The Secret Behind Paul Ryan’s Crazy Low Body Fat (Plus the 1 Thing He Never Eats)

When you show up to work in the morning not knowing what to expect from the day ahead of you, a workout might seem like the last thing on your mind. Despite his starring role as a politician, Paul Ryan pretty much proves anything his possible. At leas than 10% body fat, he’s figured out how to make time to focus on his health — and so can you.

Here’s Ryan’s secret to staying fit, and whether or not his crazy low body fat percentage is something you could actually achieve if you tried. Plus, the one thing he never eats, see page 6.

Heart attacks run in his family

House Speaker Paul Ryan smiling and gesturing with his thumb.

Paul Ryan knew this about his family history. | Mark Wilson/Getty Images

At 16, Paul Ryan lost his dad to a fatal heart attack — and he wasn’t the first one in the family to die this way. Since then, Ryan has made it a point to focus on maintaining good health. His fitness routine has become a major priority for him as he’s gotten closer to the age his dad was when he passed away.

Next: He got so into this one health habit that he almost made it his career.

He almost made personal training his career

Paul Ryan's high school photo.

Paul Ryan had a penchant for fitness and health. | Speaker Paul Ryan via Instagram

Ryan became so focused on fitness that he almost made it his career after college, when he briefly worked as a certified personal trainer. He ended up working as a congressional aide instead, before entering the House of Representatives at age 28.

Next: If Ryan can find time to do this every day, so can you.

He works out every day

Paul Ryan posing with weights during a photoshoot.

He makes time to hit the gym on a daily basis. | TIME Magazine via Facebook

When he’s not working, his colleagues know where to find him — at the gym. Even though free time was often scarce as Speaker of the House, he still found the time to make it happen. He apparently stayed late just to use the gym when he couldn’t get a morning workout in.

Next: He doesn’t mess around when it comes to fitness.

He uses the gym to his advantage

Paul Ryan adjusts his tie.

He knows his way around a fitness center. | Allison Shelley/Getty Images

As a former personal trainer, Ryan knows his way around a gym — and he likely uses that to his advantage. Even though he had to stop running because of an injury, he still combines strength and cardio workouts for maximum results.

Next: He likes a very specific type of training program.

He favors P90X

A person jumping rope.

This workout leaves you sweating in less time. |

P90X, a high-intensity training program, might have a lot to do with his physical fitness. High-intensity workouts like these force participants to use a variety of muscle groups simultaneously, strengthening and toning their full bodies in short bursts instead of only targeting one set of muscles at a time.

Next: This is the one food he refuses to eat.

He also never eats ‘sweets’

Single chocolate cup cake over paper box.

Paul Ryan skips desserts and treats.  | Solandzh/iStock/Getty Images

Sources say Ryan stays away from sweets, implying he consumes very few (if any) foods that contain large amounts of added or artificial sugars. These ingredients, when consumed regularly over long periods of time, can lead to more than just weight gain. He’s smart to keep tabs on his intake.

Next: Is Paul Ryan’s lean physique even realistic?

Is his extremely low body fat percentage healthy?

A woman reaches down for Kettlebells.

Here’s what it means. | Oatawa/iStock/Getty Images

Ryan apparently maintains between 6-8% body fat because of his healthy diet and consistent workout routine. While this might sound low, it’s perfectly healthy, at least for a man maintaining the lifestyle Ryan claims to be. Problems usually surface when a guy drops below 5% body fat.

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