Hi all, I have been running for about a year and half, completing 4 half marathons in that time. Usually my training involves 2 shorter runs of between 3 and 5 miles, and a long run at the weekend (8-12 miles). Add in a swim and Pilates as well once a week. Decided to check my body fat at the gym this morning and to my horror although I have a bmi of 19, I have a body fat of 27.7%! I thought my diet and lifestyle was healthy but obviously I was mistaken. Spoke to gym instructor and he suggested kettle bells, circuits (which I did this morning) and going wheat free for 4 weeks to see if that makes a difference? Apparently I may not be eating enough to keep fat off? I'm really confused by the whole thing! Has anyone else been in this situation and de-larded successfully? I know my bmi indicates that I'm slim, which I am overall, I just have a flabby stomach, hips and bottom, no matter how much I run! Would much appreciate s,e advice! Thanks image


  • Going wheat free will, in itself, make no difference to your body fat percentage. I can't even begin to fathom why anyone would give that advice! Nor can I work out how 'eating enough' and 'keeping fat off' go together. Quite frankly, gym instructors aren't the best people to take dietary advice from! image


    Male/female? (I'm guessing female, but your name could be either!)

    How old are you?

    What is your diet like?

    Do you do any weights/resistance exercise?

    If you are female, then a body fat percentage of 27.7% is actually considered to fall within a 'normal', healthy range. You need body fat, and women will naturally carry more than men due to their physiology. 

    If you did want to drop fat, without dropping total weight (which I'm assuming you don't need to with a BMI of 19), then you should look to adding some resistance exercise into your training regime. I think most people will tell you that running alone (without doing 50, 60, 70+ miles per week) isn't great for changing body composition. Weight work will help you to build lean muscle, and increase your basal metabolic rate (BMR). The energy store the 'feeds' the BMR is predominantly fat stores, so you can get leaner at the expense of fat image


  • How was your body fat % measured? If it was done by standing on a pair of scales which send an electric current through you then that isn't particularly accurate.

  • A special machine in the gym (you stand on it and hold onto handles and it does height and weight and bmi and body fat). I seem up carry excess flab on my hips and bum, and also suffer with bloating which is why i think wheat free may have been suggested. Anyway, in answer to your questions:

    1) Female

    2) 25

    3) Fairly good I think, always breakfast, get my 5 a day, mostly vegetarian so lots of pulses and fish, whole grains. (no white carbs ever!) drink peppermint and green tea. Try to avoid processed foods as much as possible, have a ready meal usually once a week. Work nights approx once every 10 days which can be challenging food-wise!

    4) only started doing resistance work this week- did body pump for a couple of months but fell out of love with that... Got a free-weights programme now- lunges with weights, bicep and tricep curls, and core exercises for the belly! Not sure how this will help my chunky ass though!
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