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How to Calculate Body Fat Percentage

Your body fat percentage can be determined in a number of different methods. Some techniques demand specialized gear or access to professional services. These procedures are regarded as the most precise.

You can calculate your body fat percentage at home as well. The simplest technique is using a body fat calculator as it doesn’t call for any specialized equipment or extensive consultations with a professional.

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This method will provide you with an estimated body fat percentage that, at your discretion, you can verify using other techniques. For an instant body fat measurement, all you will need is a simple tape measure and around five minutes.

 

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How to Use the Body Fat Calculator

There are a few guidelines to follow when determining how to quantify body fat. For the most precise body fat % calculation, adhere to the recommendations below.

 

When to Take Measurements

To achieve the most accurate results, take your measurements first thing in the morning. It’s wise to get your measurements before you eat or drink anything because your weight can change during the day.

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What to Use

You must measure your body after you have weighed yourself. To collect the data, use a flexible, soft tape measure (made of fabric or fiberglass). Use a rigid tape measure instead. The ideal measuring tool is one similar to that of a tailor.[Related: 7 Natural Cures for Erectile Dysfunction for 2023]

How to Take Your Measurements

The tape should feel strong enough against your skin to keep in place while you measure each body part’s circumference. However, it shouldn’t be pressed in so firmly that it leaves an impression. You may choose to utilize metric or English units.

Men and women require slightly different measures to be taken. Men just measure the circumference of the waist, whereas women also measure the hips, wrists, and forearms.

 

Men

  • Current weight. Use a digital scale if possible.
  • Waist circumference. Measure the largest part of your belly, usually right at the level of your umbilicus (belly button). Make sure that the tape measure stays level with the floor. Don’t hold your breath or suck in to get the measurement.

Women

  • Current weight. Use a digital scale if possible.
  • Waist circumference. Measure the largest part of your belly, usually right at the level of your umbilicus (belly button). Make sure that the tape measure stays level with the floor. Don’t hold your breath or suck in to get the measurement.
  • Wrist circumference. Measure around the smallest part of your wrist. You may need a partner to help with this measurement as it is hard to measure one-handed.
  • Hip circumference. Measure around the largest part of your hips, usually at the posterior extension of the gluteals (where your butt extends back).
  • Forearm circumference. Measure around at the widest part of your arm below your elbow. It will be easiest to have a partner get this measurement. Keep your arm relaxed during the measurement and let it hang alongside your body (don’t bend or flex the arm while measuring).

Enter the data to determine your body fat percentage once you’ve gathered your figures.

 

Body Fat Percentage Categories

You undoubtedly want to know how your body fat percentage compares to that of men and women in various categories now that you have your number. There are five main ranges or body fat classifications, according to the American Council on Exercise (ACE).

Remember that these classifications are based on averages for body fat and might not accurately reflect your level of health or fitness.

ACE Body Fat Norms for Men and Women
 DescriptionWomenMen
 Essential Fat 10-13%2-5%
 Athletes 14-20%6-13%
 Fitness 21-24%14-17%
 Acceptable 25-31%18-24%
 Obese >32% >25%

Associated Risks of Disease

It is difficult to determine with precision what body fat percentage someone is more at risk of developing conditions including heart disease, diabetes, and stroke. Body fat percentage is a measurement that does not take into consideration variances due to gender, race, or age.

There are more markers that could aid in determining your risk for diseases like cardiovascular disease. Consult a healthcare professional about the various techniques you can use to assess your health risks if the calculator indicates that your body fat is too high.

Body mass index (BMI) is one of the most often used evaluation measures. Your body mass index (BMI) is a measurement of your size. If your weight is within a healthy range, it is determined by a general score rather than a percentage of body fat.

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Your height and weight are used to determine the amount. If you weigh too much for your height, it’s considered that the extra weight is fat.Body mass index is merely a technique that classifies people according to their weight. It is not intended to be a precise diagnostic device for assessing health.

 

How is Body Fat Percentage Measured?

Why is the percentage of body fat important? If your objective is to lose weight, you might be tempted to check your progress using a straightforward bodyweight scale, but your body fat percentage will tell you more than the scale.

Fat loss, not just weight loss, should be your objective when you’re trying to lose weight intentionally, improve your health, or get more fit. The lean mass, or fat-free mass, that your body need should remain. Bone, blood, connective tissue, organs, and muscle all make up lean mass.

Sometimes when you lose weight, you lose muscle, but that’s not the kind of weight loss you want. Because it improves glycemic control, speeds up metabolism, and helps your body operate better, maintaining muscle mass is beneficial.

You may determine how well your fitness or weight loss program is working for you by monitoring changes in your body fat percentage. This will allow you to shed fat while preserving lean mass.

 

Other Methods of Determining Body Fat Percentage

Body composition, or the ratio of your lean to fat mass, can be calculated in a variety of methods. One of them is using a calculator to determine body fat.

Not every body will respond well to one technique. You wouldn’t want to attempt hydrostatic weighing, for instance, if you would feel uncomfortable going underwater. Each approach has advantages and disadvantages.

Body Fat Calculator

When you input body measurements into a body fat calculator like the one above, the tool uses a specific formula to estimate your percentage of fat. The formula is slightly different for men and women.

For women, the formula begins with a simple weight calculation:

  • (Total bodyweight x 0.732) + 8.987

The tool uses fractions of each body measurement to estimate your body fat percentage.

For men, the formula begins with a different weight calculation:

  • (Total bodyweight x 1.082) + 94.42

The tool uses a fraction of the weight measurement to estimate your body fat percentage.

The most accurate way to determine body fat percentage is not via a body fat calculator. It is, nevertheless, the easiest system to use. Consequently, you might be able to use it more frequently.

You can track trends in your development if you measure at the same time every day and use the same equipment (the same tape measure and online calculator), which can be much more helpful in evaluating your fitness gains than a single measurement.

 

Skin Caliper Measurements

Several body fat calculators estimate your body fat percentage based on skinfold measurements rather than body circumference measures. You can buy skinfold calipers to use at home, or you can engage a specialist who is experienced in utilizing them in medical or fitness environments.

Your body is pinched by skin calipers to determine how much fat is present. For measuring body fat percentage, employing calipers can be more precise than using a calculator, however accuracy depends on the user’s level of expertise.

 

Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA)

Bioelectrical impedance may be used by home scales, gym scales, and equipment in your doctor’s office to calculate body fat. In simple terms, the apparatus measures fat by passing a painless, 100% safe electrical signal across your body.

You receive an immediate and quick body fat percentage result. Even though this method is practical, some elements, including hydration level, can affect the accuracy of the outcome.

 

DeXA Scanning

The gold standard for calculating body fat percentage is gradually evolving to be whole-body scanning. The test is mostly accurate since it is typically carried out in a medical setting by highly qualified technicians. The DeXA exam is frequently expensive and could not be offered where you live.

Hydrostatic Weighing

The most accurate way to determine body fat percentage has long been the submersion technique. However, it necessitates holding one’s breath while completely submerged in a tank of water.

The stamina needed for hydrostatic weighing can be difficult for many people. Finding a place to conduct the test can be challenging as well.

 

How to Cut Back on Body Fat

Many people desire to reduce weight at some point because many cultures place such a high emphasis on being slender. However, everyone shouldn’t make losing weight their main objective. Before making a choice, consult a healthcare practitioner. Additionally, you should be aware that these figures do not apply to women who are pregnant and that you should not attempt to lose weight at this time.

If you’re trying to lose weight while taking medication or receiving treatment for cancer, you should consult your doctor to be sure it’s safe. Here are some areas you might want to think about changing if your doctor believes that lowering your body fat percentage is a safe and healthy objective for your health.

 

Your Diet

The amount and type of food you consume play a big part in whether you lose or gain body fat. It may be tempting for you to attempt a well-liked diet, but fad diets typically don’t work. What works are modest adjustments like:

Your Cardiovascular Fitness Program

Any program for losing fat should include cardiovascular exercise, but you need to be sure you’re doing the appropriate kind of cardio. Make sure to incorporate up to two or three sessions each week of high-intensity interval training into your regimen. You should also do easy, moderate workouts in addition to cardio.

 

Your Strength Training Program

Cardio is frequently the main weight-loss strategy, but building more muscle will increase your ability to burn fat. Since muscle has a higher metabolic activity than fat, having more of it increases your daily caloric expenditure. To add lean muscle tissue and burn more fat, all you need to do is strength exercise a few times per week.

 

Lifestyle Factors

Since stress hormones can cause weight gain, managing your stress levels and getting enough sleep are essential to maintaining a healthy weight. Taking care of yourself will help you stay motivated to prepare healthy meals and keep the energy required to finish important workouts.

 

Final Thoughts

There are additional ways to estimate body fat besides those presented here. Whatever approach you choose, keep in mind that the most accurate results will come from using the same technique each time if you intend to measure your body fat frequently.

The greatest course of action if you want to change your body’s composition of fat is to balance your diet with healthy foods while avoiding fad diets and engaging in regular exercise. Make a plan for maintaining your health by speaking with a healthcare professional to identify your health risks.

 

 

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