Here it is, everything you wanted to know about body fat! Now how’s that for an attention grabber! haha!
Body fat measurements and the measuring tape are recognized as superior methods for measuring “weight loss”. When one declares that they want to “lose weight”, what they often mean is that they want to lose fat. So after you’ve had your body fat percentage measured, you need to know what that number really means!
First, your body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. If you are 150 pounds and 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 15 pounds fat and 135 pounds lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else).
A certain amount of fat is essential to bodily functions. Fat regulates body temperature, cushions and insulates organs and tissues and is the main form of the body’s energy storage. The following table describes body fat ranges and their associated categories:
*General Body Fat Percentage Categories
|Classification||Women (% fat)||Men (% fat)|
|Obese||32% plus||25% plus|
Knowing your body fat percentage can also help you determine if your weight loss goals are realistic. Remember, weight loss doesn’t always mean fat loss. For example:
Let’s say you’re a 130 pound woman with 23% body fat, and you goal is to “lose 20 pounds”:
Initial body fat: 130 pounds x 0.23 fat = 30 pounds of body fat
Lean body mass: 130 total pounds – 30 pounds of total fat = 100 pounds lean body mass (bones, organs and all else)
Goal: 130 pounds – 20 pounds = 110 pounds
As you can see, the goal of losing 20 pounds is not realistic or healthy. At 110 pounds, this woman still requires 100 pounds of lean body mass (bones, organs, etc.), but would only be carrying 10 pounds, or around 10% body fat. From the chart above, you can see that this is a dangerously low percentage and is just barely meeting her essential needs.
A better goal might be for the woman to reduce her body fat from 23% to 18%. In this case:
130 pounds x 0.18 = 23 pounds body fat
100 pounds lean body mass + 23 pounds of fat = 123 pound goal weight
So, for this individual to achieve a lean, but healthy 18% fat, she would need to lose only 7 pounds of fat, reducing her weight from her current 130 pounds to 123 pounds. Losing more than 7 pounds means losing lean body mass (usually metabolically-active muscle tissue), which is clearly not desirable.
So before you decide that you need to “lose weight”, remember to consider that “weight” consists of both lean body mass and body fat. Try to keep your weight loss goals realistic, and remember, keep the calorie-burning muscle, and lose only the fat.
When you think of losing weight, do you think in terms of pounds or body fat?
GIVE-A-WAY WINNER RESELECTED!
Unfortunately Holly never got in touch with me and I need to get the information to Celestial Seasonings for the Wellness Kit to be delivered. So I had to pick another winner. And it is greensandjeans! Email me your information and we will get that Wellness Kit sent to you ASAP! Thanks everyone!
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