Body Fat

j0152378The following article is a small excerpt from one of my books. I hope you’ll want to learn more and let me help you to get into the best shape of your life.

Fat is stored in two ways in your body. Under the skin or subcutaneous fat, which is the fat you can see, jiggle and pinch and muscle fat, the fat found inside your muscles.
The ideal fat percentage on males is about 15 % while for females it’s about 22%. These are ideals and the actual average percentage is higher. Fat levels also very among race, because of the difference in bone structure and in particular calcium

Male Female
15 22 Healthy White
24 31 Average White
18 25 Oriental
12 19 Black
5 11 Athletes

Body composition measurement is not rocket science. Fat estimates can vary depending upon which method you use and who is doing the estimating. The ‘bathroom scale’ is not a good choice because it cannot distinguish between overweight and over fat. The only accurate way to measure body composition is dissection.
Underwater weighing is the most widely available indirect method for measuring body composition and is the gold standard for fat measurement. You can calculate the density of your body and thus your percentage of fat by dividing your body weight (scale weight) by your body volume (underwater weight). Muscles have a higher density and fat a lower density than water. In this procedure, fat people float and weigh less underwater, while lean people sink and weigh more underwater. Underwater weighing assumes that every cubic centimeter of lean tissue weighs 1.1 gram and every cubic centimeter of fat weighs 0.9 grams. This method also assumes that your body in 73.2% water.

Underwater weighing methods while they make certain assumptions, do not take individual body composition into account and this can lead to inaccurate readings. (Individual differences in bone density accounts for some deviations as well as lean fit people have a lot of water in their fat cells, while fat overweight people have very little water in fat cells.)

Most Health clubs do not have dip tanks and rely on other methods such as skin fold, electrical impedance and anthropometry.

Anthropometry uses superficial measurements like height and weight to arrive at a number. One such system is the Body Mass Index or BMI. This uses your weight divided by your height in meters squared.

BMI = Weight (kilograms) divided by height(meters)2

This measurement does not however consider one’s lean muscle mass… for example a 190 pound very fit bodybuilder of 5’ 10″ tall may have a BMI of over 27. So use this measurement as only a guide. To find your BMI click here.

A BMI of less than 20 may lead to health problems in some people. Some of these problems may include heart irregularities, depression and other emotional distress and anemia.

A BMI between 20 and 25 is a good range for most people. In this range if you eat properly, your weight should not give you any health problems.

A BMI between 25 and 27 is still within an acceptable range however caution should be taken because this could lead to health problems for some people.

A BMI greater than 27 and your risks of health problems increase. Some of these problems include, high blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and certain cancers.

I know you want to get in shape and look great. Whatever your fitness goal…to slim down…gain muscle…tone your arms or flatten your tummy…I’m here to help you accomplish your goals and to improve your fitness level. If you have enjoyed this article and the many other free features on my site, and would like some more comprehensive information such as fitness books and CD’s to aid you in achieving your health and fitness goals, please visit my ONLINE STORE where you will find innovative natural health and beauty products to help you become the BEST YOU CAN BE !