Body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat that your body contains. For your body to function properly it is essential that your body contains a certain amount of fat. Body fat helps regulate your body temperature, it cushions and insulates organs and is the main form of the body’s energy storage. It is important for everyone to have a healthy amount of body fat.
When people say they want to lose weight it is implied that they want to lose fat.
Calculating your body fat percentage is a better way to determine what your weight loss goals should be and if they are realistic. Rather than just stepping on a scale and deciding how much weight you want to lose, it is better to determine your body fat percentage and achieve a healthy range. So before you decide you need to lose 20 pounds, first remember that your body weight consists of lean body mass and body fat.
The amount of body fat that you do or do not have can be potentially dangerous to your health. Carrying too much body fat can increase your risk of developing serious health problems such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. Too little body fat deprives your body of stored energy, protection of your organs and can potentially cause your body to enter a state of catabolism, which is when your body begins to use muscle protein as fuel.
Healthy Body Fat Percentage Range
|AGE (Years)||HEALTHY RANGE OF BODY FAT FOR FEMALES||HEALTHY RANGE OF BODY FAT FOR MALES|
|18 – 39||21 – 33%||8 – 20%|
|40 – 59||23 – 34%||11 – 22%|
|60 – 79||24 – 36%||13 – 25%|