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Your body fat percentage helps you determine your diet and exercise needs. The number gives you an idea of how much of your body is composed of fat, muscles, and tissue.
Step 1: Know the ranges for women
Know the body fat ranges to aim for if you’re a woman. 10 percent body fat is the absolute minimum; athletes tend to be in the 14 to 20 percent range. Fit people are at 21 to 24 percent. 25 to 31 percent is acceptable, and 32 percent and higher is too much.
Step 2: Know the ranges for men
Know the body fat ranges to shoot for if you’re a man. For men, 2 to 4 percent is essential, athletes are 6 to 13 percent, fit men are 14 to 17 percent, and 18 to 25 percent is considered acceptable. 26 percent or more is considered excessive.
Step 3: Avoid water and exercise
Prepare for taking your measurements. Don’t drinking too much water or exercise 2 hours before taking measurements as this can skew the body fat percentage scores.
Step 4: Locate measurement sites
Locate the sites for skin-fold measurements. For men, the sites are diagonally on the chest, and vertically on the abdominals and thighs. For women, the sites are vertically on the triceps and thighs, and diagonally on the suprailiac, which is midway between the hip joint and the rib cage.
Step 5: Use a caliper
Use a caliper to take skin-fold measurements. Pinch and pull a fold of skin using your index finger and thumb. Use the caliper to take a measurement one centimeter away. Wait a few seconds for the fat to compress. Take the measurements from your right side, and take two from each site.
Have a trained professional take skin-fold measurements to get the most accurate numbers.
Step 6: Calculate your body density
Add your skin-fold measurements, and enter the sum into the body density equation to calculate your body density. For women, the equation is .0000023 times the sum squared, minus your age multiplied by .0001392, minus .0009929 multiplied by the sum, plus 1.0994921. For men, the numbers are .0000016, .0002574, .0008267, and 1.1093800.
Step 7: Determine body fat percentage
Determine your body fat percentage by dividing 495 by your body density and subtracting 450.
To avoid number crunching, use an online calculator to determine your body density and fat percentage based on your skin-fold measurements.
Step 8: Take a bioelectrical impedance analysis
Take a bioelectrical impedance analysis using a fat-percentage scale if you want to bypass the math. The scale sends a low-voltage electrical current through your body to measure your fat percentage. Electricity goes faster through fat-free mass like muscles.
Step 9: Understand the error rate
Understand that the error rate for these methods can be as high as 8 percent, but your body fat percentage range will give you a good idea of your body makeup and what goals you should aim for. Now you know your body-fat percentage, and can set accurate goals.
Did You Know?
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Mississippi had the highest obesity rate in 2009 at 34.4 percent.
Master of Macros: http://www.thinkeatlift.com/master/
James Krieger’s articles: http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=146
Mike Matthews’ video: https://youtu.be/RU8Wkgxfzf0
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The most popular methods for determining body fat percentage are: Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) devices (you know the scales that have a metal surface and you step on the barefoot or those devices you hold with your hands at the gym), Mathematical formulas such as the US Navy formula or the YMCA formula, and skinfold calipers. Some people also use Bod Pod, Hydrostatic Weighing, and DEXA but they are not common, so we’ll not discuss them here.
Although as a side note, if it’s convenient for you to get a DEXA scan, I recommend you do it. DEXA scans your entire body with X-rays and tells you very precisely how much fat you have. Then all the rest of your life you’ll have that DEXA scan as a reference point for your current body fat level.
Hydration status can also mess up with the readings of BIA. You could get very different body fat percentage readings in the same day just because of your hydrations status. So in conclusion BIA is not reliable, I don’t recommend you use it.
Skin Fold Calipers can be pretty accurate actually depending on the brand and if you use them correctly. There are brands that have you measure up to 6 points on your body and others only one place. They usually give different results.
But I think the biggest problem with these calipers is that most people don’t know how to use them. You have to grab just the right amount of skin every time – not too much and not too little, and always do it in the same places.
Again I think this can be learned with a bit of practice and you can get a result that’s within 1 percent of your real body fat percentage.
Here’s the interesting thing about your waist measurement: it goes up and down with your body fat percentage. For most people, not everybody but for most people, each body fat percentage has a certain corresponding waist measurement.
At 6 feet tall, 190lbs ripped is a very advanced level of muscle development. But this person has only been training for 6 months so there’s no way that they’re close to their genetic potential. This tells me right of the bat that they probably need to lose about 20lbs of fat to get to around 10%. I can almost guarantee it.
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You can measure the fat content in your body by using a top body fat percentage calculator. All of us measure our weight very often, but very few go into the details of body fat percentage calculator accurate of our total weight. As you must know, body mass consists of fat and muscles. You may be losing weight, but instead of losing fat, you may be losing muscular weight. It indicates that something is wrong. To measure the progress of your health and fitness regime, it is important to measure the body fat as well.
Everyone Needs To Know Their Body Fat
Sometimes, you are consistently working out, eating healthy, and physically active; yet you do not seem to lose weight. You tend to get disappointed. But in most of these cases, what happens is that you are gaining muscles and losing fat, thus the weight remains the same. This is very good for you; your exercises are bringing in good results. But you will know this only if you use the percentage calculator. It is an absolutely necessary tool to measure the effectiveness of your workout plan.
Earlier, people used to think that only sports persons and bodybuilders need to calculate the fat, and that too get it calculated by a trained physician. Now, times have changed, and now we know that calculating the body fat percentage is important for everyone, both men and women. The process is also very simple.
How Much Fat Is Ok For You?
You have to start by taking your specific body measurements like height, neck, weight, and waist, and for women, hips too. The body fat percentage calculator accurate will then use this information to calculate your fat percentage. A healthy body fat percentage for men should range between
14-17%; for competitive athletes it should be 6-13%. Men having fat percentages in mid-20s have a cause for concern as this put them in the obese criteria.
For women, it is a bit higher; 20-24% is considered to be good and healthy. For female athletes, 14-20% body fat percentage is suggested. Women having body fat percentage more than 30% are considered obese. By being in the obese category, people are at risk of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, fatty liver, and so on.
Measuring It Is Very Easy
The body fat percentage calculator is available on the internet, or you can buy one of your own. Measure your height by putting a pencil mark at the top of your head on the wall and measure that mark to the ground. Then measure the circumference of your neck. After that, wrap the tape measure around your belly, right below the belly button. Take the measurements honestly and accurately; after all, it is a question of your health.
After taking all these measurements and more if required, punch in the measures and your age in the calculator and you get the fat percentage number. You can now compare this with the chart and see where you stand.
The calculator is a simple tool, but it does a very complex and important work for you. It tells you how you are doing health wise, whether you require a more focused workout or diet plan, or whether are you at risk of a life-threatening disease. Once you get the full picture, you can plan your diet, exercise, and embark on other activities to achieve that ideal body fat percentage, and hence a healthy body.