How to Determine What Your Body Fat Percentage Indicates
While a lot of people are simply interested in losing weight, most bodybuilder knows that a lower body fat percentage will help you to show off those sculpted muscles. But paying attention to your body fat percentage isn’t just for bodybuilders – it’s a very important indication of overall fitness.
I found a great article that I think covers this subject very well that I wanted to share with you:
Varying Degrees of Body Fat Percentage for Men and Women
When people hear the term “body fat percentage”, they normally associate the term with professional bodybuilders. This is because much ado is made about low body in body building circles. Professionals must have a very low body fat percentage (5% or so) in order to compete. While this raises awareness towards developing low body fat, it also creates a somewhat limited perception. Body fat percentage means different things on different levels. Actually, 5% body fat can cause serious health problems for the average person. Conversely, 25% fat can either be healthy or unhealthy depending upon your age and gender. In order to provide clarity, it’s best to look at a scale of body fat percentages and what they represent.
It is important to note the differences between men and women when it comes to determining healthy body fat percentages. Mainly, women are healthier with higher body fat percentages than men. This is because women require higher fat levels for safe pregnancy. As a result, different body fat percentages will be provided with the same health assessment for both genders.
For women between age 20 and 40, 19% to 26% body fat is generally good to excellent. For women age 40+ to 60+, 23% to 30% is considered good to excellent.
For men between age 20 and 40, 10% to 20% body fat is generally good to excellent. For men age 40+ to 60+, 19% to 23% is considered good to excellent.
If the body fat percentages for both age groups are higher than the highest listed healthy percentage or lower than the lowest healthy percentage, the result may be considered fair or poor. As such, seeking a way to lose fat is necessary. Fat loss is not that difficult, but does require some sort of exercise program, diets alone will not help with fat loss.
In order to ascertain your body fat percentage, you need something to figure it out. If you want a generally idea of what your body fat percentage is, an online calculator can be helpful. By providing the body fat calculator with information about age, weight, gender, the body fat calculator can provide general information on body fat percentage.
Body fat scales and body composition monitors can help you monitor your fat loss. Many scales will record data over time and will work for multiple users. You can easily determine if your diet and workout is helping you lose fat. You can get more information on body fat scales here. Source
As the author indicated, age and gender come into play when looking at whether a particular body fat percentage is good or bad. Next time you’re trying to be “more fit”, start by measuring your body fat percentage at the beginning of your weight loss/exercise program and then measure it again every week or two to see what progress you’re making. You’ll be absolutely blown away by what a difference lowering your body fat will do for your physique.