Hey guys, Sean Nalewanyj here, SeanNal.com. And today I want to talk a bit about …
Lower Ab Belly Fat
And the fact that despite a lot of the pictures you see on Instagram, or in magazines or advertisements, unless you are competing and or you’re dieting down to very low levels of body fat for a temporary period, having some visible lower ab that is normal. And it’s normal for pretty much everyone.
So, I get a lot of questions about this where someone will tell me that they pretty much lean down their entire body, they’re happy with the results but they still have that little extra last bit of lower belly fat remaining that they can’t seem to get rid of. Like I’ve talked about many times before, it’s not possible to spot reduce and to target fat loss from specific areas of your body. And so, the only way to reduce that lower ab fat is by reducing your overall body fat percentage as a whole.
And the truth is that it’s actually very difficult to get your body fat percentage down low enough to where that very lower portion of your stomach is, you know, perfectly flat. So, when you’re sitting down, it’s normal to have that little extra bit of abdominal fat that sort of bunches up at the bottom. I know it can be annoying.
But the vast majority of people will have that extra bit of fat unless they’re very, very lean in which case they probably won’t be able to maintain it over the long-term anyway, unless they are an extreme genetic outlier or they’re using drugs to help out. And the reason why I wanted to discuss this is because a lot of people these days and a lot of it has to do with, you know, social media and product advertisements in the fitness industry, they just have unrealistic expectations about what kind of shape the average natural trainee should expect to get into on a year-round basis.
Can you get an impressively lean and muscular body without side effects?
Yes. Can you get a visible six-pack? Yes. For most guys, hovering somewhere around 10 percent body fat would be possible without side effects, assuming they’re willing to put the work in for it. But this idea that you’re going to be permanently ripped, you know, 7 percent body fat all the time is just not realistic. Even 8 percent properly measured on a DEXA scan isn’t going to be possible for most guys if they want to maintain optimal health. Even 10 percent is pretty low for that matter if we’re talking about a true measurement.
And probably something more like 11 or 12 percent is going to be more realistic on a year-round basis. Your body is a survival machine. It’s meant to carry a certain amount of body fat for proper functioning. And the leaner and leaner you get the harder and harder it becomes to get increasingly leaner. And as you push that boundary further and further and you try to maintain it for any real length of time, you’re going to start running into side effects which is just your body’s way of protecting itself and trying to restore balance.
So, you know, your energy levels are going to decrease, you’re going to be hungry and end up spending a lot of your time preoccupied with food cravings. Your cognitive function will decrease. Your sex drive will decrease. These are just a few things that happen as you drop your body fat into those very low levels. You certainly can have a lean midsection and you can reduce your lower ab fat down to a fairly low-level if you determine that it’s really worth it for you.
But again, having shredded abs from top to bottom with no visible lower ab fat, it’s just not going to happen for 99 percent plus of natural trainees year-round.
And that’s the other side of the coin. You have to examine for yourself as well when it comes to your overall leanness. And that is the input versus the output and deciding what body fat percentage is truly worth it for you. Again, there are diminishing returns with this. So, going from, say, 16 percent body fat down to 12 percent body fat, might take the same amount of effort as going from 12 percent body fat down to 10 percent and that might take the same amount of effort as going from 10 percent down to 9 percent.
So, you really have to take a look at your life as a whole and decide what amount of effort and sacrifice is really worth a particular result for you.
For example, does it really make sense to have to monitor your diet extra closely and really hone in your training just to lower your body fat by 1 or 2 percent more? Or are you better off to keep that extra 1 or 2 percent but enjoy the extra freedom that comes with it in terms of not having to stress about your training and your nutrition as much? Everybody is different and has different goals and priorities, so that’s something that you have to figure out for yourself.
For me personally, I’ll gladly take a little bit of extra lower ab fat or just extra body fat in general because it makes my overall life more balanced as a whole and because fitness isn’t the only thing that I do. And also because being shredded it’s just not a priority for me. For me being somewhere around 12 percent body fat with decent muscular development that’s going to be enough to keep me happy. And I can then take that extra time and focus and put it on other areas of my life like my business or my social life, etc. And then on top of that if I do want to get down to those very low body fat levels where my abs are fully ripped which I’ve done before then my face gets really thin and sunken-looking which I don’t like. And my physique as a whole just loses its fullness which to me isn’t worth the trade-off especially considering that I spend most of the day walking around in a shirt anyway. But bottom line guys, the point of this video, unless you’re competing or you’re getting temporarily very lean for whatever reason, having some visible lower ab that is normal.
It’s probably not going to disappear completely. I have it. Most other people have it. So, you know, relax, don’t take it too seriously. If you truly want to get it down to the lowest level that you possibly can, then that’s your choice and it’s just a matter of getting leaner by continuing to maintain a calorie deficit and properly adjusting your calories and your cardio.
But for most guys, on a year-round basis, going lower than about 10 percent body fat is probably not going to be realistic without side effects. And at 10 percent and above, you’re still going to have some lower ab fat and that’s normal, that’s just the way it is. So, I hope you found this useful. If you have a fair amount of belly fat, and you want the quickest, easiest way to melt it away without special diets of spending hours in the gym, try this 2-minute daily ritual.