The number on the scales cannot answer that question because, after all, muscle mass outweighs fat. Too much body fat is a danger to your health. For that reason alone, it is important to know what your fat percentage is. How to find out, I will tell you in this article.
In this article about a healthy fat percentage you can read the following:
- Why women have a higher fat percentage than men
- Why fat percentage says more about your health status than BMI
- 3 ways to check if you have a healthy fat percentage
- Fat percentage table for men and women
- 6 tips for achieving a healthy fat percentage
Your fat percentage is the percentage of your body weight that consists of fat. For example, if someone weighs 70 kg and has a fat percentage of 20%, then this person carries 14 kg of fat. The healthy fat percentage differs per gender and also depends on the age of a person. The healthy fat percentage of an adult woman is between 20–32%. With an adult man this is between 8–18%.
Your fat percentage can change if your body composition changes. That means that it changes when you arrive in fat, but that it also changes when you arrive in muscle mass.
A certain amount of fat is important for physical functions. It controls your body temperature, supports and protects organs and tissue and is the main source of energy storage.
Do you make unnecessary mistakes that slow down weight loss?
How you find out if you have a healthy fat percentage depends on a number of important factors. The bandwidth between which it is still healthy is difficult to name in one percentage. A healthy percentage of fat depends on your gender and age.
There are important differences when it comes to the fat percentage between men and women. It is genetically determined that women carry more fat than men.
Another difference between men and women is where excess body fat is stored. For women, fat mass is mainly stored around the abdomen, hips, breasts and thighs. In men this is mainly in the upper body (chest and abdomen).
Women have on average a higher fat percentage than men: 25–31 percent versus 18–25 percent. If you weigh 65 kilos as a woman, you carry around 16–20 kilos of fat with you. For a 90-kilo man, it is 16–22.5 kilos. A well-trained athlete has a lower fat percentage and overweight people are usually (a lot) higher than the average.
The percentages above are only an indication, because there are several factors involved that may cause the ideal percentage to deviate. You also see that as you get older, the acceptable fat percentage increases. This is because older people on average have a lower body density: more body fat and less lean body mass.
There are a lot of ways to calculate your fat percentage and you can get a lot of different results. Below I describe 3 ways to measure your fat percentage.
Do you want an example of an overweight mother with pre-diabetes has just SHOCKED the medical community by losing an unheard of 22lbs pounds in just 13 days?
You can measure your fat percentage with the help of a skin fold meter.
This device measures the thickness of your skin fold. The higher your fat percentage, the thicker your skin fold.
To get the most accurate possible fat percentage with the skin fold it is important that you measure in a few days, under the same conditions. So preferably every morning after you go to the toilet and have a glass of water.
That way you get an average fat percentage that is fairly accurate. It requires practice to accurately measure your fat percentage with the skin fold. Do not focus too much on the percentage that you see, but on the changes in fat percentage.
Even more skin fold measurement tips:
- Take all measurements on the right side of your body
- To properly grasp the skin fold it is important that your skin is dry and free from lotion
- Do not do a skin fold measurement after physical activities, sweat and moisture can influence the skin thickness
- For women it is not wise to measure during the menstrual cycle, as this can give an inaccurate measurement
This method is often used by athletes when it comes to measuring body fat.
You will be immersed in a special water tank.
Because bones and muscles weigh more than water, a person with more lean body mass will weigh heavier in the water and have a lower percentage of fat. That way one is able to accurately calculate your fat percentage.
The DEXA scan is considered to be one of the most accurate methods to measure your body composition.
The device is able to register fat mass, bone mass fat-free mass. The disadvantage of this method is that it is quite pricey.
Measuring your fat percentage is the best measurement for your current health status. Many people confuse their fat percentage with the BMI number. However, they are completely different. The fat percentage is an indication of the amount of body fat in relation to body weight.
BMI stands for ‘Body Mass Index’ and is a numerical expression that indicates the relationship between your body weight and body height.
Although the BMI indicator is useful for analyzing large populations, it is less suitable for assessing overweight in an individual. For example, someone who is extremely muscular can have a high BMI, while his fat percentage is healthy.
Measuring your body fat is therefore much better suited to assessing your health status.
Having a healthy fat percentage is not only aesthetically attractive, it can also reduce the risk of numerous disorders. A high fat percentage can lead to a high cholesterol level and an increased blood pressure. In the long term, the risk of a stroke or heart disease is considerably increased. A high percentage of fat in men can also cause erectile dysfunction.
Too late a fat percentage is the other extreme and therefore unhealthy. The human body needs a minimum amount of fat: it keeps us alive and protects our internal organs. Essential body fat, the fat percentage that a person needs, is around 13% for women and 3% for men.
Too little body fat can lead to being underweight and is linked to a number of health problems, including infertility (especially in women).
Do you have a healthy fat percentage? Great, keep it that way! Do you want to get a healthier percentage of fat and lose body fat? Then I have 6 tips for burning body fat here, supported by scientific studies.
If you want to quickly reduce your fat percentage, it may be useful to keep track of what and how much you eat.
You don’t have to do this every day, but it’s a good idea to follow your food intake every few weeks for a few days. This will make you more aware of your daily calorie intake and also gives you the option to intervene in time if you notice that you are getting too many calories.
Scientists agree that people who keep track of what they eat and drink every week have a much greater chance of achieving their weight loss goals.
A simple way to do that is to install a free food registration app on your smartphone that counts calories for you.
Some food registration apps that you can use are:
- Eating meter
The loss of muscle mass is often an annoying side effect of losing weight.
This is a shame, since muscle loss slows down your metabolism, so you burn fewer calories in one day.
The advantage of weight training is that it can help prevent muscle loss. By training your muscles with weights at least twice a week, muscle mass can for the most part be retained during a low-calorie diet.
In another study, 48 overweight women were divided into two groups. One group had a low-calorie diet and followed a fitness program. The other group only did diets. The group of participants who also did sports had a lower percentage of fat and retained their muscle mass, metabolic rate and muscle strength.
Healthy fats are extremely important for your body and brain to function properly.
By healthy fats I mean monounsaturated fatty acids (including in avocado , nuts) and omega 3 fatty acids (including in fatty fish and linseed )
Black coffee and green tea are among the healthiest drinks you can drink.
Perhaps even more important is that drinking black coffee and green tea stimulates fat burning and reduces the waist circumference.
Intermittent fasting has become hugely popular in recent years as a way to lower your fat percentage.
It is a diet that consists of changing cycles of fasting and eating.
A popular method is to fast for 24 hours once or twice a week.
The main reason that regular fasting works for weight loss is because it helps you eat fewer calories. In addition, it has a beneficial effect on certain hormones that play an important role in your body weight.
Two other studies have found that intermittent fasting speeds up metabolism by 3.6 to 14% for approximately 48 hours. However, periods of fasting that last longer can, in turn, suppress the metabolism.
In any case, we cannot ignore the fact that the health benefits of regular fasting go far beyond gaining a healthy weight and lower fat percentage. Fasting can reduce the risk of various chronic diseases and extend the life span.
In fact, cold drinking water can increase your daily energy expenditure by up to a hundred calories per day.
Secondly, drinking enough water for half an hour before a meal (preferably drinking two glasses of water) ensures that you feel full faster and ultimately eat fewer calories.
And lastly, drinking enough water can reduce constipation (intestinal congestion) and help relieve a bloated feeling.
With all my knowledge and experience I have developed, the result gives you a diet that best fits your situation, your personality and your needs.
This increases your chances of a successful dieting process, without yo-yo effect or other unpleasant side effects.
It only takes a few minutes.