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Body fat percentage is the percentage of your weight that is made up of fat. It consists of both storage body fat and essential body fat. There are several ways to calculate your body fat percentage, including bioelectrical impedance analysis, skin-fold methods and other anthropometric methods, or methods involving the circumference of various body parts.
The most important part of starting any nutrition and exercise plan is to look at your overall body composition. Your body composition tells you how much of your body is made up of fat and how much of it is muscle. These composition percentages paint a much better picture of your overall health and might even show you that you’re in better shape than you think! So, if you’ve been exercising and eating well, but aren’t seeing the number on the scale budge, don’t get discouraged. And, on the flip side, a poor diet and lack of calories can lead to weight loss, but you’ll likely look valuable muscle. To calculate body fat percentage of humans or other living things, we divide the total mass of fat by the body’s total body mass. Body fat mass includes both essential body fat (needed for life and reproduction processes) and any additional fat stores. This number is considered a more accurate measure of fitness than body mass index (BMI), because it disregards height and weight, accounting for muscle mass and fat mass instead.
When people hear the term “body fat percentage”, they normally associate the term with professional bodybuilders. This is because much ado is made about low body in body building circles. Professionals must have a very low body fat percentage (5% or so) in order to compete. While this raises awareness towards developing low body fat, it also creates a somewhat limited perception. Body fat percentage means different things on different levels. Actually, 5% body fat can cause serious health problems for the average person. Conversely, 25% fat can either be healthy or unhealthy depending upon your age and gender. In order to provide clarity, it’s best to look at a scale of body fat percentages and what they represent.
If you’re interested in measuring your body fat composition, choose one of our Body Fat Calculator scale, which is designed to strike a good balance by giving you detailed information in a streamlined, easy-to-use design. Just step on to see multiple body composition metrics and get a more detailed picture of your health than weight alone can provide.