How to Determine Your Ideal Body Fat Percentage

By | May 22, 2014

determine body fat percentageThe percentage of your body that is made up of fat is known as body fat percentage. This number consists of both essential body fat and storage body fat. There are many ways to determine your body fat percentage, such as anthropometric methods, bioelectrical impedance analysis, or measuring the circumference of different body parts. If you want to measure your body fat, then here is an easy way to do so:

Step 1
You should know the recommended body weight for a person according to height and age. There are many things that contribute to a person’s fat percentage, such as heredity, age, gender, and activity level. However, there is a certain amount of fat that is essential for bodily functions. This necessary fat cushions the organs and tissues, regulates the body temperature, and, most importantly, serves as a backup storage of energy that the body may need in case of food deficiency. It is important that you don’t have too much fat nor too little of it.

Step 2
If you want to determine your body fat percentage, weigh yourself as accurately as possible. Weigh yourself on one scale several times throughout the day and get an average of your body weight. The next step is for you to calculate your BMI, also known as Body Mass Index. You can calculate this by dividing your weight in pounds by your height in inches, squared. Multiply by 703 and you will get your BMI.

For example, if you weigh 200 pounds and are 5’9” tall, you will calculate your BMI like this: [200/(69)(69) ] x 703 = 29.53
This is not an accurate measurement but an estimate. It will give you an idea of where you fall when it comes to body fat levels–that is, whether you are overweight, healthy, or underweight.

Step 3
The next step is to take the BMI number and put it into the formula below to calculate your body fat percentage.

  • Men: (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 16.2 = Your Body Fat %
  • Women: (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – 5.4 = Your Body Fat %

Step 4
For men, the healthy percentage number depends on their age as well. To be considered overweight or obese, the percentage needs to be over 30 percent for men and over 35 percent for women. On the other hand, having body fat percentage less than 10 percent is considered as being underweight for men while less than 15 percent is considered underweight for women.

The ideal range is between 12 and 25 percent for men and between 15 and 30 percent for women. These ranges allow for essential fats that are necessary in order to be considered healthy.

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