Today we are going to teach you everything you always wanted to know about body fat but you were too scared to ask.
We have helped thousands of people through our one-to-one online coaching program to bring your body fat percentage to the desired level. I am pleased to share our strategies with you in this guide.
In this definitive guide to measuring body fat, we will cover:
What is the percentage of body fat?
What are some examples of body fat percentage?
should my body fat percentage be?
How do I calculate or measure my body fat percentage?
What is the best way to reduce body fat?
If you have struggled with your weight for a while (and have too much body fat), know how frustrating it can be.
What is body fat percentage?
In the simplest form: body fat is the amount of fat in your body compared to everything else:
Men and women have different levels of body fat because … you know … they are different.
What are some examples of body fat percentage?
A super torn male bodybuilder that minimizes the percentage of body fat could only have a percentage of 3-4%, while a super torn bodybuilder that minimizes the percentage of body fat would only reach 8-9%.
A male athlete could be in fantastic shape and have 10% body fat, while a woman with a comparable level of athleticism and appearance could have between 18 and 20% body fat.
Compared to the other end of the spectrum, a 30% overweight man is very different from a 30% overweight woman.
Do not hesitate and take a break with this video of a lion cub dating with a puppy and a rabbit.
A quick note: your body fat percentage is just the amount of body fat you have.
This has nothing to do with the amount of muscle mass, which means you can have two people with the same percentage of body fat that is very different from each other.
How do I calculate or measure my body fat percentage?
If so, don’t worry: most people don’t know how much body fat they have and often overestimate or underestimate it.
We will see what number is good for AIM and how to measure it below.
We work with men and women in our online training program and help them achieve a level of body fat they are happy with.
Important? We do it sustainably and without you just eating chicken and broccoli.
Here is the “generally accepted” table for women and men in terms of body fat percentage:
Essential fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 26% plus
What is certainly not new to anyone, body fat is essential for survival: fat protects your internal organs, provides you with the energy reserves you need when you are in danger and much more.
“Essential fat” means the minimum amount of fat needed to survive. Any amount below this amount would probably cause organ failure, but even getting close to that amount of body fat is dangerous.
For this reason, bodybuilders who can reduce their body fat to the level of “essential fat” only do so when preparing for a show: during the rest of the year, they maintain a higher percentage of body fat to stay healthy and work properly.
If you want to achieve this “torn” and “toned” look, you want your body fat percentage to float in the “athletes” area.
If you just want to be healthy and look proudly in the mirror, you can choose the exercise area.
Once you have entered the acceptable and obese limits, reducing body fat will be beneficial for your health.
To begin, you must determine the optimal goal for you:
If you try to look like Ryan Reynolds or Jessica Beil in Blade III, good luck! You should aim for a body fat percentage of 6-8% (men) or 13-15% (women).
Note: Your athletic performance/strength gain will likely suffer from this percentage and can be very difficult to maintain. Your call
If you are interested in this coveted six-pack, reduce your body fat to 8-11% in men and 15-17% in women.
If you are an athlete and you are interested in optimal athletic performance, aim for a body fat percentage of around 15% (men) or 20% (women). Staci, a member of the NF team, trains much better with 20% body fat than 15% body fat.
If you are only interested in looking good and feeling good, you should answer all questions that are below 18% for men and between 20 and 23% for women. “Hey, you look great!” From your friends.
Women: if you are concerned about menstruation or fertility, the percentage of body fat should not be less than 15%. The studies are contradictory, their results may vary, but I thought it worth mentioning!
How Do You calculate or Measure Your body fat percentage?
There are seven main methods that you can use with different levels of accuracy and cost:
1) Look at this: this could be my favorite method, even if it requires a trained eye and is not accurate.
By having an exact sequence of images from one week to another and comparing an image of yourself, you can determine what percentage of body fat you have with a fairly precise degree.
2) Body fat calipers: get a set of tweezers for $ 5. Remove muscle fat, hold it with the forceps, take measurements and look at a chart to determine your body fat percentage. Some recommend using a test site, others recommend several.
In my experience, I discovered that these stirrups tend to underestimate the amount of body fat (mine tells me that I have 9 or 10% when I really have 12%, and Staci says that it is 17% when it looks more like 20%), but It is surprisingly accurate considering its low price.
However, accuracy is not as important as pinching and measuring the same area under the same conditions week after week.
In this way, you can follow the general trends in the development of indicators to ensure you are on the right track.
3) The measurement method: when making measurements (such as the US Navy measurement or the YMCA measurement), you can calculate your body fat percentage. I have discovered, like others, that this method is not incredibly accurate because it can easily overestimate body fat.
Since only a few data points are required, this is not surprising.
4) Scales and monitors of body fat: an electric current is sent through your body and uses a “biometric impedance analysis”. I really don’t like this method because I think the number I spit can be terribly inaccurate.
As you send an electric current through your body, the amount of water you carry can also dramatically adjust that number.
5) The Bod Pod: the method calculates the percentage of body fat using air displacement to measure the mass, volume and density of your body.
It’s very accurate, but it’s very expensive at around $ 75 per session. Find a location for the Body Pod by entering its location in the right column.
6) Displacement: although it is very precise (between 1 and 3%), it is expensive, it requires a lot of time and great pain in the ass. If someone has experience with a water displacement test, share your story in the comments.
7) DEXA scan: it is considered the most accurate method because it actually takes a complete x-ray of your body composition and gives you numbers. You can do it in a health center and lie on an X-ray table for about 10 minutes. It usually costs between $ 50 and $ 150 per session, depending on where you are.
VERY IMPORTANT: When you start evaluating your body fat percentage, do everything possible to evaluate yourself in the same conditions every time.
For example: just drink a glass of water every Monday morning on an empty stomach. This way, even if you don’t get the right percentage of body fat due to a user error.
you will get at least the wrong percentage of body fat and can calculate how much you have lost or if you are making good progress.
What is the best way to reduce body fat?
If you have the money and you have a Bod Pod Center near you, I would say that this is the best combination of practicality and precision.
If you don’t have money, you would choose a simple fat indicator and the “look in” method for weekly photos. Take a picture every week and compare the images week by week to see if your muscles become clearer (what happens when you start reducing your body fat percentage!).
This is the problem with the percentage of body fat: while it is fun to know and see how it decreases as you go to bed, follow-up methods can often be inaccurate.
Run several tests with your preferred methods and discover that the function can be deactivated between 1 and 3% in both directions. So follow the general TRENDS and go to your looks and it will guide you to 95%.
It depends: look in the mirror and compare your progress photos: do you like your look and move in the right direction? Awesome.
If you only want to lose some percentage points (for a healthier weight), you can start with the caps and move down as you go further and further: the closer you get to individual numbers (men) or double digits (women), the more Strict you have to be when it comes to nutrition and training.
- Eat a calorie deficit: although I think there is more than that, to lose weight you need to eat a calorie deficit: burn more calories than you regularly consume.
Don’t forget to calculate your daily caloric needs first! If you don’t do weight training while eating a calorie deficiency, chances are you lose muscle with fat, which is not optimal, but it will help you lose body fat.
Do it regularly and you will start losing body fat.
- Lift heavy objects and move frequently: if you train hard with heavy objects (or with intensive body weight training), you will become stronger and retain the muscle mass you already have.
And yes, you can build muscle and burn fat at the same time. In addition, it increases your metabolism in a “post-burning” effect that burns extra calories even after your workout.
- Integrate sprints on your days off: Sprinting creates an effect similar to subsequent burns with weight training, which means you burn extra calories after your workout ends.
- Eat enough protein, experiment with less carbohydrates or less fat: establish a caloric intake so low that your body has to absorb fat stores to refuel, which leads to fat loss.
I would recommend eating enough protein to help your muscles grow and rebuild while determining what is best for your body to balance the rest of your calories per day: many people work better on a low carb diet,
Others (like me) can lose weight faster with a low-fat diet. Your results may vary. Learn about the Keto diet, the Paleo diet, the Carnivorous diet and the Mediterranean diet to learn about popular strategies.
And no, don’t do the military regime.
- Exercise on an empty stomach and think about intermittent fasting. – Although the advanced techniques to achieve a very low percentage of body fat are beyond the scope of this article, here is another tactic if you want to eliminate the last percentage points:
Exercise on an empty stomach and do not eat the first meal of the day before your workout
Additional bonus: if you skip a meal every now and then, you are more likely to have a calorie deficit than if you eat 6 meals a day.
I have been training on an empty stomach for 5 years without any energy problems, but their results vary.
- Don’t you lose weight? You eat too much! Get more precision with your tracking.
- Consider an economical food scale to make sure you are really consuming the amount of calories you expect every day.
Example: I eat 1 serving of oatmeal a day. If you see a bowl of oatmeal, it says “1 serving = 1/2 cup or 40 grams.” Then I placed half a cup of oatmeal on a scale and weighed 60 grams. This means that I ate 1.5 servings of oatmeal a day, not 1 serving.
By weighing my food, I got my calories and lost about 15 pounds in the last 6 months, reducing my body fat to 8% while doing a public relations deadlift.
- RENT A COACH! Doing this on your own is absolutely manageable, it only requires a lot of trial and error. If you want to work with a coach, you will find a good coach here!
Oh what is that? Would you like a coach that you can take anywhere to control your fitness and help you eat and essentially do everything but lift weights?)
Keep reading the FitLikeBeast articles, join our community and start implementing the philosophies here, and you’re on the right track.
The most important thing to keep in mind: this is not a night process. The best thing you can do is treat yourself as a scientific experiment.
Follow the suggestions above, track your body fat and see how it changes, then correct the course and adjust it according to the results.
And another great thing to remember:
TEMPORARY CHANGES WILL OBTAIN TEMPORARY RESULTS.
If you are hungry for leftovers, but aggressively eat ice cubes when you are “ready”, say goodbye to those abs!
Instead, our advice would be to find a nutritional strategy that works for you, a workout that you love, where you can see how it stays stable, giving you a certain percentage of body fat that you can maintain without being miserable
Here is also a video of a wombat. Because the wombats:
When you go to the doctor, ONLY your body mass index (BMI) is calculated.
The body mass index provides information about your height and weight. You can use this ratio to determine if you are overweight, normal, overweight or obese.
It seems pretty easy, doesn’t it? Obviously, you are more likely to be overweight if your weight increases disproportionately to your height.
Here’s why: your BMI is not directly related to your body fat percentage, but only considers your height and weight.
It gives the same reading if it consists of 180 pounds of pure muscle or 180 pounds of pure cheetos.
For example, if I were six feet tall and 185 pounds with a body fat percentage of 10%, I would be in the same “overweight” category as a man who was six feet tall, 185 pounds and a 25% body fat percentage. .
If two women have the same amount of body fat and one tends to carry more water or has larger bones than the other, one woman could be considered “overweight”, while the other could be “average.”
Be sure to notice the difference between the two men, both with 10% body fat at the bottom of the page.