Reducing Body Fat

Hello everyone

One of my goals for the new year is to reduce my body fat to below 20% and I wondered if anyone out there has any good tips?

I train about 5/6 times a week in some form usually made up of the following; Run - 1/3 times (including a race), Five a Side Football - 1-2 times, Spin Cycle - 2 times (usually)

I have always been very active, especially playing football more regularly until about 2007 when I took up running, I haven't been able to reduce my body fat percentage.  I have lost weight (from just under 14 stone to around 13 - although I wasn't overweight and never have been) and have lost quite a lot of upper body muscle (I don't like working out in the gym).  My diet have improved tremendously over the past couple of years, eating more fresh food and less junk (although I have a massive soft spot for chocolate).

I don't really want to diet or calorie count and I enjoy my current varied regime but I wondered if any fellow Runners World subscribers have any great tips that have been tried and tested.

Thanks in advance.



  • weight training. Low weight, high reps
  • Also you could do a food diary for a day or two it is funny just how much snacking goes unnoticed.

    Last July I bought a body fat calculator based on electrical impedance it seems to track my fat loss well over the last 6 months I have lost 6.5kg (1 stone).

    I have some confidence in it. I was 100kg @23%fat that is 23kg total fat and now I am 93.5kg @18% fat that is 16.8kg of fat. This gives me a fat loss of 6.2kg which agrees closely to the 6.5kg total loss show on the scales.

    NB shop around for one aimed at the physically active as fat and lean tissue is distributed differently in sporty types.

    I am running the JOGLE, 860 miles in 15 days in 2011

  • One simple tip - Maintain muscle at all costs. So many people trying to lose weight do not consider this basic point.

    Diets and many exercise programs cause the body to lose muscle and it is the muscle, the bodies 'fat burning furnace' that you need to focus on maintaining. Lose the muscle and what is going to burn off the fat?

    On top of that all you also need to consider: calories in < calories out. Work the two together and you can achieve what ever you desire.

    I changed sports 1.5 yrs ago; my first goal reshape my entire physique for my future ultra endurance goals and to that end I lost 55lbs in under a year. I maintained the muscle I needed and dropped off all the soft wobbly stuff and it was easy, and with every thing I have ever achieved it is done drug free.

    There are many methods that can be used to reduce body fat and for each you can judge them on the risk / benefit ratio. Consider this risk / benefit ratio similar to how Ski runs are marked:

    The beginners run will get you down the mountain but whilst on the one hand it offers the lowest risk of 'injury' it also has the least benefit to the skier. Then you have the black diamond slopes for the expert skiers, these have the highest risk of 'injury' but they also provide the greatest benefit.

    The ideal slope would have the least risk of 'injury' but also offer the greatest level of experience.

    If you are looking for a way to lose the soft wobbly stuff what you want is a method that will not cause 'injury' to the body (undue loss of muscle and poor body composition) whilst offering the greatest benefit (loss of unwanted body fat)

    There are many ways of tackling this problem all with different degrees of injury / benefit ratios and the method that scores highly (low risk / High benefit) is High-density weight training. This is NOT low weight / high reps, this is not High Intensity training, this is about increasing the volume of weight moved over a shorter and reduced unit of time. My core utilisation of this was heavy kettlebell workouts with 15 second rest between sets and reducing rest between heavy weight training work sets also to seconds rather than the 3 minutes + on I used on strength work.  The only down side to this method is my max strength did suffer some what but if you wish to target fat loss use this method on large compound movements, decent poundage but reduce the rest intervals.

  • My advice would be to seek out a qualified pt and be explicit with your goal and get them to work you out a programme. Sounds like you need to incorporate some resistance training into your schedule...doesn't have to be boring weight amchines or plodding away at the bicep curls. A pt will jump at the chance to work with someone as active and fit as you who wants to challenge themselves in a new way with a specific goal...think TRX, plyometrics, and compound exercises with medicine balls, kettlebells, etc....give it a whirl! x
  • Why do you want to lower your body fat percentage?
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