How to Lower Body Fat Percentage

 How to Lower Body Fat Percentage

Question:

I weigh about 183 pounds and I am about 5’9″. I’m not sure what my body fat is but I want to get it down. What is the best way to do that? And how many calories should I be eating a day to lose weight? I work out with cardio 4-5 days a week. Thank you.

– Jonathan K.

Answer:

Determining your body fat percentage can be done at LA Fitness with one of our Pro Results® trainers or using a hand-held BIA (bioelectrical impedance analysis) device. Some LA Fitness clubs are equipped with a BIA scale with integrated upper body measurement. Such segmental devices get an overall picture by looking at hydration status of all 4 quadrants & torso of the body. No matter the tool or method, the most accurate body fat % value is obtained from repeating measurement for a few days. Measure again after a couple of months to evaluate change.

The calories you need to lose weight depends on your age and metabolism. Using calculations to estimate energy needs might provide a range of 2,500-2,800 calories per day. If you’ve been maintaining under that intake, you will need to reduce further… but not less than 1,600-1,800 calories per day. It’s better to add resistance training to your workout routine to amp up lean mass and calorie burning.

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Member Spotlight | Meet Elite Fitness Athlete, Matt Harrison

Member Spotlight | Meet Elite Fitness Athlete, Matt Harrison

My Name is Matt Harrison. Six months ago, I set out to accomplish something I once considered impossible, now I am an Elite athlete.

Late 2017, at 34 years old, I found myself divorced, out of shape and satisfied with a familiar routine. I lacked hobbies, goals, and ambition. I didn’t know the feeling of pushing past my comfort zone. Life was passing me by. Feeling lost and alone, I turned to a friend who offered some wise words. He said, “Quit being a victim.” Through self-reflection, I realized the influence fear and doubt had on my daily decision-making. I was afraid to do anything unfamiliar or uncomfortable. More importantly-I was afraid to fail, afraid to lead, and afraid to strive for greatness. This realization awoke a burning desire to follow my passion and pursue fitness as a professional athlete.

This started with 3 commitments to myself:

  1. Be honest in personal assessments.
  2. Holding myself accountable.
  3. Surround myself with a positive community.

I competed in my first Spartan Race early March 2018. Starting training3 weeks prior, I had never run a race before, let alone 15 miles with obstacles. I was nervous and apprehensive to register for my first race but felt the time had come to face my fears and grow. My first race was a rude awakening. Lacking the strength and conditioning to complete the course at an elite level, I made a commitment to seek coaching and train harder every single day until my goal is reached. With a renewed perspective, I applied myself to the sport more than anything before. I no longer had the mindset of trying, but instead found the will to do what it takes, for as long as it takes.

In searching for coaches and accountability, I found much more. I found community and friends who took a serious interest in my success. I recognized limited beliefs that were keeping me from achieving my goals. I discovered friendships, family, and support when just a few months prior I felt alone and aimless. I learned to appreciate the journey and live in the moment. In the past 6 months, I climbed my first mountain, accomplished the largest elevation gain hike in North America, summited 11 peaks in under 24 hours and competed in 7 Spartan races finishing with2 Spartan podiums and qualifying for the 2018 Spartan Race World Championship.

I train hard as if I am the best in the world. At times I’m doubtful, tired, sore and even discouraged, but with a supportive team and my new-found mindset, I’ll never quit and continue to grow. Now 7 races into my Spartan career with an opportunity to race for the World Championship in September, I find myself in a position I could not have dreamed for myself just 6 months ago. Aside from physical strength and conditioning, I gained mental strength, wisdom, and relationships. Through fitness, I’m learning to live, love and appreciate the moment. Through fitness, I am taking back the reigns of my destiny.

To find out more about Matt’s story, check out our podcast episode How to Train Like an Elite Athlete, here.


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Leftover Thanksgiving Toast from OH! Juice Cafe

Leftover Thanksgiving Toast from OH! Juice Cafe

“Eating healthy means making more decisions that crowd out items you know intuitively don’t make you feel good while increasing foods that give you energy, enhance your mood and drive for life.”

Hanna Gregor, founder and CEO

OH! Juice Café

Photography provided by: OH! Juice


OH! Juice Café is located at the following location:

OH! Juice Café

OH! Juice Café is located at 90 N Coast Hwy 101, Ste. 212, Encinitas, CA 92024. Open Monday – Friday from 7am to 6pm. For menu and additional details, please visit ohjuicecleanse.com.


Photography provided by: OH! Juice


Thanksgiving Leftover Toast

Ingredients

  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Serves 4-6

Note: We recommend using all organic, locally sourced ingredients, just like we do at our Café!
·       1 ea medium butternut squash (Peeled and Cleaned)
·       1 oz coconut oil
·       1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
·       1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
·       Himalayan Sea salt
·       ½ loaf Walnut Bread
·       1 1/2 1lbs. crimini mushrooms (sliced)
·       3 T olive oil
·       6 cloves chopped garlic
·       12 sage leaves (chopped)
·       2 tsp Himalayan salt
·       1 tsp. Black Pepper
·       Optional garnish: goji berries or dried cranberries

Method

Part 1: Mashed Butternut Squash

1 ea medium butternut squash (Peeled and Cleaned)
1 oz coconut oil
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
Pinch pink Himalayan sea salt

Toss ingredients and place on a sheet pan. Roast at 400 degrees for approximately 40 minutes or until soft. Rough mash of ingredients.

Part 2: Sage Mushrooms

1 1/2 lbs crimini mushrooms (sliced)
3 tbsp. olive oil
6 cloves chopped garlic
12 sage leaves (chopped)
2 tsp. Himalayan salt
1 tsp. Black Pepper

Sauté crimini mushrooms in olive oil and add garlic and sage salt/pepper.

Part 3: Balsamic Vinegar Syrup

This is simply a reduction of balsamic vinegar by approximately 75 percent then cooled.

Part 4: Assembly

Step 1: Toast walnut bread (we source ours from Prager Brothers!) and smear a couple of tablespoons of squash mixture on toast.

Step 2: Add a couple more tablespoons of sauté mushroom mixture on top of squash as the next layer of goodness.

Step 3: Finally, drizzle with your balsamic vinegar syrup. Garnish with goji berries or dried cranberries.


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Are All Calories Created Equal?

Are All Calories Created Equal?

Question:

Hello, I am a 45-year-old male. I’m in good shape but I’m wanting to drop body fat. I’m at about 19% and would like to get down to 15%. I was wondering in regard to my daily calorie limit, is it more important to watch the types of foods I eat or is it more important to stay under a certain number of calories?

– Adam

Answer:

Well, since you are already in good shape with an ideal body fat percentage for your age, I’d say to you have to focus on both food choices and calorie limit to obtain further fat loss.

You can’t eat 1,500 calories of junk and expect to get definition! Limiting calories by itself will help lose weight, but you need to retain lean mass to get that body fat % down. Selecting healthier foods alone can keep you lean but you’d have to be super in tune with your satiety to create a calorie deficit on purpose.

Just for illustration: If your estimated energy needs for weight loss were 2,000 calories, then comprising that from 40% carbohydrate (mostly complex), 30% protein (up to 0.8 gm/lb. body weight) and 30% healthy fats would help achieve your goal.

  • Breakfast:3 eggs, 1 Cup nonfat Greek yogurt, Large banana, Slice whole grain bread, 2 teaspoons peanut butter
  • Lunch:5 ounces chicken breast, Medium sweet potato, 1 Cup green beans, 2 teaspoons margarine
  • Snack:Large bowl chili [made with 3 ounces ground turkey, 1 Cup pinto beans, ½ Cup diced tomato, 1 small onion, 1 bell pepper, any spices] topped with 1-ounce cheese
  • Dinner:5 ounces salmon, Medium ear corn, 2 Cups broccoli

Analysis on www.FitDay.com by a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist = 2060 calories, 41% carb, 26% prot, 33% fat

– Debbie J., MS, RD

This article should not replace any exercise program or restrictions, any dietary supplements or restrictions, or any other medical recommendations from your primary care physician. Before starting any exercise program or diet, make sure it is approved by your doctor.

Some questions have been edited for length and/or clarity.

Ask our Dietitian

Have a nutrition question? Our registered dietitian is ready to help!

Email nutrition@lafitness.com or submit your question below and it may be featured in an upcoming article!

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Gearing Up for The Holidays (9 Tips to Help Stay in Shape This Season)

Gearing Up for The Holidays (9 Tips to Help Stay in Shape This Season)

The last two months of the year tend to be full of holiday parties, family gatherings, cozy evenings indoors and an abundance of tasty treats. All this can greatly derail the health strides we’ve made throughout the year. While we all know how challenging it is to maintain our healthy habits during the holiday season, with a little determination, planning, and commitment, we can survive the holidays and start the New Year off right.

How to Stay on Track

Select your beverages wisely: Between the bubbly, the eggnog, the gingerbread lattes and the peppermint flavored mochas, a person can easily consume up to a third of their recommended caloric intake with just one drink! Instead, opt for fruit-infused sparkling water, cinnamon or fresh peppermint tea, a wine seltzer (half wine, half seltzer water, half the calories), and if you really want to satisfy the craving, a smaller and lighter version of your favorite holiday drink!

Practice portion control and be selective! You don’t have to stay away from all holiday foods! Treat yourself to one serving of your favorite dish and pair with fresh or steamed fruits and vegetables.

If you’re attending a party or a potluck, take a healthy dish. This guarantees that you’ll have access to at least one nutritious option.

Beware of those lunch room snacks! Yes…those cookies, cakes, and breads that magically appear by the coffee pot. Partake in the conversation with your colleagues and bring along your own healthy snack.

Satisfy a craving with a bite-size treat. You don’t need a full serving. Plus, if you don’t love it, don’t eat it.

Tips to Stay in Shape Over the Holidays

Lack of exercise and unhealthy eating lead to weight gain. They also increase our risk of disease and make it more difficult to manage chronic illness.

  1. Get your annual flu vaccine. Holiday stress, lack of sleep, unhealthy eating habits – all these can weaken our immune system and increase our risk of illness. When we receive our annual flu shot, we greatly lower our risk of catching the flu, developing flu-related complications and having to take time off due to illness.
  2. Partner-up or even better, group-up! When you make a commitment with another person, you’re more likely to honor it. After all, no one likes a flake! A fitness partner can help motivate you, challenge you, pace you, and best of all, make it fun!
  3. Start your day with a morning work-out! Exercise is not only crucial for weight control, but it can also help us cope with holiday stress. One of the benefits of the recent time change is the fact that it gets lighter earlier. Become a morning person! Not only will you feel more energetic and accomplished throughout the day, but it also frees up your evening.
  4. On those rainy days, try an indoor workout! Yoga, Tai Chi, a 30-minute dance session, a stairs workout, heck, even musical chairs with the kids! Try anything that gets you moving!
  5. Start the day with a healthy breakfast. People who eat breakfast end up eating fewer calories throughout the day. Make sure you include a complex carb like oatmeal, whole grain bread or quinoa. Add some berries to your morning oatmeal for a delicious meal.
  6. Don’t skip meals. Skipping meals leads to hunger-eating which results in overeating. Consume healthy snacks throughout the day. Fruits, vegetables, nuts and non-fat yogurt are all great choices.
  7. Keep your body well hydrated. Regardless of the temperature outside, our body needs enough fluid to function properly. Our body can confuse thirst for hunger, and this can result in overeating.
  8. Take it easy! Holiday stress can make you feel overwhelmed. Only take on what you can handle. Ask for help and realize that it’s ok to say no.
  9. Make it a priority to get 7-8 hours of sleep. When we’re lacking sleep, our appetite is one of the first things to become skewed, thus resulting in weight gain. That’s because you’re more likely to consume extra calories from high fat and high sugar foods to cover the energy cost of staying awake. Lack of sleep impacts our hunger (ghrelin) and satiety (leptin) hormones. It also causes a spike in our cortisol levels, signaling our body to conserve energy to fuel our waking hours.

Content contributed by Dr. Sean Hashmi, an Obesity Medicine Specialist and the Adult Weight Management Lead for Kaiser Permanente Southern California.


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