People who maintain <15% or <10% body fat, what is it like?

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Sin Silver
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:29 am

I weigh 86.5 kg and I'd estimate I'm at 20% body fat. I've been loosing a 1kg a week for four weeks now by maintain a calorie deficit. The last four weeks have been fine, but I've noticed I've been feeling rather tired in the evenings.

This might be unrelated to my weight loss/calorie deficit, but I wanted to ask, how did it feel for you loosing so much weight? How does it feel maintaining that much weight as well? Is it as hard maintaining those weights as it is achieving them in the first place?
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Lostcause
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 10:35 am

You are obviously gonna have less energy at lower bf levels. Tho, I doubt its that visible at 20% bf.
I myself feel about fine at 15% bf I have right now. At lower levels I was literally in a vegetative state, but I was in a deficit which must have taken its toll on my energy.
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MakingAComeback
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 12:04 pm

Yeah energy can be challenging, but there are things you can do to support overall cellular energy production in a deficit. I have a coach, and he has me on the following supplements, with each meal:

-Niacinamide
-Brewer's yeast
-B12
-Vit C

Best wishes,
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Thu Jun 10, 2021 6:31 pm

Sin Silver wrote:
Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:29 am
I weigh 86.5 kg and I'd estimate I'm at 20% body fat. I've been loosing a 1kg a week for four weeks now by maintain a calorie deficit. The last four weeks have been fine, but I've noticed I've been feeling rather tired in the evenings.

This might be unrelated to my weight loss/calorie deficit, but I wanted to ask, how did it feel for you loosing so much weight? How does it feel maintaining that much weight as well? Is it as hard maintaining those weights as it is achieving them in the first place?
I'm somewhere between 10% and 15%, which I've maintained since November last year.

I've never had issues with energy. I'm not currently running due to a foot injury but I'd 100% suggest running as a way to increase energy and mood. Even 5 minutes every morning supercharges your energy every day.

What's your deficit? I held a 200 Cal deficit for most of my cut... any more and you might run into hunger and energy issues.
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Sin Silver
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 4:00 pm

Thanks for the tip, no idea what deficit I'm at right now, as I didn't measure what I was at when I started. I've been loosing weight at a good pace, but I'll have to take it more seriously once I plateau.
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YouBetYourCottonPanties
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 6:36 pm

I'm sitting at 12% or under (based on a bod pod).

I don't count calories, instead opting to exercise more regularly so I can enjoy whatever I want in moderation. I'm also a big eater.

In the before times, prior to lockdown, I was at the gym 4-5x lifting heavy. During lockdown(s) I've adopted a body weight routine in the mornings prior to eating. Fasted exercise is the best way to lose fat in my experience.

That being said, I don't eat a lot of carbs. This means most of my meals are meat and veggies. Carbs include the OCCASIONAL loaf of milled bread, but are mostly root vegetables and quinoa. Sometimes rice. Rarely pasta unless it's fresh. No frozen or fast foods unless I meal prep myself. I would consult a dietician an optimal plan.

I have many vices, mostly sweets, and I don't keep them in the house because my self control waivers.

My routine, in case you're interested.
3 sets of:
- 4 mins intense skipping OR
- 8 mins challenging
- Pullups, 14-16 OR weighted (35lbs) 8
- Pushups, 40
- Toes to bar, 6-8
- 10 Burpees

I regularly throw light weights into the routine. Compound lifts, just to maintain my form so I can hit the ground running when the gyms open.
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Fri Jun 11, 2021 8:56 pm

It's rough no matter what you do, any time you're sitting below where your body "naturally" sits, it's going to fight you. It's difficult to describe how it feels, you'll pretty much have to experience it yourself. The good news is it's not a binary thing, it's not "if you're lean you feel like shit", it's HOW lean determines HOW shitty it feels. Also, it's pretty easy to get way leaner and more muscular than average without too many negative effects, it's only once you really cut down far, that it starts to get bad. If you naturally sit around 20%, then you can probably hold down 15% without a problem.

I'm pretty average, I sit a little under 20%, if I just eat whatever and have a decent amount of activity. When I'm down closer to 10%, I just spend more time thinking about food and being hungry than just about anything else. It does get easier the longer you maintain a certain bodyfat though. Part of that is mental, you just learn to deal with feeling hungry and being more tired, part of it's physical, your body (slowly) adapts to being and staying leaner.
The worst effect as you start to really get lean though is lower test. I had some assistance in my last big cut (though it was just clomid, which didn't do that much) but it was still really rough some days. If you've never had low test, it really sucks, the biggest thing I've noticed is it's very easy to get flustered and scared and timid AND makes it harder to keep on muscle AND makes you have even less energy. TRT will fix it outright but is a pretty extreme measure until you're really low and actually need it, or hypogonadal to begin with.

How fast you're cutting, if you're still cutting or you've started maintaining (though keep in mind, maintaining at a lower bodyfat% is NOT like maintaining your original! You need to keep basically the SAME diet and exercise as you took to get there!), and how long you spent cutting overall will make it better or worse. If you do a slow cut (<1% of your body weight per week at high bf%, down to 1/2% or less as you get leaner), AND over a long period of time (at least 6 months to get from 20% to 10%, though that's uncommon to actually achieve just due to other things in life, a year or more is usually more reasonable), you'll be more "used to it" by the time you get down, your body won't fight it nearly as much as if you crash dieted.

You said you're losing about 1kg/wk, if you're 80-some kg, then I wouldn't try to maintain that rate much longer, as your body adapts to your diet and training and your weight starts to level off, I'd target going closer to 1/2kg or 3/4kg a week, to keep the loss of energy/hunger/etc to a minimum.
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