Did you know that you can be thin and still be fat? Did you know that you can be heavy and not fat where you still have a healthy body fat percentage meaning you don’t need to lose any fat? This is a very important concept to keep in mind when you are trying to determine healthy body fat for women.
The general practice among professionals trying to help women establish their level of healthy fat is to find out what a woman’s body fat percentage is. This is because it is the gauge of her body’s composition of fat to lean mass ratio. Most people have no inkling what this means and why it’s important to know.
Body fat percentage is different from Body Mass Index or BMI. The fat percentage only measures your fat ratio as compared to your weight. BMI on the other hand is your weight and height formula. Thus a BMI of 29 is unhealthy while a body fat percentage of 29 is considered healthy.
Women really have to face the fact that they need more body fat compared to men. If she does not have enough fat, she loses certain “privileges” like her monthly period that could mean fertility issues or other complications.
To achieve health body fat, you need to know your fat percentage so you can preserve enough to stay healthy. Finding out your body fat percentage is relatively easy. Here are some methods:
· The Pinch Test is pinching certain areas in your body to find out if you need to lose weight or not. Unfortunately, to get an accurate reading, you can’t do it to yourself. You will have to approach an experienced nutritionist or dietician, if not your doctor to pinch you
· The Navy Tape -This method is used by the Navy and military and is very simply. Measure your middle section (if that is the area you want to work with) and take a reading using the centimeters (not inches). Do this 3 times and get the average result
· DEXA scan – This is a full body X-ray and will also measure bone density. It costs to get it done but it is 99% accurate
For women, the healthy body fat is anywhere from 14 to 17%. This percentage can change depending on age, sport, level of physical fitness, and existing medical conditions.
Usually as you age, your body fat percentage increases as your metabolism slows down. However, it does not have too! There are many things that can be done in later life to prevent this shift in fat to muscle ratio! This is a VERY important fact!