Having a keen eye over needle suggesting your body’s pounds and waiting for the moment when it will show a sudden drop?
Well, turning every stone that could help you in losing the weight but underestimating the power of body fat percentage won’t take you anywhere.
Percentage body fat is a commonly used term and one may just discover it on various TV ads promoting the supplements and diet magazines, but clouds of misconception still surround the subject.
Percentage body fat is an important concept, a full understanding of which would bring you one step closer to your goal.
Throwing light on the same concept and every related aspect, we have here compiled for you an ultimate guide dealing with the body fat percentage aimed to boost up the general concepts related to our body.
It would not only help you in understanding your body better but would also make you aware of the different methods you can try to achieve the desired figure.
Body fat percentage, as the term suggests itself, is the fat percentage within your body.
The percentage is calculated with respected to the lean mass of your body consisting of muscles, organs, water, bone and other distinguished body parts.
There is a certain minimum body fat percentage which is required for the body to function properly. This amount is more for women than for men. Body fat percentage can thus be seen as the indicator of how fit a body is.
Importance of Body Fat For Body
Yes, there is a minimum amount of fat which serves as the threshold value for the proper functioning of the body. This number is particularly larger for women as compared to men. This fat is called as the essential body fat.
- If the fat percentage drops down below the minimum level, the body is subjected to facing various risks and health problems. This percentage for a man is in the range of two to five percent while for a woman it is between 10 and 13 percent.
- Women having body fat below 13 percent face various problems and risks related to fertility. These issues may expand further and lead to much more critical situations later in a lifetime.
What happens when body fat falls below a minimum amount?
A certain threshold amount of fat is required within the body to properly coordinate and perform the intended functions.
Body fat is also a great role of gender and age and may vary from people to people. However, there is a certain amount below which if body fat percentage tends to fall, concerned may have to suffer from various problems.
If BFP falls below 5 percent, it is a clear indication that the person has lost all the fat that is required for the proper living. This condition can have anorexic effects on the body and may prove to be fatal on the long run.
The meaning of body fat in real perspective
Body fat can be latched up in regular life examples too. You can quickly look upon the bodybuilders getting ready for their competition.
Although they make look in proper shape, a top condition body builder would just have around 10 percent body fat. For a woman, it may be around 14 to 20 percent.
You might say that these bodybuilders are lean. They are! The reason their body tends to function normally is the fact that they do not maintain the same condition all the year round. It is only during the competition time that they keep these statistics. And thus, the organs work properly.
Ideal body fat percentage
So how exactly should be the body fat percentage?
Leaving apart the body builders and the athletes, the normal human beings lie somewhere between the fitness and the obese range.
This range is between 6 to 17 percent and 25 percent for men, whereas for women it is somewhere between 21 to 24 percent and 32 percent. In between these statistics, there is an optimum level which is considered to be fit by the doctors.
If you are looking for well-defined abs, you would probably need to make it near the athlete region of the chart. People, who don’t want to be ultra-fat and rather would like to look a little lean, would make their way to the fitness level.
The ideal body fat percentage as defined for calling fit lies between 14 to 17 percent for men and between 21 to 24 percent of women.
Looks always don’t depict the reality! By no way, it means that if you have low body fat percentage, you would like an athlete with muscle toned body. Body fat percentage is just a part of the equation, and not the whole scene.
Difference between body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage (BFP)
Body mass index and body fat percentage are closely linked terms and are often used interchangeably. However, there are certain differences between two which make each of these terms significantly different from each other.
Body mass index simply denotes about the weight of the person by the height of the concerned. On the other hand, body fat percentage is the measure of the person’s weight when divided by the person’s weight.
The measure of ideal BMI lies between 18.5 and 24.9.
While BFP is around 14 to 17 percent for men and 21 to 24 percent of women. How body mass index can be calculated? Body mass index is fairly easy to calculate. You are just required to follow the given steps:
- Calculate your weight
- Convert it into pounds by multiplying it with 703
- Measure your heights
- Divide the weight in pounds by your heights in inches
- The answer obtained in the previous step is then divided by the height in inches again
How body fat percentage (BFP) can be calculated?
Frankly speaking, the whole concept might sound quite easier for you, but calculating the exact BFP is a tough task.
There are various methods which can provide you with the percentage, but some of these are highly inaccurate, and the others are better than the rest.
Here we have assembled the seven most commonly used methods along with their pluses and minuses and the respective costs.
- Body fat calipers
Calipers are available at a fairly low cost easily in the market. Contrary to the cost, these body calipers are not that easy to use. In fact, if you ask three people to measure your body fat with the same set of calipers, it is more likely that you will get the results all different each time. How does it work? The phenomenon involves pulling up the fat from various parts of the muscles. The measured value is then compared with the already calculated results in the chart. It is a highly inaccurate method and often tends to underestimate the fat percentage.
- Measurement method
There are various measurement methods that can help you in calculating the body fat percentage. An online calculator for calculating BFP is also made available by the US Navy. Although it is not that accurate, it gives a fair idea of the range, and you can track changes over time. If losing weight is one of your goals, you can easily track changes within your body with its effective use.
- Biometric impedance analysis
This method is also known as body fat scale. It is relatively easy to use and purchase. It is readily available in almost all the fitness stores. It consists of a digital scale. You are just required to stand over the scale with barefoot. It will send an electrical message from the body. It estimates the body fat percentage. This is not accurate, rather highly in accurate and is not worth the expenses.
What makes water displacement method toughest and accurate?
The method is based on the Archimedes principle of displacement. When the body is immersed in water, fat has lower density, and thus, it behaves differently than muscle and bone.
The amount of water displaced in such a way is the measure of your body fat. This test is a little bit difficult to perform at home, and not all places can be used for this method.
Which method should thus be used? There are various kinds of methods, the most common being discussed above.
Out of each of them, considering the level of accuracy and price into mind, Bod Pod is probably the best and ultimate winner. However, if you are not that concerned with the accuracy, you can purchase a pair of calipers for almost no cost, and get the measurements done.
Further, you can also use your eyeballs for the same purchase. You can click your photos at regular intervals and have a look at the body mass from time to time.
What is the importance of checking body fat percentage?
Speaking honestly, getting acquainted with the body fat percentage methods to calculate same won’t do any good to you. It is just half the part of the equation until and unless you regularly check and monitor it.
You need to analyze the fundamental reason behind the need for calculating body fat percentage. Were you just curious, or were you looking to shed a few extra pounds?
How soon should I monitor body fat percentage again?
To fetch better results and to have a keen eye over body fat percentage, a careful monitor once a week is appropriate and ideal. You can use body fat calipers to calculate and track the percentage with no costs.
Having a frequent monitor would tell you better about what all need to be changed to achieve the desired results. Lowering the calorie consumption will be the ultimate option if you are concerned for lowering the body fat.
However, if you are looking to increase the body fat, you should increase the calorie intake and boycott the cardio. If you are making use of body fat scales rather than body calipers to calculate your body fat percentage, it is required that you keep your body conditions fairly constant.
Measuring it once after beer and the other time with no liquid would give variations in the readings. Keep the things consistent.
Which is better: Body fat percentage or BMI?
Body mass index is the most commonly used term most people are concerned with.
But talking logically, body mass index is not an accurate measure as it does not keep into consideration the body composition. The two things with which body mass index is concerned is with height and weight.
Nutrition Guide to Maintain Body Fat Percentage
Can green tea help in lowering the body fat percentage?
Green tea is often consumed by people, probably due to its rich taste. But a recent study suggested that the Catechins present in the green tea may help people in fighting the far body problem. The results can be spotted after a regular consumption for about two weeks.
Top supplements for lowering BFP
1. Hoodia: It acts as an appetite suppressant and works by reducing your body fat. It is an herbal supplement. However, proper research should be conducted before consuming it.
2. Acai berry It is one of the most popular weight loss products. It works by boosting the metabolism. It not only works by reducing the body fat, but also boost up the digestive system and improves the body immunity.
Any of these products should be first consulted with a doctor before consuming.
How can body fat percentage be lowered? There are various methods by which body fat percentage can be lowered. Until and unless you work for lowering it, getting acquainted with the methods to measure body fat percentage would be totally futile. Here is what you can do!
1. Consume more protein Protein: They have high thermic effect as compared to carbohydrates and fats. Explaining in simple words, body has to go extra mile to digest proteins than to digest carbs and fats. And this uses more energy and thus more calories are consumed. This is the reason that body builders generally choose to go for high protein diet. The calories they intake via protein would automatically be burnt during digestion. This also increases your body’s metabolism and lesser fat is stored in the body.
2. Have less carbs and fats: Going by the same reason, consuming less carbs and fats would automatically serve as the ultimate way to reduce body fat. When you consume carbohydrates, the body gets enough inputs to burn and release energy. As a result, body doesn’t get the opportunity to use stored fats for fuelling purposes. Thus reducing carbohydrate intake would increase your body’s urge to use stored fats for releasing energy.
3. Eat frequently: This may sound absurd to some and they may think that eating more would tend to contribute to more body fat. This is not the real case! When you eat more regular, the body does not store fats in the body. Gearing up the body with constant energy would work by increasing the metabolic rate. This burn more calories and thus works by reducing the body fat.
4. Increase the muscle mass: More energy will be burned on daily basis by the body if you tend to make your body more muscular and leaner. This increases the basal metabolic rate of your body. This works by utilizing the reserved body fat for releasing energy.
5. Sleep: It is always suggested to sleep atleast 7-8 hours a day. So you must take care that you complete your sleep rather than missing it. According to many research a healthy sleep is one of the top health priority. With proper sleeping patter you boost your body recovery process.
Missing your sleep disturbs you eating pattern which makes us a bad choice maker. We tends to eat unhealthy food that increase our fat level. But if we sleep for 7-8 hour our metabolism increases and it help us to maintain healthy weight without any extra effort.
The main principle behind this is to create a healthy routine. If you follow a healthy day to day routine you starts getting in shape. In our daily busy schedule we all need to give few time our health as it is only body, where we are going to stay the whole life. Don’t risk your health just by completing neglecting it. If you completely neglect it then you might face health crises soon. Along with, it will also affect your work.
6. Include Exercise Routine: To lose weight and burn fat quickly you also need to include workout routine. Including high intensity workout like Tabata and HIIT will help you to lower your fat percentage very quickly. Do use this workout routine 2-3 times a weeks. Also include some cardio exercises like cycling, swimming, running, etc. Choose any any enjoy it.
In nutshell… If you manage to read all what is written in the posts and have finally reached here, your guts should be saluted! Joking! Well, if the length of the post is removed and other facets are paid stress upon, it should be concluded that knowing the ways by which body fat percentage is calculated is not the only important thing. You should also know the methods by which you can achieve your desired goals. Further, the workout and daily diet routine is the next important thing, you should look upon!