While having a low body fat percentage can be an indication of a lean physique, it doesn’t necessarily mean that a person is metabolically healthy.
Metabolic health is a broader concept that extends to various factors well beyond body fat percentage and looking lean. Metabolic health is the state of your body’s metabolism, which includes how efficiently your body processes and utilises energy from food. Several factors can contribute to metabolic health, including insulin sensitivity, blood sugar levels, blood pressure, blood lipid profiles, and inflammatory markers.
Even individuals with low body fat can have metabolic issues such as insulin resistance, high blood sugar levels, high blood pressure, or unfavourable lipid profiles. These conditions are often associated with an increased risk of developing chronic diseases like type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, and metabolic syndrome.
It’s important to note that body fat distribution also plays a role in metabolic health. Excess visceral fat, which accumulates around organs in the tummy area, is particularly associated with a higher risk of metabolic problems, regardless of overall body fat percentage.
Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on overall metabolic health rather than solely relying on body fat percentage as an indicator. Regular exercise, a balanced diet, sufficient sleep, stress management, and avoiding smoking and excessive alcohol consumption are all important for maintaining metabolic health, regardless of body fat levels.
However, on the other hand, in order to obtain a lean body fat percentage, a mixture of diet and lifestyle changes such as exercise are utilised in order to obtain this. Therefore it’s best to speak to a health professional who looks at all aspects holistically and can provide sound advice on what your metabolic health looks like.