What It Really Is: Lean Body, Benefits And Dangers
Who wants a lean body? I bet most, if not all of us, have imagined ourselves to have a strong, buff, and lean body. We all want to wear nice fitting clothes, but we often find ourselves buying a size bigger than what we should wear.
But how do we define what fit lean body is? How can we tell we are already lean? What is body fat percentage? What is a good lean to fat ratio? Is there a difference between men and women? Is lean healthy? These are the important question as this may save you from becoming too skinny!
What Is Lean?
Lean is advertised on the internet, TV, and magazines every day by models who have these perfectly sculpted abs and amazing curves. I hate to tell you this but most, if not all, are edited to reach perfection. Geez, a good editor can even make a woman out of a pizza!
In other words, they are quite an impossible goal to follow. Well, if you could go to the beach and have your muscles flexed for your whole stay there, then you could get a little close to those magazine covers.
In the simplest explanation I could fathom, these publications have fed us the definition of lean. And we, the consumers, have been tirelessly trying our best to become a magazine cover.
Lean Body Mass
Our lean body mass is the weight of our skeletal and muscular composition. When we talk of lean mass, this excludes our fat. The primary stuff we measure is how heavy our bones and musculature are.
The means to measure lean body weight is quite vague since we really can’t remove all the fat covering our body before weighing ourselves. So obviously, this is not a great way to calculate our lean body mass.
But since the human race is persistent and smart, we have devised a smart way to estimate our fat and measure leanness roughly. To arrive at your lean body mass, you need to subtract your body fat percentage to your body weight.
Body Fat Percentage
The amount of fat surrounding our body, under our skin, and enveloping our internal organs cannot be directly measured. That’s why we came up with a percentage representation of our body fat. It can be measured in numerous ways using a caliper.
For more information, you can watch this video to guide you in measuring your body fat percentage.
Leanness is often expressed in how many body fat percentages you have rather than the difference of it to your total body weight. Take in mind that there is a remarkable difference between men and women. This accounts for the size of the female breasts and some other metabolic factors related to menstruation.
To live a life far from starvation and illness, a minimum of 2-5% fat should be maintained for men. Lower than this can result in starvation and ultimately, death. The average minimum for women is estimated at around 10-13%.
The active nut can have a measurement of 14-17% for men and 21-24% for women. Average people with moderate to little activity can have as much as 18-24% body fat for men and about 24-31% for women.
Beyond those figures, individuals are deemed obese and might need some interventions to lose weight.
The figure also present a realistic level for all people. As we can see it, the magazine cover models seem to be maintaining just bare minimums!
The Downside Of Low Body Fat Percentage
We can’t deny the fact that many people want to reach these bare minimum levels to flaunt and show off their buff physique. In some instances, these are advantageous. In bodybuilding competitions, daring contenders try to go below the minimum to display their defined musculature.
But, even experts don’t advise people to maintain this level for long periods of time. Trimming off below 5% body fat can help you snatch the title, but, illness may overtake you if you stay too long.
Lean body is an eye candy. It is attractive and sticking to a certain fitness level while on a healthy diet can be a good recipe for long life.
Though the lean body is a great asset, aiming for a 14-17% for men and 21-24% for women is advised for a healthy functioning bodily system.
Dangling below the 5% body fat minimum can be detrimental to your health without proper diet and multivitamin for bodybuilding. Take in mind the precautions and adjust your meal plan accordingly.