Recommended Range of Body Fat in Men and Women
Below is the Body Fat Categorisation, based on the American Council –
How to use Body Fat Calculator
Using the above calculator, you can instantly calculate your body fat percentage. Enter all the required fields like gender, body weight, height and age. The calculator will provide you with the body fat percentage.
Fat percentage is a more specific measure of your health than BMI. If you are trying to lose body fat, you must eat calories below your maintenance calorie. Use the BMR & Calorie calculator to know your calorie requirement.
Is my body fat percentage normal?
Once you calculate your body fat, you should compare it with the recommended values provided in the table below. What should be the ideal body fat, it depends on various factors like age, gender, fitness levels etc.
Obesity or High body fat can give rise to a lot of diseases like diabetes, blood pressure, certain type of cancers, digestive issues, sexual problems and even sleep disorders.
Even a lower body fat than recommended can result into hormonal dis-balance, low energy levels, drop in testosterone levels, and muscle weakness. People with very low body fat are prone to falling sick often.
Why should you measure body fat percentage?
When you are looking at weight loss, the goal is mostly to lose overall weight. But that’s not it. Your goal should be to maintain lean muscle mass and lose excess fat.
Irrespective what our health goals are, be it losing weight, gaining physical strength, toning or gain muscles, all of this boils down to lower body fat percentage and adequate lean muscle mass.
Body fat are fat cells that can be found under the skin, near belly region, arms, buttocks, thighs or breasts.
Lean muscle mass includes the mass of organs, bones, tissues, muscles and blood.
When one is trying to lose weight, the natural tendency of the body is to lose muscle and fat both. So while your weighing scale shows a reduced number, that could mean loss of muscle and fat both. The objective should be to retain (or increase) muscle mass and reduce fat. Strength or weight training combined with a high protein diet can help in muscle gain or retaining the muscles while losing fat. The lean muscle mass is important for our body to boost metabolism, improve performance during training and give us a tones physique.
More Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage
In addition to the BMI method of fat percentage, there is the U.S. Navy Method as well for calculating body fat, which requires you to measure your neck, waist, and hip. Results from both the methods are very close.
Calipers can also a handy device to measure fat percentage. They are good when you want to specifically track fat from a specific area of the body. Calipers are easily available on Amazon.
Body fat scales are another way and they are more precise. You have to step on to the scale and it will provide you with body fat, muscle mass, water mass, bone mass, and a lot of other measures. The more complex the scale is, the higher the chances of accuracy. The cost of the scale can also vary drastically. For home use, I highly recommend the Goqii Body scale. It helps you track your progress with an associated app that stores all your historical body measures.
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