For some time ago someone in my extended family told me – like it was some sort of truth – that it is unhealthy to lose a lot of body fat. The very same person also stressed that I do not look healthy sometimes. This is not something new: some normal people have their opinions about fitness, both the muscles and the dieting phase, and the critique can be more or less misguided. Here is my brief answer to that kind of assertions.
First of all, is the person natural? If the person is natural and does not use PED (performance-enhancing drugs) then it is healthy in that regard. Secondly, what is the person eating? If the person is eating properly and includes all the macronutrients (proteins, fats and carbohydrates) and micronutrients (vitamines, minerals etc.) and drinks proper amounts of water then it is even more healthy, and probably better than what most people eat and drink (including those fitness people who are currently not on a diet and thus consume more crap food). Thirdly, which phase of the diet are we talking about? If your body fat percentage is as low as, let’s say, 4%, or even lower, well then it is not healthy. But everything above that benchmark should be considered healthy. For girls and women, one should probably add about 10%: hence, everything below 15% is not healthy, but until that point it is. Thus it is more healthy for a female person to have 22% of body fat than 34%. Dieting is a process and it is only certain extreme phases or levels that might be somewhat detrimental for a person’s well-being.
People have to stop thinking in terms of black or white, and instead think of physical fitness more in terms of a spectrum with certain extremes that ought to be avoided. Physical fitness – when it hinges upon proper amounts of training and nutrition – can in many cases, but not always, overlap a healthy lifestyle. For most people, in most phases of dieting, it is most likely healthy to be on a proper diet with the goal to lose body fat.