In the fitness world, body fat receives a lot of attention, with many athletes and extremely fit individuals looking to maintain a low body fat percentage. With body fat scales becoming more commonplace in gyms and homes nowadays, more people are aware of their body fat percentage and have become just as fixated on this as their weight. Today we’re going to discuss everything you need to know about body fat, as well as how you can go about finding your body fat percentage.
What is body fat percentage?
Body fat percentage, which is sometimes abbreviated to BFP, is an individual’s mass of fat divided by their total body mass, which is then multiplied by 100 to get a percentage. Body fat is essential for all humans in order to maintain their reproductive functions and support our overall health.
Body fat takes into account essential body fat as well as stored body fat. For men, it’s recommended that you maintain a body fat percentage in the range of 8 to 19 per cent, whereas the women’s healthy range is 21 to 33 per cent. If you are an athlete, you will most likely have a lower body fat percentage, but it’s something you don’t want to drop too low, or it can become threatening to your overall health. On the other hand, you don’t want your body fat percentage to creep too high, which can be caused by overeating and consuming too much sugar and fat.
How can I find out my body fat percentage?
Nowadays, you’ll find many different methods for measuring your body fat percentage available, some of which can be incredibly costly. A popular option is using skinfold calipers, which a trained professional can complete by taking your measurements and calculating your percentage. Alternatively, body fat scales can be purchased by the general public, and these are a good option if you are looking to regularly track this figure in the comfort of your own home.
How to reduce your body fat
If you’ve decided you want or need to reduce your body fat, there are many different ways to go about this. Adjusting your diet is the first step to success for many people, and a reduction in body fat can be achieved by increasing protein, eating healthy fats and cutting out junk food and soda. Cut back on refined carbs to speed up the fat loss process, and fill up on more fiber to keep you feeling full for longer and reduce your chance of snacking. As far as exercise, incorporating strength training into your routine and increasing cardio can make a huge difference to your body fat percentage when consistently performed.
Body fat is a great measurement for many individuals to track, but as with weight, it’s not something you want to start obsessing over unless it’s essential to your performance or sport. If you are interested in tracking your measurements, talk to a fitness instructor at your gym, who should be able to help calculate your body fat percentage or set you up with the correct equipment to do so. If you are concerned about your body fat percentage, remember to enjoy a balanced diet and a consistent exercise routine, which will help your percentage to reduce over time.