Ideal Body Fat Percentage - Discover What it is and What it Means to You!

When you are calculating your ideal body fat percentage, there are many things to take into account. Your body fat percentage is not just about how much you can pinch on your waistline! It takes into account how much muscle is in your body, how active you are, and what your overall lifestyle is like.

Your ideal body fat percentage might surprise you, and you might be thrilled to learn that someone who keeps trying to lose those last stubborn five pounds may be having trouble because they don’t actually need to lose that weight at all.

Your body needs fat in order to function. The idea of living with no body fat at all is not realistic, nor is it a healthy way to envision your “ideal body”. Sometimes dieters become obsessive about their body fat percentage and will do all they can to lower it. This is not healthy, and is never recommended. In fact, the amount of body fat you actually need might surprise you.

To find your ideal body fat percentage, you can rely on a basic body fat chart. This will give you an idea of how much body fat you are expected to have, given your lifestyle and activity level. For women, the absolute essential amount of body fat is between ten and twelve percent. This is what you must have in order for your body to function properly. For men, that number is between two and four percent.

If you are a very athletic person, body fat of 14-20 percent for women and 6-13 percent for men is entirely acceptable. The more muscle you have on your body, the more fat you are burning even when you are at rest, so you must be sure to have enough fat to allow your body to burn!

Women are considered “fit” if their body fat is below 24 percent. For men, the number would be right at 17 percent. If you fall into this category, you have no worries! Your body is working at fitness levels that are acceptable for your height and weight. Maintaining your weight is your goal if you fall into that “fit” category.

You are considered to have an acceptable body fat percentage if you have the following numbers: For women, a percentage of 31 or less and for men, a percentage of 25 or less. This is a good number to shoot for if you are looking to lose weight. Anything over these percentages is considered obese, and you would be advised to embark on a diet and exercise program immediately to avoid potential health problems in the future.

What is your ideal body fat percentage? Since so many factors go into deciding what is right for your body, a consultation with a fitness professional will help you find the answer. In the meantime, you can trust the body fat percentage chart to help start you on the track to wellness!


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