or piece of meat we want to eat and whether we want potatoes or fries with it. But from now on, let’s turn this around and put the vegetables in the foreground. Prepare your favorite vegetables and make everyone’s mouth water with the scents and colors that you conjure up on the table. Oh yeah, and add some more carbohydrates as a topping.
Eat more raw
Hot meals are often tasty and healthy and should not be avoided. But adding extra raw vegetables is a useful tool for lowering your fat percentage. Raw fruits and vegetables are high in healthy nutrients, low in calories, high in water and above all very satiating.
Eat more consciously
Your satiety depends on how much you’ve eaten and how full your stomach is. But also how much calories you think you have eaten. If you are eating without thinking at your computer at work, or at home on the couch, you do not eat consciously and you feel less satisfied.
Always sit at the table when you eat and consciously try to experience the flavors and structures of your food. You will enjoy your meal more and you will feel more fulfilled both physically and mentally.
Chew your food
This is consistent with conscious eating, but chewing really deserves a special mention. By chewing your food enough, you will automatically eat more slowly and you become saturated faster. By grinding your food you make digesting your meal a lot easier so that you do not get a dip after the meal, but more energy. Chewing is king! For lowering your fat percentage, for easier digestion and more energy!
9. Steam or grill
We do our best to prepare a healthy meal. We choose a lot of vegetables and go for a lean piece of fish or meat with a modest portion of carbohydrates. But when we fry everything in butter or oil, we often unconsciously add an enormous amount of calories. A tablespoon of oil easily contains 80 kcal of fat and unfortunately, we quickly use two or three.
By steaming or grilling you not only save on unnecessary calories, but it also ensures that the pure flavors of your food come into their own.
10. End your meal with a healthy dessert
Dessert is often the highlight of the meal. Even though we’re not hungry after the main meal, we love to treat ourselves or each other. To lower your fat percentage, you could choose to sit with your arms folded while everyone feasts on something tasty and sweet. But you can also end your meal with a healthy alternative. This could be food or drink such as a juicy piece of fruit or a cup of coffee or tea.
Choose from this list of the tips that appeal to you the most and that you can maintain and then achieving a lower fat percentage becomes a lot easier.