9 Tips to Quickly Reduce Your Fat Percentage + Table & Schedule
A good reason to lower the fat percentage in your body is to improve your health and your figure. You do this by burning fat, but how do you best deal with this? In this blog, you get the best tips to get a low-fat percentage and I give you an effective week schedule to quickly reduce your body fat percentage.
The fastest way to get results seems to be following a crash diet, but the opposite is true. I give you simple hacks that you can immediately apply in your daily life to burn body fat.
This is what you will learn in this article:
- The best tips to reduce your fat percentage weekly
- How you can quickly reduce your body fat percentage without losing muscle
- What you need to do to get (and maintain) a low-fat percentage
- Why sleep deprivation and chronic stress are worse than unhealthy eating
- And much, much more ..
What is a healthy fat percentage?
Do you want to know if you are in a good physical form?
Then you better leave out the scale.
Because instead of relying on the scale and your body weight, you better take into account your fat percentage.
A low or high-fat percentage entails health risks.
Research shows that the fat percentage of a person is more important in predicting health risks than body weight (source). People who have the right fat percentage are healthier on average and live longer.
How do you know if you have a healthy fat percentage depends on a number of factors. The bandwidth where it is still healthy is difficult to name in one percentage. A healthy fat percentage depends on gender and age.
For example, it is genetically determined that women carry more fat than men. The fat percentage of a healthy woman is around 20-32% on average, while in a man this is between 10 and 18%.
In this video Rachel explains what a healthy fat percentage is and how you can best measure it:
Omron BF306 Body Composition Monitor
The following values are a healthy fat percentage:
Healthy fat percentage table
|Age||Men (in%)||Women (in%)|
The percentages are only an indication, because there are several dependencies, which means that the ideal percentage can deviate.
That adult women store more body fat than men has an important biological reason: the female body needs fat reserves (energy source) in case of a possible pregnancy. For this reason, women are starting to develop more fat reserves during puberty.
Why is a too high-fat percentage dangerous?
The higher your fat percentage, the more likely you are to develop subcutaneous fat and visceral fat. Too much body fat is especially dangerous if it is in certain areas of your body.
In men, excess body fat is mainly stored in and around the abdominal area. In women who are overweight, body fat is mainly stored on the stomach, hips and thighs.
While obese women are more likely to develop subcutaneous fat, men are more prone to the storage of visceral fat.
When do you have a too high-fat percentage?
- On average, women between the ages of 19 and 29 falls above 30% in the danger zone.
- For women between the ages of 30 and 40, this is above 31% and for women in their forties, it is all above 34% that poses health risks.
If women enter the transition, this often entails all sorts of health problems. Among other things, hormonal changes take place that can cause weight gain. This makes it more difficult for women to maintain a healthy body fat percentage.
A too low-fat percentage is also dangerous
That too high a fat percentage is unhealthy does not automatically mean that a low-fat percentage is healthy. The desire to be slim may be an important reason for losing weight for many people, a too low-fat percentage is far from healthy.
A low-fat percentage puts your health at risk. That is because your body (especially the brain and vital organs) needs nutrients to function. Men and women with a very low-fat percentage are confronted with shortages of important nutrients.
When your body has insufficient fat reserves, muscle tissue will be broken down for energy. This ‘starvation mode’ is at the expense of the body itself.
In 1944 the Minnesota Starvation Experiment started in America. One of the most gruesome studies on malnutrition and hunger. 36 American conscientious objectors were used as guinea pigs to see what malnutrition does to the human body. They were put on a ration for six months and were given an average of 1570 calories a day for food.
As the months passed, the men got more and more health problems. The soldiers were tired, listless, ill, antisocial and struggled with concentration problems and intestinal problems. At the end of the experiment – 6 months later – the men weighed an average of 53 kg with a dangerously low-fat percentage. When the doctors wanted to get the men to strengthen with extra calories, vitamins and proteins, this initially appeared to have no effect.
It took almost a year before the men had their old weight back. But long-term malnutrition had already caused permanent physical and psychological damage among men (source).
This research shows that a too low-fat percentage is harmful to the human body.
Women with an extremely low-fat percentage (think of 12-14% or lower) disrupt their hormonal balance and run the risk of absent menstruation and even infertility. Let lose weight and get a lower fat percentage so never become physically unhealthy!
Note: set targets in fat percentages!
Body weight is often used as an indicator of physical progress.
But as you have read, your fat percentage says a lot more about the physical state in which you find yourself. If you want to lose weight then it is important to know what your fat percentage is.
The loss of body weight says relatively little. In a crash diet, the kilos fly off, but that is mainly moisture and not fat. It is just a lower fat percentage that ensures that tight body!
What most people do not realize is that weight loss is due to moisture loss. Dietary weight loss (such as a low-carbohydrate diet) mainly results in a fluid loss in the first few weeks.
Just like everyone who wants to lose weight, you should take your body fat percentage as a barometer for getting slimmer, not your lost kilos. Because nobody really wants to lose weight, it’s all about losing fat.
To reduce the fat percentage you have to live healthier. You should pay particular attention to the diet.
You do not necessarily have to eat less, but you have to eat the right macronutrient ratio. Do not fool yourself with light products or a crash diet and focus primarily on physical exercise and healthy nutrition to lose weight (source).
Always set goals in fat percentages and never in weight.
Do not be blind to losing 10 kg in 6 months time. It is much better to reduce your fat percentage monthly.
Measuring fat percentage: how does that work?
There are different ways to measure your fat percentage. The simplest and cheapest way to do that is through the skin fold measurement. With the skin foldimeter, you measure the thickness of your skin fold.
The thicker your skin fold, the higher your fat percentage. The skin fold measurement is given in millimeters which you can compare with a table that shows what your fat percentage is.
The only drawback of the skin fold is that it requires some exercise before you are able to accurately measure your fat percentage. To increase the accuracy of the measurement, it is best to do 3 skin-fold measurements and take the average.
Tip # 1: eat a low carbohydrate
An effective way to lower your fat percentage is to start witha low-carbohydrate diet. This diet focuses on many proteins, healthy fats and low carbohydrates. With a low-carbohydrate diet, you are able to lose weight faster than with a low-fat diet (source).
By eating less fat you do not necessarily lower your fat percentage. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. In my view, you should especially avoid simple carbohydrates and bad fats. Your body can not do without healthy fats, but trans fats, in particular, are the problem. These increase the cholesterol level in your blood and increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. In addition, they are also bad to achieve your goal, namely lowering your percentage.
If you decide to follow a low-carbohydrate diet, it is important that you learn to distinguish between simple carbohydrates and multiple carbohydrates. The difference between these two lies in the number of molecules they consist of. The single variant is absorbed more quickly by the body.
The body, therefore, burns them faster.
Examples include processed products such as white bread, biscuits and white rice. The body takes longer to burn multiple or complex carbohydrates. A good low-carbohydrate diet contains as few simple carbohydrates as possible.
Tip # 2: moderate with alcohol
A glass of red wine at his time is very healthy. But do not overdo it!
Alcohol can have both healthy and harmful effects.
Small amounts of alcohol, such as a glass of wine, can reduce the risk of heart attacks and strokes (source).
However, large amounts of alcohol can lead to inflammation, liver damage, dehydration and other dangerous health problems (source).
You will not be surprised that alcohol does not contain nutritional values, but a lot of calories.
The body wants to get rid of the alcohol as soon as possible and will digest this first.
Various studies have shown that alcohol suppresses fat burning and those excess calories from alcohol are partly stored as belly fat (source).
Moreover, it appears that people who drink large quantities of alcohol on a night (binge drinking) every week are more sensitive to excess belly fat than people who consume only one alcoholic drink every day (source).
Heavy alcohol consumption is therefore not recommended if you want to lower your fat percentage.
Tip # 3: eat meals with lots of protein
here is a lot of evidence that proteins increase fat burning and reduce feelings of hunger, which can automatically cause weight loss.
It also appears that proteins increase your metabolism considerably more than fats and carbohydrates (source).
One of the reasons for this is that it requires more energy to digest and use proteins.
Other studies have shown that proteins are the most satiating and provide a full feeling (source).
This is partly because protein-rich food suppresses the hunger hormone ghrelin.
It also stimulates the production of the hormone peptide YY that lowers appetite (source). Protein-rich foods help you to lose weight to a large extent and lose excess belly fat.
Another study shows that if 30% of your daily calorie requirement consists of proteins, this automatically leads to a decrease of 441 calories a day (source) because you no longer feel the need to continue eating. To be able to make a good comparison: these are the same number of calories that you burn when you stand on the boring treadmill for 45 minutes.
It has been shown that a high intake of proteins stimulates the metabolism. This can even add up to 100 calories extra per day without having to do anything special for it (source).
How much protein do you need to eat for optimal fat burning?
Regardless of your gender or body weight, it is important that about 30% of your daily calories consist of proteins.
A high intake of proteins also has the advantage that you can quickly lose weight without losing muscle. It is best to spread your protein intake throughout the day over different meals for prolonged satiety.
Tip # 4: start with a vegan diet
Everyone has his personal reasons for eating vegan.
Some people become vegan as a protest against animal suffering, others because of the environment or their health.
But a vegan diet also appears to be a good way to lose weight and lower your fat percentage.
In a study, a group of people was put on a vegan diet for 18 weeks, while the other group did not have to change their eating habits at the time. At the end of the study, it appeared that the vegan group had lost 4.2 kg more weight than the second group (source).
Why does a vegan diet work so well? The secret lies in the fact that you create a calorie deficit with a vegan diet.
To begin with, a vegetable vegan diet generally contains a lot of fruit, vegetables, whole grains, beans, peas, nuts and seeds. Such foods are often rich in dietary fibers that give you a fuller feeling and ensure a stable blood sugar level (source).
Because a vegan diet contains a high amount of fruit and vegetables, you get a lot of food inside with a lower calorie density and a large volume.
In practical terms, you should eat about 300 grams of boiled broccoli to get 100 calories. While you would reach the same number of calories with a piece of chicken of 60 grams or a slice of cheese of 30 grams.
Not so strange that many vegetable recipes filled with fiber, minerals, vitamins and water help you feel full.
Tip # 5: eat fewer meals
It is a persistent myth that you should eat many small meals during the day to increase your metabolism and burn fat. Recent studies conclude that the number of meals spread throughout the day (meal frequency) has no effect on fat burning and weight loss (source, source).
Except that it makes little sense to eat something every 2 to 3 hours, it is also very annoying to be in the kitchen all day to prepare food. It makes a healthy diet follow unnecessarily complicated.
Many people believe that eating more meals leads to increased metabolism and the burning of more calories. This means the thermal effect of food.
However, the thermal effect as extra energy use is greatly overestimated. It is true that the body uses a certain amount of energy to digest the meals, but the benefits are greatly exaggerated by the food industry.
On average, the thermal effect of food is about 10% of the total caloric intake. In order to lower your fat percentage, it is not important how many meals you eat in a day, but how many calories you get in a day.
Eating four meals (each containing 500 calories) has exactly the same thermal effect as eating 2 meals of 1000 calories.
This is supported by scientific research showing that the increasing or decreasing meal frequency has no effect on the total calories burned (source).
Tip # 6: do HIIT and not cardio
Every form of physical exercise helps you to burn calories.
But when it comes to fat burning, not all sports are equally effective.
Aerobic sports such as jogging or running are often seen as a good way to stimulate fat burning, but in reality, running is worthless if you want to burn fat.
This may come as a shock to you, but if you want to get rid of (belly) fat, cardio is definitely not the best way!
There are some important factors that you want to take into account if you want to lose weight.
- Which energy source appeals to the body?
- How high is the after-burn effect after training?
You want the body to address fat reserves as an energy source and not your glycogen stock. Secondly, it is wise to look at the afterburning of extra calories after the training.
This is also called EPOC (excess post oxygen consumption). A higher afterburning is mainly achieved by lifting weights and alternating periods of high effort with short periods of rest.
Which sport do I recommend to you if you want to quickly lower your fat percentage without muscle loss? HIIT! High-intensity interval training costs a lot of energy and is ideal for stimulating fat burning. The physical recovery after the training also ensures more energy consumption.
Research shows that a HIIT session of only 15 minutes has an after-burn effect of no less than 3 days (source).
If you want to quickly lower your body fat percentage, you better skip hours of cardio training and focus on intensive intensity training that will help you to quickly get a tighter and more attractive figure.
Tip # 7: keep an eye on your fat percentage
Once you have started lowering your fat percentage per week, it is important that you keep an eye on this process. Not only discipline and perseverance determine whether you will sustain it in the long term, but also the tracking of fat loss is important. Measuring is knowing!
You can not book progress if you do not know where you are at the moment. Having unrealistic expectations and not keeping track of your progress can work against you. In a study on overweight and obese women, it appears that the women who thought they would lose the most weight first decided to throw the towel in the ring (source).
To prevent you from falling back or making yourself unnecessarily worried, you should periodically continue to measure your fat percentage. This applies both during the weight loss process and afterward. Even after you have reached the target body fat percentage, you must continue to pay attention to avoid falling back again.
Monitor your weight and fat percentage. Put it on your calendar, for example, to measure at least monthly or biweekly. That way you are able to intervene quickly if your fat percentage rises again.
Tip # 8: ensure a good night’s sleep
Sleeping plays a more important role in losing weight and losing body fatthan most people think.
A good night’s sleep reduces feelings of hunger and protects you from becoming fat.
American scientists discovered that there is a connection between too little sleep and the amount of abdominal fat in a study with eleven hundred men. Men who slept 5 hours or less per night had a greater risk of developing fat reserves (source).
If you want to get a low-fat percentage, a good night’s sleep is of vital importance.
Studies show that long-term sleep deprivation leads to the stimulation of feelings of hunger and appetite with 24%. It also leads to fluctuations (up to 26%) in the hormones that make you feel full (source).
Furthermore, research shows that people who sleep less than 7 hours a night have a less satiated feeling after breakfast. This makes you more inclined to eat something again (source).
The human body needs sufficient sleep in order to function properly and to stay healthy.
Tip # 9: avoid chronic stress
Everyone suffers from stress sometimes. Short-term stress enables us to perform well and to be completely sharp.
But a life in which you are constantly under constant stress and stress is incredibly unhealthy.
Long-term stress eventually causes psychological and physical complaints.
You become exhausted, the immune system no longer works optimally and your body starts producing certain hormones that provide extra storage of body fat. Stress also affects all kinds of body processes including hormones that strengthen your sense of hunger (source).
Do not let stress get a grip on your life. Look for ways to eliminate stress from your life step by step.
One good way to control stress is to follow yoga lessons. It may sound a bit woolly in the ears, but it works extremely well for stress reduction. People of all ages follow yoga classes.
Although the yoga classes differ in content, they all have an important common goal: to bring together your body and mind. Yoga does this mainly by increasing your breathing awareness.
Several studies have looked at the effects of yoga on the state of mind of people. This shows that yoga can improve mood and is at least as effective as antidepressants in treating depression and anxiety (source). Further research is required to draw definitive conclusions.
In any case, it is clear that there is a link between chronic stress and overweight. By finding ways to get rid of your chronic stress, you reduce the risk of obesity and dejection (source).
Also, meditation can be great to reduce stress, check my article 5-reasons-to-meditate
Did you know that research shows that 1 in 3 just gains from a diet instead of losing weight? (source)
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