Category Archives: Articles

Day 49 |Muscle Weighs More Than Fat

Kawaii Fitness Photo of the day:


Well hello there Kawaii Fitsters! Lara here again with another blog post. So I bought a weighing scale for my birthday… and ever since I have been obsessed with it (sad to say). I have had a very bad relationship with it in the past. It was a great factor in my previous disordered eating a few years ago (which I have gotten over), now it is there to test me and my strength. 

I know a lot of you out there are being controlled by what is written on that scale, but remember IT IS JUST A NUMBER.  I have to keep reminding myself that as well. Since I weight lift, I am much heavier but  my dress size shrinks. Sometimes I still freak out at the higher number on it but I have to remind myself that muscles weigh more than fat. 

Check out these photos for reference. 

As you can see, though their after photos says bigger on the scale, but their bodies are much more lean and toned. HOORAH for muscles. So this serves as a reminder for me and for everyone else, that numbers on the scale aren’t everything. You’ll be surprised to see that though you are “heavier” (says scale-sama) you look better because of muscle growth and tone. 🙂 

Before I end this post. here is a photo of my lunch in university (yes I have packed lunch just so that I have some semblance of control over my food. And then here is a horrid photo (selfie) of me being all “STAY AWAY FROM ME BECAUSE I AM EATING LUNCH WHILE DOING MY ECON HOMEWORK” heeheehee. 

There you have it. how about you? Are you going to let the scale control your life? 

Lara Novales
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Thinspirational Journey’s Farewell… Soon

Hello everyone.

I just wanted to share with you some issues i am facing with this blog.

#1. Facebook deleted the Thinspirational Journey fan page because Facebook thought, or someone reported that my site promotes eating disorders. Which is not true, if you are a reader of my blog.

#2. I am unable to access my wordpress site through normal means for some odd reason. Everyone else can access it but me. The only way I am able to post this update right now is by going through a VPN program. Which is very much tedious and a big hassle.

#3. I keep getting a lot of hate mail because of my website name. THINSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY, Just because there is the term “THINSPO” in it doesn’t mean I am glorifying starvation or promoting self harm through eating disorders and such.

Let me tell you a brief history about this blog.

Yes, I started out as an eating disordered blog. When I decided to lose weight I had no knowledge, no idea on how i was supposed to be done so i ran to the internet and searched for ways to lose weight and of course there was a plethora of Thinspo sites which were very appealing. Thigh gaps, flat tummies, prominent hip and collar bones. It was media’s ideal of beauty, and being the young adult I was who didn’t know better I was easily influenced and motivated and even inspired by it all. There was no one there to guide me since I was basically all alone and depressed during those “darker” times.

I started a blog and decided to record everything just for myself.

As time passed by I did develop an eating disorder which I DENIED to those who told me I had. Though I was losing weight I was unhappy and my life was a roller coaster. I starved myself, and when I did eat food I would vomit it all out because i’d feel bad about myself. Then it developed into a Starve– binge-puke cycle which was really bad.

I logged everything on to my blog, I would post photos and such and then I would take some tips and share articles that I found useful.

As time flew by, I was little by little introduced to a healthier lifestyle. At first girls with muscles scared the shit out of me because it didn’t fit my twisted ideals of skinny and dainty. But my views changed little by little. My eyes started to open up to my destructive ways until I found a certain Pilates instructor online who was such a positive motivation to me.

Her name is Cassey Ho from Blogilates. I admired her quirky and fun attitude towards fitness. It dawned on me that there is a much better and a happier lifestyle than starving and binging- and throwing up (lather-rinse-repeat).

So I changed my life around. I started to eat healthier and even became vegetarian. I started exercising more than 3 times a week and then one day I saw her post about joining a bikini competition and I was so amazed by her story of dedication and commitment so that was the time I decided I wanted to train insane. Lift heavy. and all that.

So right now I am training for a bikini competition for next year. (better start early).


  • I promote eating 6 small healthy meals a day with balance portions.
  • I promote exercising at least 30-60minutes a day
  • I try to come up with easy challenges that my readers can do every month (though I can’t do this regularly because I also have other things to do but I try really hard)
  • My lines are always open to talk to those girls who are suffering through E.D.s and want to make a change in their life just like I did.
  • I promote healthy and happy living.

But why keep the blog THINSPIRATIONAL JOURNEY?

Think about it. Girls who are looking for “THINSPO” will stumble to my site and see that there is a life beyond disordered eating. There is a happier and healthier lifestyle. So i like to think and put out to the world that my blog is more like a wolf in sheep’s clothing (in a good way) I am a healthy blog disguised as a Thinspo blog so that I can and am able to reach out to those who might be searching for the wrong things online.  At least when they land on my “THINSPIRATIONAL” site, they can see a more positive image and none of those THINSPO stuff that can ultimately destroy their lives.

So I think my readers can be the judge and the witnesses to what my blog is really about.


That being said.

I will now be shutting down Thinspirational Journey and moving it to a new home under a new name giving it a slightly new beginning.

But until the time that Thinspirational JOurney moves on I just wanted to thank all my readers and followers for being there and supporting me.

I hope you will support the new name I will have this blog under.

Lara Novales

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The Easiest and Simplest Weight Loss Tip

Hello everyone! It is Fitness Friday and just as I promised on one of my previous post, an article for you to enjoy!

Today’s awesome-sauce article is from a fellow fitness and wellness blogger of The Health Junkie. She will be sharing with us some easy weight loss tips that everyone can do (NO EXCUSES) heeheehee. You know how I like writing things in an informal way so that it will be much more easy for you guys to read, and I love that about The Health Junkie because her article for us today is really easy to understand. ^_^ And she even gave us a freebie! So be sure to read, rate and comment your opinions (or you can always email if you’re a bit shy — i know most of you are like that).

So without further ado:

The Most Underrated Health + Weight Loss Tip BUT Super Easy To Do.

I’m so honored to be addressing the Thispirational Journey readers, thanks Krystle for this wonderful opportunity. :)I have a super simple tip for you to lose weight and have clear, younger-looking skin but first I’d like to say that weight loss or toning up is 80% food and 20% movement. The saying “abs are made in the kitchen and revealed in the gym” is one of my mantras. Having said that, I know how hard it could be to stick to a diet or force yourself to exercise when you don’t feel like it or you’re just too tired from work or school. So I’m dedicated to find simple, effective and doable tips to make keeping healthy and fit easier.

Here’s a super easy tactic that you can use, you won’t even break a sweat.

Are you ready? Here goes:

Hydrate properly.
Yep, that’s it! Sometimes when we feel hungry, we’re actually just thirsty. So grab a glass of water and drink up!
I’d tell you another reason to drink up (read: no more acne) but before we get into that, let me tell you why I don’t quench with sports drinks.

I used to down sports drinks like water. My life involves a lot of walking and sweating so I thought that the best way to hydrate was with a bottle (or two) of sports drinks and artificially-flavored water. Why? Because water is too bland! Plus I didn’t really care for studies or research back then.

Sports drinks have their benefits of course, especially for athletes (maybe, I can’t really be sure about this), because they were made for athletes. The thing is, most sports drinks contain stimulants like caffeine that can be harmful for health in the long term. They can also have high concentration of sugars and artificial ingredients. Also, most of what the manufacturers claim are not regulated by FDA. (Source: Livestrong)

What I say really is, you be the judge. You know your body well more than me or anybody else. And if you’re like me, you probably don’t tell your doctor everything. [hee hee]

Going back to hydration, now, I go for water. I always carry my reusable bottle and I refill whenever possible. If it’s too hot outside, I go for… ice cold water. Lately I’ve been buying fresh coconut water because it’s the right blend of sweet and refreshing.

Water is a natural cleanser. We all know it. We all drink it. Some of us consume the bottled version (some even pay a premium for certain brands) and some of us are fine with filtered tap.

How can water help you trim off the fat and give you clearer skin?

Water flushes out toxins!

It helps with digestion and aids the natural flow of toxins out of the body. Acne build up happens when the body is not detoxifying properly. I personally have no struggle with pimples, but rough skin and blackheads? Count me in. I remember being really shy about it, not confident enough to mingle with other people. Fast forward to now, my skin has improved and I’m more confident.

Water vs. Sports Drinks

There are many other benefits to drinking water, but why is it better than sports drinks? Read: too much sodium and artificial ingredients. And even if the label says natural, it’s definitely questionable. I suggest reading this well-researched article from Food Babe

For peak performance, and when I really don’t have time to prepare pre- or post-workout drinks, I choose coconut water. Water is not enough to hydrate after some strenuous activities. Coconut water on the other hand contains electrolytes that can replenish our tank after sweating.

Coconut water has five times the potassium found in your sports drink, and far less sodium. Good for the kidneys, yes? It also has more calcium and magnesium, and less carbohydrates and calories than most fruit juices.

In certain tropical countries like the Philippines, coconut water is used as a cure (or as an aid for the cure) for urinary tract infection and many other ailments. Hurray for coconut water!

The point of the matter is, hydration is important! I can’t stress this enough. A well-hydrated body equates to proper excretion of wastes and healthy skin. Hydration prevents muscle cramps, stiffness in joints and a cranky attitude.

So really, you get cleaned inside and out.

Now, I’d like to hear from you.

Have you ever struggled with acne and skin problems? What has worked for you? Share it and tell us in the comments below. I’m going to read every single one of them. :)Thanks Krystle and Thinspirational Journey readers! Just for being avid followers of this blog, I’m gifting you with my super easy recipe for losing the bloated feeling – it’s detoxifying and has only 2 ingredients! 🙂 Click here and catch you next time.

Warmly,Tonette | The Health Junkie


Tonette is the creator and blogger behind The Health Junkie (link: She believes that weight loss, working out and eating clean should be simple, effective and doable – no stress, no fuss, just easy tactics and seeable results. She believes that life must be enjoyed to the fullest and that progress, not perfection, is the goal.

You can catch her on:

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F.A.Q. on My program – Half way through

Hey there you guys! Its me, having a bit of free time to bring you this update.

First thing is first. End term projects have officially swamped me. I literally have more projects than I can handle and I need to make good with one of them because apparently Im failing in Sociology hahahaha! That’s weird. But I’m aceing everything else, most specially Psychology. But I know you don’t want to hear all about academics. You’re hear to read about my ongoing experience with the Jaime Eason Live Fit 12 Week Trainer


F.A.Q. for my completed 6 weeks of 12 weeks into the program

Which Phase/week are you in now?
–  I’m currently in Phase 2, week 7 day 43.

Favourite workouts:
– Deadlift and Squats

– because I feel so strong seeing over 100lbs on the damn plates haha (yes I’m vain)

Have you lost weight?
– on the contrary I gained a whopping 7-8 lbs during the first phase

SO is it bad?
– No it’s not. I lost 1-2 dress sizes while  gaining 7-8 lbs.

What was your starting weight before starting the program
– around 131-133lbs

What is your weight now?
– ugh do I really need to? okay okay 136

I thought you gained 7 lbs?
– I did. During phase 1 I gained So much because the program required NO cardio at all. So it was all eating and lifting. So I gained. I went up to almost 138lbs. But upon reintroducing cardio this phase 2, I guess I lost a bit of weight. 2lbs in 2 weeks?

How did you feel?
– I felt very empowered from the very beginning of the program because it was something new and I was so super excited to test my strengths and explore new territories with my fitness.

Was it worth it?
– Half way through the program, I can say YES! it is so worth it, Even when I don’t have time for other things. I just make sure that right after classes I go to the gym and do the preset exercises which were very well laid out and explain for me in the program itself. I’m much stronger now and I can do a shit load more things than I used to. Heck i was able to push the giant cabinets in my room all by myself when 2 other girls (the maids) couldn’t do it with their combines strength! BWAHAHAHAH (yes I’m vain, still)

Was it easy , hard? or just in between?
– To be honest, it’s not easy, and definitely not too hard, but what I can say is that it is challenging.
You can make it easy by choosing lighter weights but since I want to get stronger I had to use weights that challenged me and that made me push myself harder. I made sure that the last rep I had to use over 9000 amount of willpower and strength. But there are days I chose to just lift light specially those “girl” days (IFYWIM)

What was the hardest part about her program?
– FOOD! The damn food! Eating clean! Eating the same types of food (no matter how much you vary). Honestly I can train for 24 hours but the food. the cravings. it is THE MOST DIFFICULT PART!
– I think I will add LEG DAY! I love leg day but it kills me every single time hahaaha!

What was the easiest part?
– Hmmmm….. easiest part… ab workouts. because I did pilates in the past, which really worked my core, to the ab workouts are nothing to me. 😛 LOL. also hammer curls and leg presses are easy 🙂

Did you meet your goals and expectations for your halfway mark?
– to be honest with you, I expected to loose a lot of weight but because of the gain I was a bit paranoid but when I tried on my clothes which seemed to be a little more lose then it kinda made me feel positive about it

Anyway those are the only questions I was give  but just a few more notes I wanted to add.

I am dead terrified of the scale because every time I see a big number on it my tendency is to relapse so as much as possible, during this whole program I want to refrain from looking at the scale. I look bigger in some parts due to my gain but I hope to cut out the fats on the remaining weeks in the program.

Also as for my diet. I basically just screwed it upon entering the 2nd phase. I was strict during the 1st phase though. But the thing is, I learned to distinguish which food i can or cannot eat and I can more or less balance out the things to a certain point, but I still ate pizza, fried chicken, chocolates, white bread and junk food.

DIET was and continues to be THE HARDEST part of the program. hopefully once I get my allowance I can buy my food again.

Anyway, this is all I have for you today. If you have other questions regarding my half way through, experience, with the program, leave a comment below and I will answer them on the next blog post.

Women Don’t Get Bulky When They Lift Heavy

Okay, so I go to the gym. I LOVE lifting weights. And to be quite honest I lift about 100lbs now on certain exercises (its not a lot compared to others but still). A lot of people always warn me about certain weight lifting issues on women which are utter lies and a load of bull. (not their fault). Media has presented us with so many deceptions and misconceptions about the way we look already and they go and infiltrate out precious weightlifting world because enough is never enough. But I am here, along with other people who have written the articles, to shed light of popular weight lifting myths for women.

#1 Weight Training or Lifting “heavy” makes you bulky

Its sad that most women are mislead to believe this statement. How many times have I heard this, “OMG you’re going to get so big if you lift that heavy!” or “WHAT! You shouldn’t lift anything over 3lbs or you’ll bulk up!” sometimes, “Just go for lighter weights and more reps to create long lean muscles.” I just look at them and take a deep sigh of “I -am-so-sorry-that-you-have-been-mislead-by-media-again.”

First of all, Women do not have the testosterone (balls —lol) for us to gain super muscles like men. Yeap! So unless you pump yourself full of testoserone, drink tons of body building supplements, spend hours and hours at a time in the gym lifting super duper heavy weights (try over 300lbs) and then add a bit of steroids in the mix, then you will never “hulk” up.  like the image on the left.

Those super female body builder athletes, the ones who make Captain America and Super Man look like wimps, well their dedication to their bodies is much more than the superhero’s dedication to saving the world. (IMHO) Since not all of us can even afford to dedicating more than 2 hours daily on working out, I’m sorry girls, but becoming a she-hulk will never be attainable for ya.

On a more serious note. Weight lifting is good for us girls because it makes us stronger! Come on everyone wants to be an Asgardian! Heavier weights mean stronger muscles. More muscles means more fat burn because MUSCLES BURN MORE FAT. Don’t worry about bulk,  the only bulk you have to worry about is if you have bad eating habits.


#2 Lifting Weights will turn Fats into Muscles (thus bulking you up)

Boys and girls I would like you to please refer to this image: The difference between fat cells and muscle cells.

Now please standby as I perform a bit SHITLOAD of Alchemy to turn fats into muscles

Let’s see what happens:

The technical, literal, direct conversion of fat into muscle.

Fat is comprised of triglycerides, which are molecules shaped like a capital E comprising a backbone and three chains of fatty acids (shown below). These chains are made up of carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen almost exclusively.

Muscle mass is made up of muscle tissue, glycogen, water, and some intra-muscular fat.[1][2] The muscle tissue (the only tissue able to contract) is made up of chains of amino acids, which can be quite various in their structure. These chains contain nitrogen, and nitrogen is almost exclusively stored in the body as muscle (with some amino acids floating around).

It is impossible for fat to directly turn into muscle, since fat lacks the nitrogen and no mechanism exists in the body to reconstruct fat into amino acids. No evidence has surfaced implying that amino acids can be made in the body from anything other than other amino acids, a process known as transamination.[3][4]

The vast majority of muscle built is from dietary nitrogen intake; dietary protein is the only significant source of nitrogen in the human diet.[5][6]

So although lifting weights can both build muscle and induce fat loss, these should be viewed as two separate results and not one being the result of another.

Bascially it is impossible for fat to turn into muscle unless you are a very very skilled alchemist who studies under the Elric brothers (Forgive the anime reference I just couldn’t help it)


#3 If you stop weight training your muscles turn into fat.

Please see #2…. if it doesn’t work that way, it sure as hell won’t work the other way. Don’t you think? This is like saying that gold can turn into brass. Muscle and fat are two totally different types of tissue. What happens many times is that when people decide to go off their weight training programs they start losing muscle due to inactivity (use it or lose it) and they also usually drop the diet as well. Therefore bad eating habits combined with the fact that their metabolism is lower due to inactivity, and lower degrees of muscle mass, give the impression that the subject’s muscle is being turned into fat while in reality what is happening is that muscle is being lost and fat is being accumulated.

#4 – Women only need to do cardio and if they decide to lift weights, they should be very light.

First of all, if you only did cardio then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. One needs to do weights in order to get the muscle building machine going and thus prevent any loss of muscle tissue. Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights, this is just more nonsense. Muscle responds to resistance and if the resistance is too light, then there will be no reason for the body to change. (source)

WHEW. There you have it some common misconceptions about women and weight lifting.  I’m sure there are others but I didn’t include them here because I haven’t been presented with them personally.

I might recommend you guys to read this article by NERFITNESS on “7 Strength Training Myths Every Woman Should know.” it is much more detailed than my own short, albeit comical, article.



Lara Krystle Novales

Junk Food Why Its Bad For Us

January 3. 3rd day of the year. Birthday of my most best friend in the world who is currently being tortured by my 30 day Squat till you Drop Challenge in addition to the 21 day no junk food challenge. ^_^ I’m really proud of her. I just hope she completes and doesn’t give up on the challenge.

Anyway, as for me I also am on my 3rd day of the Squat till you Drop challenge and I can really feel the burn on my butt and thighs. So the question for this challenge is “What junk food am I giving up this month?”

The answer

ALL OF THEM. Well right after the reunion tomorrow. All the family from around the world is here and we have this MASSIVE reunion where some of them bake stuff and share with us. As much as I want to say NO to it, it would be very rude. So I will taste a bit of each and then swore my life to the 21 no junk food for the month of January.

But basically I can SHUN all junk food from my life. I’ve done it before and I can do it again. I have to admit, junk food is comfort food. (I swear I think there is nicotine in those chips and crisps).

Here is a very interesting article from on Junk food and why its bad for us.

Junk food is food that is calorie-dense and nutrient poor. In recent decades, junk food, fast food and convenience food consumption in the United States have increased dramatically, with 25 percent of people now consuming predominantly junk food diets. This trend has occurred concurrently with rising epidemics of numerous chronic diseases and accounts for a long list of reasons why eating junk food is bad.


Junk food plays a major role in the obesity epidemic. By the year 2050, the rate of obesity in the U.S. is expected to reach 42 percent, according to researchers at Harvard University. Children who eat fast food as a regular part of their diets consume more fat, carbohydrates and processed sugar and less fiber than those who do not eat fast food regularly. Junk food in these children’s diets accounts for 187 extra calories per day, leading to 6 additional pounds of weight gain per year. Obesity increases your risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and many other chronic health conditions.


Your insulin levels become elevated when you eat processed sugars, such as those in soft drinks, white flour and other foods devoid of fiber and nutrients necessary to properly metabolize carbohydrates. Eating junk foods throughout the day causes chronically high insulin levels, which eventually prompts your cells to begin to ignore this important hormone, resulting in a condition known as insulin resistance. Ultimately, obesity and Type 2 diabetes may set in. Since the 1980s, Type 2 diabetes, which was minimal in teenagers, has risen to 15 percent.


Junk food may lead to depression in teenagers, according to Andrew F. Smith, author of the book “Fast Food and Junk Food: An Encyclopedia of What We Love to Eat.” Hormonal changes at puberty make teens more susceptible to mood and behavioral swings. A healthy diet plays a part in keeping hormone levels on an even keel, while a diet high in junk food falls short of these requirements. Consuming trans fats, saturated fats and processed food is associated with up to 58 percent increase in risk of depression.

Nutrient Deficiencies

Processing that removes vitamins, minerals and fiber makes junk foods into the sources of empty calories that nutritionists disparage. Children who eat a lot of junk foods may develop nutritional deficiencies that lead to low energy, mood swings, sleep disturbance and poor academic achievement, among other health conditions, according to the University of New Hampshire Cooperative Extension.


High sodium levels are a defining characteristic of many junk foods and one of the contributing factors to the overconsumption of salt that typifies the Western diet and contributes to high blood pressure and heart, liver and kidney diseases, according to Harvard Health Publications. The average American eats five to 10 times more salt than the 2,300 milligrams per day recommended by the U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans. Considering the high rates of high blood pressure among Americans, that level should be even lower — about 1,500 milligrams per day — for 70 percent of adults. However, the trend since 1988 shows that fewer people with hypertension adhere to a low-sodium diet now than did then.

About the Author of this article

Tracey Roizman has been a writer and speaker on natural and preventive health care since 1995. She holds a B.S. in nutritional biochemistry and a doctor of chiropractic degree, and is a postgraduate diplomate in chiropractic functional neurology.

Lara Krystle Novales

Body Fat Percentage Basics

Since this year is focused on achieving 20% body fat here is a very helpful article on body fat percentage from

Body Fat Percentage Pictures Of Men & Women

by | September 24, 2012 | Updated: February 6, 2013

Body fat percentage is thankfully gaining more popularity as an effective marker of overall health and fitness instead of the BMI Index.

While I’ve written extensively about body fat percentage in numerous articles including Ideal Body Fat Percentage Chart, 5 Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage, and Ideal Body Weight Formula among many others, I’m hoping this article will help tie everything together by creating visual representations of what a given amount of body fat looks like for men and women.


I searched thousands of images in order to create this article. Most of the images I purchased from stock photography websites, but others are in the public domain (at least I hope). If one of these pictures is copyrighted, please let me know and I will list proper attributions, or replace it if need be.

Body Fat Percentage Basics

To best understand the descriptions in this article and how the pictures were chosen, here are some basic body fat percentage terms and concepts that are helpful to learn:

Body Fat Percentage – is the amount of body fat (lb, or kg) divided by total body weight listed as a percentage. For example, a 180lb man with 30lb of body fat has a body fat percentage of 16% (30/180).

Body Fat Distribution – We all have different body fat distributions, or how fat is distributed across our body. For example, some women may have very little body fat on their abs, but a lot on their thighs and triceps, while others will have the opposite. Same thing goes with men, but most men carry fat in their stomachs. I tried my best to show pictures that highlighted the stomach region for men and the hips/thighs/stomach region for women.

Body Shape -Similar to body fat distribution is we all have different body shapes, so two different body shapes may have the same body fat percentage even if they don’t look like it. A classic example is a skinny runway model may have the same body fat percentage as a fit, athletic women.

Age – The pictures in this post assume ages of around 25-35 years old. Most body fat measurement devices will reflect higher body fat levels as the age increases. For example, a 20 year old man and a 50 year old man may have the same subcutaneous body fat measurement (fat under the skin), but the 20 year old may be 15% and the 50 year old will be at 20%. As we age, fat around the organs (visceral) and within muscle (intramuscular) tends to increase and most formulas take this into account.

Muscle Striations – As an individual becomes more defined, the actual muscle can be seen more clearly, which looks like thin rods, referred to as striations.

Vascularity – This is the appearance of veins in different areas of the body as body fat decreases.

Body Fat Pictures Of Men

Body Fat Picture Descriptions Of Men

Body Fat Percentage Men 3-4%

Bodybuilders can drop as low as 3-4% body fat when preparing for bodybuilding competitions. This body fat level is characterized by extreme vascularity, so that veins are visible over just about every muscle in the body. There is clear separation between muscles, and striations visible on almost every muscle. The buttocks (I’ll spare you a back picture) even has striations, some vascularity, with little fat. If your buttocks doesn’t have any body fat, you’ve got VERY low body fat! Essential fat for a man is around 2%, which is the basic amount of fat a man needs for the body to function (fat protects internal organs in the chest and abdomen).

Body Fat Percentage Men 6-7%

Approximately 6-7% body fat for a man is a bit less extreme than competition bodybuilders, but it’s still hovering at a level that is not sustainable for most men. Around this level, or slightly less, the face becomes gaunt, and your family starts worrying about you. This 6-7% body fat level, which is achieved by many male fitness models when doing photoshoots, is characterized by muscle definition in all muscles and clear vascularity in most muscles including arms, legs, and even abs. Vascularity over the abs muscle is a sign of very low body fat. Clear separation of muscles as well.

Body Fat Percentage Men 10-12%

This is a sustainable level for most men where you should be able to see your abs, but they will likely not be as defined as a man in the 6-7% body fat range. This body fat range is the classic beach body look that most men want and many women love. While not very defined, there is separation between muscles, some muscle striations potentially in the shoulders, or arms, but striations are not showing on every muscle. Vascularity is typically limited to the arms, with a little possibly on the legs.

Body Fat Percentage Men 15%

The 15% body fat level is usually within the “lean and fit” category in most body fat percentage charts. The outlines of muscle can be seen, but there is no clear separation between them. Vascularity is usually a bit more limited as are muscle striations, which are typically covered by a thin layer of fat. The overall shape is still there, which can create an aesthetic appearance despite less muscle definition.

Body Fat Percentage Men 20%

Separation between muscles starts to blur, almost no vascularity, or striations can be seen, typically there is a small stomach pouch of fat, the look is “soft” but not very round. Most guys I come across in NYC are within the 20-25% body fat range. Other parts of the country, or world, that range may be skewed higher or lower. A 5’11”man who weighs 180lb and has 145lb of lean body mass (the average) will have 20% body fat.

Body Fat Percentage Men 25%

There is little to no separation of muscles, no vascularity, or muscle striations, waist begins to increase quite substantially with a waist to hip ratio as high as 0.9 (waist circumference/hip circumference). So a 5’10” man may have a 36+ inch waist. This man may have a little neck fat, but may not look like he has 25% body fat in normal clothing. Over 25% body fat for a man is considered obese, and over a 40 inch waist is considered abdominal obesity.

Body Fat Percentage Men 30%

There is more fat all around the body at the 30% level including waist, back, thighs, and calves. The waist looks larger relative to the hips, and the stomach will likely be protruding over the waist noticeably. There is no muscle separation.

Body Fat Percentage Men 35%

As men get heavier and heavier gaining more fat, most of the fat is funneled right in the stomach. The 35% level is characterized by more significant protrusion of stomach fat over the waist. This is the beer gut kind of look. Waist circumferences can be 40+ inches for a man with 35% body fat.

Body Fat Percentage Men 40%

Similar to the 35% level, even more fat accumulates in the stomach and waist region, so that waist sizes can approach 45 inches, or more. At this level, basic every day activities like walking up stairs, or bending over to pick something up becomes increasingly difficult. This body fat level is approaching morbidly obese, which is characterized by a BMI over 35. To put it in better perspective, a 5’11” man who weighs 270lb and has 160lb of lean body mass has 40% body fat.

Body Fat Pictures Of Women

Body Fat Picture Descriptions Of Women

Body Fat Percentage Women 10-12%

This is an extremely low body fat level typically attained by female bodybuilders. Essential fat for women is round 8-10% compared to 2% for men. Why the difference? Women have more fat in breast tissue and the area surrounding the uterus. This level of body fat is not considered safe, or healthy for women who will be unable to menstruate. Striations of muscle, separation between muscles, clear vascularity are all noticeable at this level. The women in the photo is likely at the higher end of the range at 12% body fat because she is not too vascular.

Body Fat Percentage Women 15-17%

This is still considered a very low body fat for women, which is similar to the 6-7% body fat for range men. Many bikini and fitness models will reach this body fat level and some may not be able to menstruate. Muscle definition in the abs, legs, arms, and shoulders is apparent, there is some vascularity and some separation between muscles. Hips, buttocks, and thighs generally have a little less shape because of the low body fat.

Body Fat Percentage Women 20-22%

This is body fat percentage is usually in the “fit” category of most body fat charts and is typical of many female athletes. Some definition in the abs is apparent, there is body fat on the arms and legs, but it’s not too pronounced. There is minimal, but some separation between muscles.

Body Fat Percentage Women 25%

This is on the low end of what’s average for most women and is characterized by a shape that is neither too slim, nor overweight. Curves in the hips are usually more apparent along with more fat in the buttocks and thighs. A 5’4” women who weighs 130lb and has 97lb of lean body mass has 25% body fat.

Body Fat Percentage Women 30%

While most men have fat funnel into their stomachs, as the body fat of most women (but certainly not all) increases, this fat tends to accumulate in the hips, buttocks, and thighs. At 30% body fat, the hips, thighs, and buttocks are more pronounced and round. This is considered the high end of average for women in many body fat charts.

Body Fat Percentage Women 35%

The hips become even wider at this level of body fat and the face and neck will appear rounder and more full. Hip circumference can start approaching 40+ inches and waist circumference of 32+ inches. Some belly fat may start protruding over the waist as well.

Body Fat Percentage Women 40%

The hips and thighs grow larger so that hip circumference can reach 42+ inches, waist of 35 inches, and thighs over 25 inches.

Body Fat Percentage Women 45%

The skin may begin to lose its smooth appearance as more and more fat accumulates. Hip Circumference can may reach 45 inches+ and waist circumference 35+ inches. The hips may become noticeably wider than the shoulders.

Body Fat Percentage Women 50%

The will likely look like it has dimples more fat accumulates. Hip Circumference can may reach 45+ inches and waist circumference 40+ inches and thighs above 30+ inches. The hips will likely be noticeably wider than the shoulders. To put it in better perspective, a 5’4” women who weighs 200lb and has 100lb of lean body mass has 50% body fat.

Given how confusing measuring body fat percentage can be, I hope seeing these body fat percentage pictures was helpful!

Well there you have it. A beautiful and helpful article on Body fat percentage. Before I end this post I just want to say that I did the Day 2 of the 30day SQUAT TILL YOU DROP Challenge and I’m feeling really great (and sore) in my booty area!

Okay how about you, what is your goal body fat percentage?  Comment below, I wanna hear about it.

Lara Krystle Novales