Health MOT No. 2: the good and the bad news…

On 21 June I posted with immense pleasure about my body fat and fitness levels. Well on Monday we had some guys from Virgin Active come into WeWork. They took some similar measurements and some different ones.

Turns out their equipment is a million times more accurate. In addition, they were incredibly knowledgeable about nutrition, as in the most helpful of all trainers I have met.

The results…

*drum roll please*

When they took my measurements, they assessed me as an athlete as opposed to, well a normal person I guess.

blue and silver stetoscope
Photo by Pixabay on

Results were as follows:

  • Body fat: 14.2%
  • Weight: 57 kg
  • % of muscle in body: 81.8% (= 46.46 kg/ 57 kg of me is muscle)
  • Visceral fat: 1
  • Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): 1,457 kcal per day
  • Plus some other results

Understanding the results

Body Fat

In my last post, I told you that my results showed by body fat at 21.8% so that’s 7.6% LESS.

As a reminder of where that places me, according to the American Council on Exercise, a female with 14-20% body fat is classed as an athlete, whilst a a female who is fit has 21-24%. So I am pretty chuffed with that.

The trainer said I should increase my body fat to 17% (less chuffed about that).

% of muscle in body

Flexing biceps
Bicep competition with this guy (clearly I won)

See, people say I am tiny (which I dont understand as 1) I am 169 cm; and 2) all my friends are smaller than me).

Anyways, 46.46 kg out of 57 kg of me is muscle, so again, pretty chuffed.

Visceral Fat

I had never really heard of this before. Visceral fat is basically the fat around your organs, and I was told this runs on a scale of 0-10 with 0 being dangerous and your organs bashing together (I have read elsewhere that there are different scales so to be taken with a pinch of salt). Too much visceral fat can cause heart attacks, heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes etc.

I was told that 1 is nothing to worry about but increasing my visceral fat to 2 would be better.


This result deserves its own section as this is where it gets interesting.

Photo credit:

So your BMR is the amount of calories (kcal) you would burn if you sat in bed all day and did nothing. The fitter you are, the higher your BMR. And my BMR is 1,457 kcal.

Why is this bad? Three-fold answer here:

  1. I consume around that figure give or take a few hundred kcal depending on gym and non-gym days. I also don’t track condiments (mayo, chili sauce etc) which will definitely add kcals.
  2. I was told I should be consuming around 2,500 kcal per day due to my fitness level and amount of exercise I do.
  3. Therefore, I reckon a calorie deficit of 500-1000 kcal per day (again depending on gym and non-gym days).

What are the consequences?

Extreme fatigue; excessive sleep; periods stopping (women).

Extreme fatigue

In my last post I discussed the topic of fatigue. Now I strongly believe that this is linked to IBD as I have suffered with it for as long as I can remember.

However, when I was seen by my Consultant last Friday, he said that I have been in remission for two years so I can’t blame my IBD for the extreme fatigue and maybe we should explore other reasons for the tiredness. Not gonna’ lie, I poo pooed him.

Inevitably, if I am consuming around my BMR, plus the level and intensity of exercise I do, I am in a BIG kcal deficit. And this will be significantly contributing to my fatigue.

Excessive sleep

In addition, I also explained in my last post that I need 8-10 hours of sleep per night. Now again, I have always required a lot of sleep since I was a child, some people just need more than others. However, the amount I need will be higher due to the calorie deficit.

The trainer from Virgin Active said the following to me:

He told me that when he was an Olympic Weightlifter weighing 95-100 kg, he required 10 hours sleep per night. Now he weighs 85 kg and needs 5-6 hours sleep.

He said for someone of my weight, height and age I should NOT be requiring 8-10 hours sleep per night.

No more periods

Yay? True not having periods is nice but it is also scary as it is not natural.

My periods stopped for six months after my last remission in 2015-2016 but then came back and regularly too.

Since around March, my periods have been a bit irregular but now they seem to have stopped (and no guys, there is no mini-Z on its way).

Again, this could be strongly linked to the calorie deficit.

I was so enlightened my the information I received fromthe guys from Virgin Active that I called my dear Mother immediately and said “I KNOW WHY I AM SO TIRED“.

What’s the call to action?

Simple: up my calories!

Increasing my calories will not only help relieve the above issues but will further increase my muscle (and thosse gainz) as well as improve my training.

The trainer gave me numerous ways to increase my calories. He said to do it slowly by adding an extra 100 calories per day each week. Evidently I looked a bit panicked as he said: “I can see this is going to be a psychological challenge“. YES MATE.

animal ape banana cute
Photo by Oleksandr Pidvalnyi on

I am starting by adding a banana to my breakfast. I just wish I was as enthused as this lil’ due on the left.

Increasing my calories necessarily means increasing my carb intake and healthy fats. I was assured this would not mean goodbye abs but I am sceptical.

Plus, I really don’t feel in great shape at the moment. For past two weeks, either I have put on weight or I am carrying a hell of a lot of water weight – I am nowhere near as lean as I was a month ago. Not gonna’ lie, it’s got to me a bit so now is not a great time to be increasing calories.

HOWEVER, since following his advice this week, I have been feeling less tired although I am not loving having to constantly be eating. I guess being pretty fit comes with a hefty price tag.

Anyway, I will keep you guys posted on how it goes and if I stick with it or opt to be lean again and crazy tired. The sensible side of my brain says ‘Z this is not sustainable long-term and it’s dangerous‘ and then the devil side of me says ‘but I want to be lean for my holiday and it makes me feel good‘.

I guess like anything, fitness along with looking and feeling a certain way can become a bit addictive and obsessive. I just need to make sure this does not go extreme.

Big up to Virgin Active guys!

Z x




One thought on “Health MOT No. 2: the good and the bad news…”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s