5 Steps to Get Under 8% Bodyfat (Science-Based)

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we all have a layer of body fat sitting

on top of our muscles and by stripping


most of that body fat you start to see

things like more muscle definition

striations and veins

and even though it's difficult to get to

really low levels of body fat like 12

10 and 8 it's definitely possible to


naturally so in today's video i want to

go over the exact steps that you need to


to get to those really low levels of

body fat now first you have to ask

yourself if this is really something

that you even

want to do because there are some

drawbacks to having a really low body

fat percentage

some of these include hunger a lack of

energy low libido

lightheadedness mood swings and always

feeling cold

so i'm sure it's no surprise when i say

that staying under 8

body fat is typically unsustainable over

a long period of time

especially if you're doing it naturally

so yes you can get to those really low

levels of body fat for a certain day

where you have an event like a

bodybuilding competition

a photo shoot a wedding or whatever but

the chance of maintaining such a low

body fat percentage every day over time

is slim especially while still being

able to feel good

and that's just the truth but regardless

many of you may just want to get as lean

as possible for that certain event

and then afterwards bring your body fat

percentage back up a little

so you can still feel nice and healthy

while also looking defined and aesthetic

so step number one is to create

specifically a small

calorie deficit keep in mind if you're

overweight or obese and you currently

just want to lose as much body fat as


in the shortest amount of time there are

more aggressive fat loss options

available for you

but you're not ready just yet to be

thinking about getting down to a single

digit body fat percentage

if you want to get to a really low body

fat percentage you should already be

somewhat lean and you should plan on it

taking a good amount of time

anywhere from six weeks to months

depending on how lean you are right now

when starting out

now the reason why you want to create a

small deficit is because

when you're already lean and you're in a

calorie deficit your body activates

certain mechanisms that lower energy


to a greater extent than someone that

has a lot of fat to lose

when you already have a relatively low

body fat percentage a negative energy

balance causes your thyroid hormone

growth hormone insulin insulin-like

growth factor 1 or igf-1

and testosterone to all drop rather

quickly instead of these anabolic

hormones that help you build muscle and

burn fat your body will produce

more adrenaline noradrenaline and

cortisol as a result you'll be more

prone to muscle loss which is why it's

important to maintain only a slight

calorie deficit

this is all supported by research for

example one study compared

the difference between three months of

dieting with a 25

calorie deficit or a very low calorie

diet of only 890 calories per day

at the end of the study even though the

very low calorie diet group lost

more weight the ratio of muscle to fat

loss was much higher

that's why you want to take a slower

dieting approach especially as you lose

more and more body fat

a good guideline is to go for a 20

calorie deficit if you're between 12 and


body fat right now a 10 calorie deficit

if you're between 10 and 12

body fat and a 5 calorie deficit if

you're between 8 and 10

body fat to figure out approximately how

much body fat you have

on your body right now you can get a

dexa scan but

it's time consuming and it costs money

so a surprisingly accurate way that you

can guesstimate your body fat

is by looking in the mirror and

comparing your level of body fat to the


that you see on the screen right now

whichever figure looks most like you

that shows you your approximate body fat


the next step is to cycle your calories

and there are

a couple reasons for doing this first

since you'll be dieting for some time

you should keep in mind that hunger is

the primary reason that diets fail

that's why it's important to optimize

your diet and lifestyle for controlling


and one way you can do that is by

cycling your calories

this means consuming more calories and

some days and fewer on others

let's say for example that you need to

eat a total of 12 000 calories per week

to lose fat which is about

one thousand seven hundred fifteen

calories per day while you could eat one

thousand seven hundred fifteen calories

every day and reach twelve thousand

calories by the end of the week

you could instead have two lower calorie

days and five higher calorie days each


an example would be to consume 1200

calories on monday and thursday

which would save you the calories for

the rest of the week allowing you to

have 1920 calories on the other days

and you can set this up in a way that

suits your preferences so you can do

three four or even five lower calorie

days to bank a lot

more calories for the other days of the

week according to the evidence cycling

your calories like this can improve diet

adherence diet satisfaction

and weight loss compared to continuous

calorie restriction

now to make calorie cycling work you

need to keep a couple important things

in mind

first ensure that you hit your protein

target every day of the week

so get at least 1.6 grams of protein per

kilogram of body weight daily

which is about 0.73 grams of protein per

pound of body weight

the second point is that since your

protein intake will remain the same

you'll obviously need to be reducing

either carbohydrates or fats

or a combination of both to lower your

calories on your lower calorie days

and third you'll want to schedule your

low calorie days on your rest days

this is because protein synthesis is

what leads to muscle growth

and even muscle maintenance and protein

synthesis will be lower on the days that

you eat

less calories especially if you're

considered advanced

so save the higher calorie days for your

workout sessions

keep in mind even though you are having

higher calorie days by cycling your


you're balancing them out with the lower

calorie days these are not

cheat days or full out refeeds in fact

the next step is to be very careful with

cheat days when trying to hit a really

low body fat percentage

and you'll probably want to avoid them

in general i see a lot of people making

the mistake of cheating every week with

things like

protein cookies low calorie ice creams

as well as

other processed foods and then they're

left wondering

why they can't get past a certain level

of body fat even though cheat days can

definitely help you stay on track

mentally when your goal is to simply

just lose some weight

and even though when done right they can

help you maintain your strength

as you cut since you'll be able to eat a

lot more carbohydrates

and refill those muscle glycogen stores

giving you more strength

it doesn't change the fact that cheat

days are not that great if you want to

get to those really really low levels of

body fat

and there are a couple reasons why first

the obvious is if you raise your calorie

intake above maintenance and you don't

balance it out with lower calorie days

like we just talked about

you'll obviously regain some of the fat

you've already lost

it's very easy to gain the fat back but

not so easy to lose it

when you're at those lower levels second

even though a cheat day may raise your

metabolism there's no evidence or reason

to think

that the already tiny increase in your

metabolic rate will continue

when you go back to your regular calorie

deficit that's because the increased

metabolic rate that we see after someone

has a cheat day

is primarily due to the larger thermic

effect of digesting that larger amount

of food

so simply digesting more food is what

will cost your body

more calories and elevate your

metabolism you're not just going to

continue permanently burning more

calories going forward

just because you had a cheat day third

your appetite doesn't actually decrease

on the subsequent days

following a cheat day or a refeed that's

why i always say that the primary

benefit for most people is strictly

mental not so much physical

in fact research shows that appetite

regulation is primarily driven by body


not energy intake so the amount of

calories you eat on one day generally

doesn't influence the hunger on the

following days

some studies have even showed that over

feeding by sixty percent more calories

actually can increase appetite rather

than decrease it

in other words it's not very likely that

you'll trick your metabolism and your

hunger levels by cheating

so in the best case scenario a cheat day

will usually just pause your fat loss

however it can also do more bad than

good because if you go overboard

it'll cause you to regain some of that

lost body fat instead of trying to boost

your metabolism with cheat days when you

hit a plateau

you want to either lower your calorie

intake further or

increase your activity level further

you'll have to lower your energy balance

in one of these two ways because your

body will have

already adapted to your previous calorie


now when choosing between cutting your

calories further or

exercising more you should know that one

is not inherently better than the other

that's because fat loss is almost

entirely about energy balance

it doesn't matter if you reduce your

energy balance by doing cardio or by

eating less

given the same energy balance weight and

fat loss are the same

with that said if possible you may want

to try reducing your calorie intake

first instead of adding more cardio to

your workout program

because it takes a lot of cardio to

match the amount of calories you could


by simply eating a little less on top of

that cardio can impair muscle growth

this can be seen in a 2012 meta-analysis

that found

adding cardio to a resistance training

routine reduce muscle growth effect size

by 39 percent

this negative effect for your muscle

mass is referred to as the interference


but even with this effect in mind there

does come a point where it becomes

impossible or at least highly

impractical to lower your calorie intake

any further

while still meeting your protein and

micronutrient needs

if your calorie intake is already really

low then you'll have to increase your

activity level there's no way around it

in that case there are two strategies

that will help you minimize the

interference effect

while still burning calories first

remember that the goal of cardio for fat

loss is simply to increase

energy expenditure not to improve your

endurance that's a separate goal

so program in as little cardio as you

need to achieve the calorie deficit that

you're aiming for

second the lower intensity forms of

cardio like walking for example

contribute a lot less to this

interference effect than the higher

intensity forms of cardio

and third you'll want to perform the

cardio workouts as far away from your

strength training workouts as possible

research shows that this also really

helps minimize the interference effect

however if you by some chance have no

choice but to combine the cardio

and the strength training in the same

workout then save the cardio for after

your weight training

so you can perform at your best and lift

the heaviest loads that you can

this is crucial to maintain muscle while

in a calorie deficit

finally the fifth step that most people

overlook is to ensure that you're

getting enough sleep

in general it's important to get enough

sleep if you want to lose weight but

this is especially true

if you want to get very lean and there

are two main reasons for this

one is that sleep deprivation suppresses

appetite satiating hormones like leptin

while at the same time raising the

levels of the hunger hormone ghrelin

and it definitely doesn't help that

ghrelin levels are

already automatically elevated when

you're very lean which means it's

especially important to focus on

controlling these hunger hormones

while reducing your body fat percentage

further and further

the second reason is because poor

quality sleep

prevents fat burning and stimulates

muscle wasting

so even if you lose weight despite

sleeping poorly more of the pounds that

you lose will be coming from muscle

rather than fat

and there's lots of evidence to support

this for example one weight loss study

found that sleeping only 40 fewer

minutes per day from monday to friday

shifted the ratio of the amount of

muscle to

fat loss from 20 percent to 80 percent

and another study revealed that sleeping

five and a half hours instead of seven

and a half hours a day

increased muscle loss by sixty percent

while decreasing the weight loss

in the form of fat by fifty 55 so bottom

line make sure that you're getting

enough sleep it's very important

if you want to reach those low levels of

body fat so

that about wraps it up guys even though

these steps may sound simple

by following them consistently for

enough time you'll be able to drop your

body fat to a really low level

i really hope you guys enjoyed this

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