To master the physical health of your body, in addition to your weight and height, which is the most basic ratio, the percentage of fat on your body also reflects your health.
However, to have a beautiful body, these things are not enough. In addition to weight, we also need to improve one more metric, which is body fat.
You don't have to be a gymnast to care about your body fat percentage, and what we need to keep in mind is that not all fat on the body is also harmful to fat our heart health.
We need to consider a lot of information and factors, but body fat is one of the indispensable factors for us to eliminate bad fat and ensure good body fat at a matching rate.
Because a low weight person will still have belly fat if the% of body fat is too high.
Conversely, a lean person who has just gained weight will tend to be obese if their body fat is too high. So what is body fat, and what do we need to do to calculate body fat percentage? Now BellyFatZone invites you to refer to this article together!
Body fat calculation tool
Recently we learned how to calculate the percentage of body fat using the formula US Navy. However, these formulas are too long and complicated. Particularly, it took quite a long time to enter data into a calculator.
To overcome this, BellyFatZone has created a tool to help you calculate more easily. However, before entering data into the tool, there are a few things to keep in mind. To measure your waist …
Place the tape measure at the male umbilical cord's height and the position with the smallest width (width) for women. Besides, make sure that you do not pull in your stomach during the measurement. To measure your neck circumference, place a tape measure …
Below the neck's left side (the bulge on the neck) and place the ruler slightly downwards. As for the hips, you don't need to measure if you're a man. In women's case, place the tape measure at the position with the widest (widest) width.
What is body fat?
Body fat is the word for the amount of fat in our body. In the word body fat, “body” means body, while “fat” is the word for the amount of fat/fat we are. Along with bones and muscles …
Body fat is one of the main factors that contribute to the human body. In other words, body fat is one of the main elements of body composition.
Classification of body fat
Although the word “fat” is often used to refer to the amount of body fat, however, in reality, our bodies have many different types of fat. In particular, some fats can have a negative effect …
Notice: Body Fat Calculator has been updated in this article. Please press Ctrl + D or share to save the tool ^^! Can be used immediately
To our health and contribute to disease. In contrast, other fats are essential and beneficial for health. The main types of fat cells in our body including…
White fat cells, brown fat, and beige fat (light brown, light yellow). These fats can be stored in the form of essential fat, subcutaneous fat, and visceral fat.
- White fat
- Brown fat
- Beige fat
- Essential fat
- Subcutaneous fat
- Visceral fat
Each of these fats will have a different role. Some will boost metabolic levels and healthy hormone levels. Meanwhile, other types contribute to …
Diseases are life-threatening for us. For example, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, cancer, and a better understanding of these fats, please refer to the contents below.
White fat is the type of fat that most people think of first. White fat is made up of large, white fat cells stored under the skin or around the internal organs …
Besides, white fat is also stored in the arm, buttocks, and thigh area. These fat cells are the body's way of storing energy for use when needed.
Not only that, but these fats also play a vital role in the function of some hormones such as estrogen, leptin, insulin, cortisol (stress hormone), growth hormone (growth hormone).
Although a moderate amount of white fat is essential for health, too much white fat is very harmful. The healthy percentage of fat will depend on your activity level or fitness level.
According to the American Council on Exercise, men who do not exercise should have a total body fat percentage of 14-24%. Meanwhile, women who do not exercise should have a total body fat percentage of between 21-31%.
Having a higher percentage of body fat than recommended will put you at risk for diseases like type 2 diabetes, coronary artery disease, high blood pressure, stroke, hormonal imbalance, complications. Pregnancy, kidney disease, liver disease, cancer …
Brown fat is a type of fat found primarily in children. However, adults still retain a minimal amount of brown fat, typically in the neck and shoulders. This is the type of fat that overweight people will love.
Because they help burn fatty acids (fatty acids) to keep our body warm. Because of this effect, researchers are very interested in finding ways to stimulate brown fat activity to help prevent obesity.
Beige (or brite) fat is a relatively new area of research. These fat cells work in between the brown and white fat cells. Similar to brown fat, beige-colored cells also …
Helps burn more fat than the store. It is believed that certain hormones and enzymes released when we are stressed, cold, or during exercise can help convert white fat into beige fat.
Essential fat – as the name implies, this is an essential fat for a healthy life and body. This type of fat can be found in the brain, bone marrow, nerves …
The membrane protects internal organs … Essential fats play a major role in hormone regulation, including fertility control hormones, vitamin absorption, and temperature regulation.
According to the American Council on Exercise, women need at least 10 to 13 percent of their body composition to come from essential fat for good health, while men need at least 2 to 5 percent.
Subcutaneous fat is the amount of fat stored directly below our skin layer. They are a combination of brown fat, beige fat, and white fat.
Most of our body fat is subcutaneous fat. You can squeeze or pinch this fat in places like the arms, abdomen, thighs, and buttocks.
Because this amount of fat can be pinched, some people often use a caliper to measure subcutaneous fat (subcutaneous fat). Then from there, use these measurements to estimate the percentage of body fat.
It is normal to have moderate amounts of subcutaneous fat and is perfectly healthy. However, too much subcutaneous fat can lead to an imbalance in hormone sensitivity and concentration.
Visceral fat, commonly known as belly fat, is the type of white fat stored in your abdomen and around all of your major internal organs, such as the liver, kidneys, pancreas, intestines, and heart.
A high level of visceral fat can increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, artery disease, and some cancers. This is one of the dangerous fats that you should avoid.
What is body fat percentage?
Body fat percentage (commonly referred to as body fat) is the percentage of body fat to total body weight. To put it more succinctly, the percentage of body fat is the percentage of body fat.
For example, if a person weighs 70 kg and has 7 kg of fat, then the person's body fat percentage would be 10% (7/70). The percentage of body fat usually shown on body weight monitors is the Body Fat Percentage or Percent Body Fat (PBF).
For example, if the machine reports PBF = 8.5, you are having a fat ratio of 8.5%. Body fat percentage is an ever-changing metric. In it, they change as you increase or decrease the amount of body fat.
They also change as you gain or lose muscle mass. For example, let's say you follow the right diet and gym combination to gain weight from 70 to 80 kg with just 2 kg of added fat.
Your new body fat percentage will now be around 11% (9/80). If you stop lifting weights for a year and lose 5 kg of muscle without losing fat …
Your body fat percentage will increase to about 12% (9/75). Thus, we can see that the body fat percentage will increase and decrease as they change body composition.
Percent body fat and BMI
Many people often confuse the percentage of body fat (percentage body fat) and BMI. However, they are 2 completely different concepts. If you do not know BMI, you should refer to what is BellyFatZone's BMI article.
According to BMI, a healthy gym man 1m8 tall weighing 80 kg, will have an index of 24.7. And according to the standard BMI for Asia, this person is overweight. However, according to the formulas for calculating muscles …
Then 80 kg is a completely normal number. And this is an example of a BMI vulnerability. The BMI can help analyze an overall population. But they are not suitable for judging individuals.
Especially those with fitness practice. The reason for this is because the bodybuilder has more muscle than the average person. And this increases our BMI despite having a low-fat percentage.
What is body fat percentage based on BMI?
If you wonder if we can determine% body fat based on BMI, then the answer is no (in most cases). BMI is determined solely by our height and weight …
And they don't take into account how much fat and muscle that weight has. This means that BMI can go high for very different reasons. On the one hand, they can be tall because we have a lot of muscle.
On the other hand, a high BMI can be caused by a low or even moderate muscle mass but a high amount of body fat. Even so, there is a situation where you can use BMI to estimate body fat percentage.
This is in overweight people with normal muscle mass (people who don't lift weights). For this group of people, BMI is usually equivalent to the percentage of body fat. For example, a man about 1m8 weighs 90 kg …
With 30% body fat, you can have a BMI of about 30. Likewise, a woman 1m6 tall weighing 70 kg with 40% body fat can have a BMI of about 40. However, correlation This will disappear for …
People with toned bodies or above-average muscles. This is why we should not use BMI to estimate body fat percentage, even if they work in certain situations.
How to determine the percentage of body fat
Through the above content, we have understood what body fat is and the issues related to the percentage of body fat. So if we want to determine% body fat to track, what to do?
Calculate body fat balance and handset
The easiest way to measure your body fat percentage is to use an electronic scale or handheld device. These devices use a method called bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) …
Involved in measuring the resistance of our body to a light electric current. In the body, muscles conduct electricity well because they contain more than 70% water, and fats are non-conductive because they hold much less water.
The more resistant the body is to an electrical current, the fatter it must be (more fat). This sounds plausible, but there are some serious problems with this BIA approach.
Electricity will go the easiest way.
For the first problem, the current will follow the path with the smallest resistance. When an electric current is passed through the body, they avoid fat storage areas to find tissues easier to pass. For example, the tissues inside the body …
Will be selected instead of subcutaneous fat. Also, an even worse problem is that bipolar devices (like most scales and handhelds) ignore most of your body.
Scales with electrodes are 2 feet that bypass the entire upper body. Meanwhile, devices with electrodes located in the hands ignore the lower body of the body. As you can see, this will skew the result after measurement.
Another problem with BIA methods is that they use mathematical equations to convert raw readings into percent body fat (% body fat), and these equations may be inaccurate.
When a company develops a BIA device, they calibrate them with another method of measuring the fat imperfections, such as hydrostatic weighing.
There are many steps in this calibration process. First, they will measure the body fat of a large group (people) with a certain method. Next, re-measure this group of people with BIA equipment.
Then compare the data and develop an equation to predict BIA results based on height, weight, sex, and many other variables. This might work if the metrics …
The “certain” methods are correct, but they are often inaccurate. Even so, many companies are calibrating their BIA equipment for the calculation …
Inaccurate about fat percentage. Hydrostatic balance is the method most often used as the BIA benchmark. And studies show it can be up to 6% in error because …
Many reasons are related to race, weight, and amount of water in the body. For example, if a person has 10% body fat, they will have body fat levels between 6 and 16% when measured by hydrostatic weighing.
Body conditions can affect data.
If you check your fat percentage by BIA while your body is dehydrated, you will have abnormally high results due to lower electrical conductivity. If we check it after eating, we will see the opposite effect: the result will be abnormally low.
In one study, measuring body fat after a meal reduced results by 4.2%. Besides, a study from the University of Chicago (USA) showed that the body conducts electricity better after exercise.
So if we check our post-workout body fat, we get a low, inaccurate result. Here are some of the reasons why scientists assume that BIA devices are at the consumer level …
Not suitable for accurately estimating body fat percentage. However, what if we use BIA devices to track body fat change over time? Although inaccurate, at least …
They can give uniform results. If you are wondering about this, the answer is no. They produce inconsistent results because they are affected by so many things that you cannot easily control.
Calculate body fat by skinfold method
In the skinfold method, we will use a caliper to measure the skin's thickness at many points on the body. The parameters are then entered into an equation to yield the result% body fat.
Although quite a few people use this method, even some “fitness fried rice” even claim that this is the most accurate method to calculate the fat percentage. However, there is a problem with this method.
That is, if you pinch too little of the skin, you will have a lower% body fat than it really is. Conversely, if you pinch too much, you will have a higher% body fat. What is more, even though the skin pinching is done perfectly …
Then they also do not guarantee accuracy. Because the skinfold method equations have some errors. For example, in one study, a group of scientists at …
VA Medical Center (USA) took measurements of skin folds of 681 healthy men and women. To control them, they also measured the% of people's body fat using …
A much more precise technique is called the 4-compartment model. The scientists found that skinfold measurements had an accuracy equivalent to 4-compartment models to measure the average% body fat.
However, when it comes to individuals, skinfold measurements are inaccurate for many participants. In many cases, skinfold measurements with% body fat are overestimated or underestimated as much as 10 to 15%.
For example, a guy with 20% body fat can get 5% body fat (cut out) or 35% body fat (obesity) using the skinfold method. In another study by The University of Georgia (USA) …
The skinfold method produced results with errors ranging from 5% too low to 3% too high. Not only that, but another study by Maastricht University (Netherlands) also shows the same error rate.
Calculate body fat by body parameters
In addition to the above methods, we also have one more method for calculating% body fat. That is how body parameters calculate it. To apply this method, you just need to enter the body composition into an existing formula.
Some of the formulas can be mentioned as the YMCA (YMCA formula) or the US Navy formula (US Navy formula). However, in these 2 formulations, YMCA has not high accuracy.
Because they only consider 2 variables that are waist and weight. For example, if a person accumulates much fat in the buttocks, the facial fat accumulates. But with a small waistline, this formula will definitely underestimate% body fat compared to reality.
For the US Navy formula, this is a method to calculate the percentage of fat by height and body circumference (Body Circumferences and Height), developed by two scientists James A. Hodgdon and Marcie B Beckett.
Recipe for men
495 / (1.0324-0.19077 × log10 (waist-neck) + 0.15456 × log10 (height)) – 450
Recipe for girls
495 / (1.29579-0.35004 × log10 (waist + hip-neck) + 0.221 × log10 (height)) – 450
According to a study by Ohio State University (USA), calculating body fat by body circumference gives the same results (correlates) with the skinfold method. The difference only fluctuated at 2%.
Though the skinfold method is often inaccurate, if the human factor (skin grip) with the same good formula is guaranteed, they are a fairly accurate way to calculate% body fat.
Moreover, the US Navy formulas used by the US Army must have a certain precision. Note, this method can rate% body fat slightly higher than reality.
The most accurate way to calculate fat percentage
After looking through all the above methods, you must be wondering how scientists can determine the error rates of different test methods.
Did they compare the BIA, DXA, Bod Pod, hydrostatic and skinfold results to check the accuracy? If not, what is the gold standard for calculating fat ratios? The answer is …
A method called “4-compartment analysis”, which involves using various experimental methods, separates body weight into four categories: bone, water, muscle tissue, and fat mass.
- Muscle tissue
- Fat mass
In particular, the hydrostatic weighing method is used to measure body density. The deuterium dilution method is used to measure total body water. And the DXA method is used to …
Measure the total bone mass. Data collected from these tests are then calculated with different equations, and as a result, we get a consistent accurate% body fat measurement.
Although this method is exact, we cannot apply them in practice because this requires an entire team of scientists, which we cannot do.
Ideal body fat percentage?
There will not be an ideal fat percentage for health, fitness, and aesthetics. Instead, think about your ideal body fat range based on your goals. If your goal is to possess …
Be athletic, healthy, and prevent disease, then you should aim for a fat ratio of about 20 to 25% for women and 10 to 15% for men. Becoming firmer than this is not necessary for health purposes.
- Demand 1: 20-25% for women and 10-15% for men
- Demand 2: 16-18% for women and 6-8% for men
If your goal is to keep an impressively toned figure and are willing to be very strict about your diet, then you should aim for a fat ratio between 16 and 18% (for women) or 6 to 8%. (for men).
This percentage of fat is often unsustainable over the long term, and you should not try to maintain this firmness level year-round. However, they can be maintained for a short period of time.
The healthy fat percentage for men
On the internet, there are many opinions that a low-fat percentage is not good. However, this is an undue worry. The fact that the negative effects associated with a low-fat percentage in men appear only when …
The percentage of body fat dropped deficient – about 5%. In this state, the muscle fibers are extremely sharp with deep, clear muscle grooves. This is the kind of physique that bodybuilders and …
The fitness players bring to the ring (and this requires a lot of drugs/steroids). And they may not even be able to maintain this fat percentage for too long before serious problems begin to appear.
Fortunately, most of us (men) want the type of body between 7 and 9% body fat, a naturally attainable level, and is harmless to health.
The healthy fat percentage for women
Many people think that a low-fat percentage is unhealthy in men and “extremely” unhealthy in women. Again, you can classify these opinions as a group of people jealous of your work.
The negative effects associated with a low-fat percentage in women were evident only at 12% body fat. At this level of body fat, your body will be very thin (toned), and most women do not want to have such a physique.
Like men, most women set their goals at a much easier to achieve and more sustainable (mostly 18 to 20%). And that doesn't require you to take drugs fast …
Or anything other than proper diet and exercise. On the other hand, there are several issues related to the fat percentage of particular concern to women, namely hormone levels and menstruation.
Many women believe that over-tightening inevitably causes a major hormonal disruption that can lead to missed periods. However, this is not as simple as that. Low body fat is linked to …
Low levels of the hormone leptin, a factor that can definitely affect menstruation (and especially when% body fat is too low). However, what confuses scientists is, in fact, in female athletes …
Bored with amenorrhea, you can still find a toned (low body fat) person with a normal menstrual cycle. What's more, female athletes often miss periods at very different levels of body fat.
So it is clear that many other factors contribute to amenorrhea, not just fat percentage. After studying this problem, scientists have come up with an answer. And that is the energy balance.
Energy balance refers to the relationship between the amount of energy you eat and the level you burn. When we eat too little to lose weight (consume too little energy), many problems arise.
And a few problems may be related to menstruation. This is why studies show that energy balance affects menstruation more than body fat percentage.
Specifically, when a woman eats less energy (calories) than the energy expended, she may lose her period. And the greater the difference between the energy consumed and the energy consumed, the higher the frequency of menstrual disorders.
This is why amenorrhea is most common among female athletes participating in sports that emphasize low and toned body weight, such as ballet, gymnastics, endurance running, and swimming.
In most cases, they also appear when you exercise too hard and eat too little. Menstrual cycles often return when athletes eat enough calories and/or reduce energy expenditure.
So, if you miss your period while on a fat loss diet, that doesn't mean you're too thin (% low body fat). You may be overdoing it and need to close that gap a bit.
We should also note that high levels of stress can also contribute to fertility problems. This is one of the many reasons we prioritize maintaining a level of relaxation in our lives (especially while on a diet).
What is the lowest percentage of body fat that I can maintain?
If you are a fitness lover, you will definitely want a low-fat percentage. However, if you maintain a too “dry” body for a long time, you will run into several problems.
First, we will lose strength during the training session. Second, we will obsess over what kind of food we eat because fat-loss diets are too strict. Third, we won't be able to eat as much as we want.
- Obsessive when choosing food
From there, it easily makes you hungry throughout the day. To overcome this situation, you should sacrifice some fat percentage to be able to eat more comfortably. Since then, there is more energy when exercising and enjoying life.
However, why do we run into problems when body fat is so low? This phenomenon can be explained with the “set point hypothesis.” This theory is that our bodies use …
Hormones, hunger, behavioral changes, and other physiological mechanisms to “protect” a certain bodyweight range (especially body fat). A simple way to think about this is …
Think of them as a “cruise control” system, but active for body weight and fat mass. The speed set for the car to run automatically will be equivalent to the amount of fat our body tries to maintain.
Our bodies like to maintain a certain amount of body fat to maintain normal hormone levels, metabolic levels, reproductive function, strength, and cognitive abilities.
So they will try to return the body to normal if your fat percentage is too low. Then, hunger will increase, and anabolic hormones such as testosterone are reduced, loss of libido …
Restrained ability, as well as muscle gain and strength, are inhibited. Each person's natural “settling point” will vary slightly based on genetics, level of physical activity, food selection behaviors …
However, everyone will experience these side effects when they are firm enough (low-fat percentage). For men, this condition tends to happen between 8 and 10% body fat.
As for women, they tend to be between 18 and 20% body fat. Most people are most satisfied with how they feel and look when they are at the upper limit of the athlete's “body fat range.”
In other words, they are satisfied with body fat levels between 8 and 12% for men and body fat levels between 18 and 22% for women. This fat percentage is lean enough to help us have clear abdominal muscles and muscular contours while also having prominent blood vessels.
Yet they don't make us so thin that each day feels like a tough battle against indifference and irritability – which often happens at lower body fat.
Most people can also maintain this level of lean without meticulously counting calories, without following rigid diets, or exercising excessively. In short, most people are most satisfied when …
They have about 8 to 12% body fat (for men) or 18 to 22% (for women). Maintaining a body fat percentage below these numbers is not only difficult to do but also unhealthy.
Body Fat for Abs to Show – The Truth
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