Body Fat Percentage: How It Affects You And Your Health
by GamerFitnation on June 1, 2014 at 09:44 PM EDT

Body Fat PercentageNo matter how skinny you are everyone has body fat and it plays a critical role in our personal health. To better understand body fat and how it works we’ll be talking about what percentages you should have, what they look like, and how to find out your current body fat percentage.

How Much Body Fat Should I Have?

There’s no real ‘ideal’ amount of body fat percentage that you should have, in fact everyone should have a certain amount of fat in their body otherwise that would be extremely unhealthy.

According to Krisha McCoy “Your body mass index (BMI) is a more accurate snapshot of your fitness than your body weight, since it takes your height into account. Health professionals use BMI to calculate whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. For most people, BMI is closely associated with the amount of body fat they carry. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared. The guidelines are:”

Interpreting Body Mass Index
Weight Status BMI
Underweight Below 18.5
Normal 18.5-24.9
Overweight 25.0-29.9
Obese 30.0 and above

Body Fat Percentage

Of course these measurements aren’t always accurate because they don’t factor muscle into the equation. Someone with an adequate amount of muscle on their body could be placed into the overweight category.

Depending upon what you want out of your body there are different BMI’s that you should aim for. If you’re just trying to have a good looking body when you go to the beach then the lower spectrum of Normal would be best for you, 18-23 would all look very good. If you’re an athlete trying to be in the best possible shape that they can for their sport then strangely enough a lot of scientists say that you should have a healthy amount of body fat on you in order to perform optimally. Being underweight can actually hinder your physical performance since your body doesn’t have the necessary reserves of energy to tap into.

What Does Each Amount of Body Fat Look Like?

Here are a few good examples of what each amount of body fat would look like on both genders.

Male Body Fat Percentage

Body Fat Percentage

Body Fat Percentage

Female Body Fat Percentage 

Body_fat_3

Body_fat_4

Of course not everyone’s body will look the same if you have these exact percentages because muscle and height still needs to be factored into the looks.

How Do I Check How Much Body Fat I Have?

There are a number of ways to check, a lot of them require specific machinery and tools to test your exact body weight. Here are a few that I’ve found that seem to be the most useful.

Measure By Eye - Accuracy 15-20%

This one is pretty simple, find pictures throughout the internet of people with a set body fat percentage then critically analyze yourself and see which ones you most align with. The other methods can take time and money, and if you’re just trying to get a rough idea of where you stand then this is perfect.

“Fitness Calculators” - Accuracy 30-35%

You can find these just about anywhere, they take a few measurements about your body and use that knowledge to estimate health facts about you. They don’t always intake a lot of information about you so their results can be inconclusive at times but it’s still a decently good gauge.

Hydrostatic Weighing - Accuracy 98-99%

This method has you being dunked in a specialized pool and weighing yourself. Since fat weighs more than muscle the more fat you have on your body the less you will weigh. How much you weigh in the water as opposed to on land will be used to calculate a percent of your overall body fat. Hydrostatic weighing is the best most conclusive way to see your body fat percentage, however it is tedious and does cost money.

Body Fat Percentage

A man being submerged for Hydrostatic Weighing

Ways To Control Body Fat

Building More Muscle -

While having more muscle on your body does not directly influence how much fat you burn it has the potential to. Your body burns more calories to maintain muscle on your body then fat, so it boosts your metabolism, which then in turn doesn’t waste any energy that your body intakes reducing the fat that gets put into your body. When there is no calories for energy left however the next thing your body will turn to for a source of energy will be your fat reserves.

Eat Healthier

Sounds simple? Well it is, just eat foods that your body will better be able to use the energy with so it won’t have to turn into fat.

Along the same lines of eating, you can control how much you eat and eat a certain way to control your intake.

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Overall your body fat doesn’t solely determine how healthy of a person you are, but while trying to stay in shape it offers as a good barometer to keep track of. For more health related news stay tuned to GamerFitNation.

By Damiaen Florian

Don’t Just Be Fit, Be Gamer Fit

#BeGamerFit

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