Body fat percentage talk; Abs, vascularity and hunger.
Right now, according to my body fat caliper, I am right at 7.0% body fat.
Before I get to the actual point of today’s blog, it’s worth noting once again that the body fat percentage reported by the caliper is not as important as consistency when performing the pinch tests (I recommend a 7-site or 9-site pinch test) and the relative accuracy of the readings from one test to the next. Body fat calipers are the most accurate “at home” method of determining one’s body fat; however, even when properly used, calipers have a margin of error of +/-3%. If you want to know your actual body fat percentage, then you’ll want to go have a DEXA scan done.
I have never had a DEXA scan done, mainly because I really don’t give a crap what my actual body fat percentage is. That said, I believe that the caliper reads low for me. Consistently low, but low. I suspect that my actual body fat percentage currently lies somewhere between 8% and 9% but, again, I don’t really care.
Anyway, whether my body fat is 7%, 9% or somewhere in between, it’s safe to say that I’m well below 10%: my abs are popping, and the vascularity in my arms and legs is coming in very nicely now.
Visible abs and increased vascularity are a couple of the reasons I love this phase of the cut. The difference between those two things today and just a week or so ago is pretty extreme, and I definitely find those aesthetic changes to be motivational.
Good thing, too, because there’s a downside: HUNGER!
All this week I’ve been ravenous. I haven’t had any serious cravings for junk food or anything like that, I’m just extremely hungry–like, All. The. Time. I’ve had to resist the urge to eat extra food, and it’s taken a fair amount of self-discipline to do that. I’ve also been a little on the cranky side. The aesthetic changes mentioned above are effective weapons against hunger pangs, and my understanding family and friends blow off my occasional bouts of surliness (thanks!)
Over the years I’ve found that extreme hunger when I’m cutting can go a couple of different directions. Sometimes my body adapts and the desire for extra food subsides; other times, however, the feeling of being hungry grows stronger and–more seriously–I also start to feel weak and foggy-headed. When the latter occurs, it’s time to consider doing a clean refeed.
I’m not at the refeed point yet, but that’s a viable and effective tool to whip out when and if it’s required.
My scale weight is down almost a pound since yesterday, and I actually feel only mildly insatiable this morning. I also have felt great on the bike and in the weight room, so my athletic performance is where it needs to be. I’ll be monitoring all of these things closely in the coming days, but for now I won’t be making any changes to my diet or training.