Investigative Journalist Reveals 7 Habits of People Under 12% Body Fat

Investigative Journalist Reveals 7 Habits of People Under 12% Body Fat

Intro (00:00:00)

  • The goal of 12% body fat is popular, especially among men.
  • 10% body fat can have negative effects on performance.
  • Habits that contribute to achieving and maintaining 12% body fat go beyond diet.

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Control Over Processed Food Intake (00:01:41)

  • The "scarcity loop" is a habit loop involving opportunity, unpredictable rewards, and quick repeatability, which junk food exploits through value, variety, and velocity.
  • Junk food consumption significantly contributes to obesity, the leading cause of death, hindering the goal of achieving 12% body fat.
  • Despite knowing the health risks, the junk food industry continues production due to its profitability.
  • Consumers ultimately determine the success of the junk food industry through their purchasing decisions.
  • Living well in a world of abundance requires navigating choices and making informed decisions about food consumption.
  • To improve health, it is essential to eliminate or control the consumption of ultra-processed foods and focus on whole, unprocessed foods.

Rucking (00:07:09)

  • Rucking, or carrying weight for distance, is a uniquely human activity that stimulates muscle growth and fat burning.
  • Rucking promotes maximal fat oxidation, burning fat for fuel before carbohydrates.
  • Rucking is a low-impact exercise suitable for people of all fitness levels and easy on the joints.
  • Humans evolved to hunt by running down animals in the heat, making them the only mammals capable of carrying weight over long distances.
  • The book "The Art of Rucking" provides more information on the benefits of rucking.

Figure Out How Much You Eat (00:12:22)

  • Tracking food intake (logging) helps people realize their eating habits and make necessary changes.
  • The observer effect: observing one's behavior leads to changes in that behavior.
  • Logging workouts and food exposes problems and allows for objective self-assessment.
  • Observing others can reveal personal traits and habits.
  • Weight training is effective for getting lean.
  • Compound movements that work multiple muscle groups are recommended.
  • Progressive overload: gradually increasing the weight lifted over time.
  • Focus on proper form to avoid injury.
  • Consistency is key: regular exercise is more important than intense workouts.
  • Cardio can be beneficial, but weight training is more effective for fat loss.
  • HIIT (high-intensity interval training) can be an efficient way to burn fat.
  • Active recovery: light exercise on rest days helps with muscle recovery.

Find a Form of Training You Enjoy (00:16:20)

  • Consistency and dedication are essential for achieving a low body fat percentage.
  • Choose enjoyable physical activities that align with your lifestyle and preferences.
  • Fitness is an ability, while body fat is an appearance, and they are not necessarily correlated.
  • Artificial deprivation and excessive exercise are used to achieve an unrealistic "fake fitness look."
  • Modern conveniences have reduced the need for physical strength, leading to a decline in natural fitness.
  • Developing habits to delay gratification is crucial for achieving low body fat percentages.
  • Addiction can arise from substances or behaviors that provide short-term solutions to internal pain, including exercise.
  • Identifying the underlying reasons for addictive behaviors is essential for addressing addiction.
  • The speaker channeled their need for intense experiences into productive work and exercise after overcoming addiction.
  • They emphasize the importance of asking the underlying question of "why" to understand the motivations behind behaviors.

Short-Term Choices That Have Long-Term Effects (00:30:51)

  • Addiction is characterized by prioritizing short-term benefits over long-term well-being, despite adverse consequences.
  • Some individuals transition from recreational drug use to bodybuilding, often replacing one habit with another.
  • People may use steroids to achieve quick results, sacrificing long-term health for short-term gains.
  • The focus should shift from achieving a specific body fat percentage to developing sustainable habits that promote long-term health and well-being.

Make Maintaining Body Composition Rewarding (00:35:12)

  • Make maintaining a healthy body composition rewarding to make the process enjoyable.
  • Find ways to make workouts and healthy habits easier and more rewarding.
  • Focus less on the actual body fat percentage as the sole metric of success.

Find Out What Getting to 12% Body Fat Means to You (00:36:03)

  • People often fixate on specific numbers, such as 12% body fat or a certain GPA, without considering their actual significance or alternative, more efficient approaches to achieving their goals.
  • Numbers can provide a sense of certainty but can also be limiting and cause people to lose sight of the bigger picture.
  • Focusing excessively on specific numbers, like calorie counting, can lead to unhealthy obsessions and neglect of other crucial aspects of health and well-being.
  • True satiety, performance, and energy levels should be prioritized over rigid calorie restrictions.
  • While numbers can be useful for tracking progress, they should not become the sole focus of one's health journey.
  • It's important to understand hunger cues and avoid overeating simply because one is at a certain calorie intake.
  • Setting a clear and specific goal, such as reaching 12% body fat, is essential for staying focused and motivated during the process, rather than having a vague goal like "being healthy."

Where to Find More of Michael's Content (00:42:09)

  • Michael's content can be found on
  • He has a newsletter that comes out three times a week and discusses similar topics to the ones covered in the video.

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