You may be wondering why do most body builders have an overweight body fat even if they have pure muscles in their bodies. Well, it has been a connotation that if you are overweight, you are obese and living an unhealthy life. Calculating body fat percentage isn’t always completely accurate, and there are many methods to try.
This is totally wrong.
Not all overweight is obese. It is just something to do with their body fat.
If you are a starter in the fitness journey, you might hear body fat a lot.
So, what is it and what does it do to your body?
Learning body fat: what does it tell you to your body?
Body fat is a fat that sustains from your body. This might also confuse you with the belly fat.
They are totally different.
Belly fat is the one who bugles on your stomach. On the other hand, body fat is the total fat of your body.
So, are they both bad when it comes to fitness?
Obviously, bulging stomach (belly fat) is what you should trim out from your body through training and exercise. But body fat is stored energy that you can use in the time of crisis. It is like the humps of the camels when they traveled through the desert which allows them to travel in days.
There is also called “essential fat.” Since it is “essential,” this means backup storage. Whether you like it or not, it needs to be in your body. Lowering much of the required body or essential fat may result in organ failure.
Having a high body fat percentage, however, does increase your health risk too. Since you are storing your fat and not utilizing it efficiently, chances are, your body will have a hard time functioning.
What is the rightful amount of body fat for yourself?
But before you lost yourself wondering if you have too much, or too little, body fat percentage, you can take a good look at this table.
|Essential Fat||10 – 12%||2-4%|
|Obese||32% plus||26% plus|
Note: men and women have different body types that tend to have different “acceptable” body fat.
If you are aiming for a body built, take note of some of this guide.
Totally ripped body. A lot of people dream of having that head-turning body. So, if you want this so bad, you need to sustain not more than 6-8% body fat for men and 13-15% for women.
6 pack abs. So, this is it. The one that you always wanted to keep for the rest of your life, six-pack abs. This requires 8-11% body fat for males and 15-17% for women.
Optimal athletic performance. This is for the athletes. You need to maintain 15% body fat (men) and 20% (women).
Perfectly toned body. Well, if you just wanted a toned, shaped body, this is the one for you. I am not judging though. For the boys, you need to maintain 18% body fat. For the gals, 20-23% of body fat is needed.
But before you give me that judgment look and remark me as a sexist for giving you this information, let me explain to you why women tend to have more body fat than men.
Why do women sustain more body fats than men?
Women, most of them, are likely to curse their bodies because they think they are fat.
According to Science Daily, one of the reasons why women are fatter sex than men is because of biological reasons. The hormone estrogen keeps women storing body fats.
The article read that women have 6 to 11 percent more body fats than men. Estrogen reduces the ability of a woman’s ability to burn energy resulting in more fat stored. It does not mean the body wanted to, but it needed to be.
The purpose of storing “enough” fat is to prepare for fertility or anticipate childbearing.
The article also reveals that women burn more fat than men in exercises but they do not lose enough body fat. This just means that women are better at storing fat than men.
How can I know if I reached my target body fat percentage?
Here are some ways to measure your body fat bracket.
Observation – This requires a trained eye and a low accuracy level. You just need to track your progress by taking a picture of yourself and compare.
Body fat/Skin Calipers – This is a piece of equipment, with a higher accuracy level, to measure your body fat. You just need to pinch your skin and the calipers will show you your progress towards fitness. However, this only measures a certain area of your body but not the whole (if you only check one area every time).
Measurement method – You may find somebody fat calculator online. This, however, may not that accurate and can overestimate your body fat, percentage count.
Body fat scales and monitors – This measures your body fat percentage through an electric current. This uses” biometrical impedance analysis.”
Bod pod – This is the most accurate and the most expensive among the mentioned ways. Still, the accuracy is important to properly identify what is perfectly fitness regimen for you.
DEXA Scanning – This is the most tedious process to test your body fat percentage. It takes a full x-ray scan of your body and needed to be taken to a medical facility. It is also expensive depending on a medical facility.
Notes to remember when taking your body fat percentage (of any method you choose). Always test your body percentage under the same conditions of your body.
What is BMI, are they both the same?
Unfortunately, they are not the same.
What we are talking about all the time is body fat percentage which is more important to your fitness journey. Body fat percentage identifies your fat in your body.
On the other hand, BMI or body mass index only relates your height and weight, if they proportionate to each other. If you are not doing any fitness activity or building any muscles, you may just consider doing BMI.
So, knowing these kinds of information might be taking stress to beginners. But this will help you guide your fitness journey towards your fitness goal.
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