In today’s world, there are many people who are overweight and considered obese by medical standards in society. Whether you are looking to be an advocate for your own health, or seeking the motivation to lose weight, you can do so by determining and calculating your own body fat percentage. There are both on-skin tests and tests at a doctor’s office that allow you to figure out the amount of body fat you have in your body – percentage-wise. This will give you an idea of how hard you should work to remove the fat, based on your current height, weight, and overall build (as well as the amount of muscle you already have on your body).
What is Body Fat?
Body fat is not complicated, and is measured by the total percentage amount of fat that you currently have in your body. A person who weighs 150 pounds with 10 percent body fat will have approximately 15 pounds of fat on their body, leaving the remaining 135 pounds in muscle, organs, bones, tissue, blood and lean body mass.
Why Does Body Fat Percentage Matter?
The amount of fat on your body can dramatically affect your health over the years, and can contribute to heart and other health risks that can lead to disease and in severe cases, fatalities and death. Obesity levels differ in both men and women, as women maintain a higher level of fat than men. Women are considered to be medically obese once their body fat percentage is over 32 percent, whereas men are clinically diagnosed as obese when they have 25 percent body fat.
If you have a high level of fat in your body, it can contribute to developing liver, respiratory, and even cardiovascular problems over time, which may lead to a daily requirement for medications – and can ultimately lead to death! Various diseases and illnesses, including heart disease, sleep apnea, strokes, diabetes, and even hypertension are very common in those who have a high body fat percentage.
A word of caution – if you are very muscular, body mass index calculations can show that you have more fat than you do. If you have little muscle the opposite is true.
It is important to have a healthy level of body fat to ensure longevity and health. This is possible with a proper diet and exercise on a regular basis. Generally men should have a body fat percentage of between 6 and 13 percent, whereas women’s should be between 14 and 20 percent, to be considered healthy.