Do you know what your body fat percentage is, right now? What range is considered ideal for your gender? Or why you should even care?
Your body fat percentage is a value that tells you how much of your body weight is made up of fat. In terms of your overall health, your body fat percentage can be one of the most useful numbers available to you, more than how much you weigh and even more than your Body Mass Index (BMI).
You might argue that you can just rely on visual appearance, everyone knows what an overweight or obese person looks like. When you get to that point, you know you need to start making a change in your lifestyle. Unfortunately, once you get to the overweight/obese stage your risk for developing health complications will have increased and weight loss becomes difficult.
If you are interested in developing or maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle, measuring and understanding your body fat percentage is incredibly important.
Here are three reasons why understanding your body fat percentage can positively impact your life.
1. Get The Context Of Your Weight
Knowing how much you weigh tells you very little because two people can have the same weight but have completely different body compositions and health risks. Your body fat percentage (PBF) puts your weight into context, telling you far more about yourself than how heavy you are.
Without the context body fat percentage provides, it’s very difficult to understand what your weight means when you stand on a scale and whether or not you should consider making changes to improve your body composition.
2. Decide How To Start Improving
Understanding your body fat percentage helps you decide which of the two goals that reflect healthy body composition changes – increasing Lean Body Mass and decreasing Fat Mass – you should be working on.
It’s difficult to point to any single “ideal” percentage because what may be ideal for a bodybuilder may be different than what’s ideal for a football player. For this reason, ranges are used to give people an idea of where they stand in terms of health.
For men: 10-20% is considered normal/healthy
For women: 18-28% is considered normal/healthy
Knowing where your body fat percentage falls in these ranges can be very helpful for you to decide how to improve your overall composition.
3. Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
Keeping your body fat percentage at a healthy level can help reduce your likelihood of getting serious health risks, specifically, heart disease.
Heart disease is most often caused by a buildup of plaque on the walls of your arteries. This occurs when small pieces of cholesterol (low-density lipoprotein, or LDL) damage your arteries, causing them to harden, forcing your heart to work harder to pump blood throughout your body.
Know Your Percentage to Take Control of Your Health
Perhaps one of the best things about your body fat percentage is that it compares you to yourself.
If you just track weight, this invariably leads to comparing yourself to someone else. Even though there could be significant differences in height, muscle mass, genetics, or other factors, all people hear when they talk about or think about their weight is the number.
That’s what’s so great about your body fat percentage. It doesn’t matter how much you weigh; the only thing that matters is what that weight is made up of. You could be overweight (and even have a BMI that tells you that) but if you’re a woman with a healthy body fat percentage of 25%, why care?
At Alevere, we use cutting-edge body composition equipment to accurately measure your progress; ensuring you lose weight whilst maintaining muscle mass. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you start your journey.