By: Thomas Baker
Weight isn’t the only thing you should measure when you’re trying to be fit and healthy – your body fat percentage matters, too! It’s time to take the blinders off and take back some power from the number on the scale, don’t you think? We’ve got the breakdown on body fat percentage, why it matters, and even a playlist to get you moving once you’re educated and inspired to #FindYourFit!
What Is Body Fat Percentage?
Body fat percentage is different than your weight. It’s the result of a simple calculation that divides your total weight into two categories: fat mass and everything else. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and have 15 pounds of fat, your body fat percentage is 10%.
To calculate your body fat percentage, you divide the total mass of fat by the body’s total body mass, then multiply by 100! Easy, right?
Because this is a percentage, it is a moving target that shifts as our weight does. If you add on another 5 pounds of fat, your percentage goes up. If you add on another 5 pounds of muscle, then your percentage drops!
Why Does Body Fat Percentage Matter?
Because we constantly hear that we should be losing fat, it can be easy to assume that the less you have, the healthier you are – but that’s far from the truth! It’s unhealthy to have too much or too little fat, which is why understanding your body fat percentage is important.
Why Fat Is Important:
We know that having too much excess fat can lead to health problems such as cardiovascular issues, but not having enough is just as bad for you. It’s easy to demonize fat, but you need it to keep warm and it’s crucial in protecting your organs and joints. If it’s too low, you put your body at risk for health issues, lower your resistance to diseases, and you’ll have far less energy throughout the day. You’ll find you have much lower energy and mood, and a much harder time performing normal cognitive functions when your body and brain don’t have enough fuel to work with.
What Body Fat Percentage Should I Aim For?
The absolute minimum amount of fat required for normal body functions for men is 2-4% and 10-12% for women. This is usually where those in bodybuilding or physique competitions sit during their season, but it is by no means a sustainable place for your body to be. Maintaining this would be like taking on another full-time job with all of your efforts focused on the gym and perfecting nutrition down to the micronutrient level. Anything below these percentages can be very dangerous and can lead to serious health complications!
For everyday athletes, body fat percentages tend to fall between 6-13% for men and 14-20% for women. You’ll know who these men and women are because they’re the ones with the six-pack abs! This can be a difficult physique to maintain as well, so don’t worry if you aren’t sitting within those ranges on a daily basis. Remember – the best physique for you isn’t what “looks best” but rather what feels best and fits into your lifestyle without taking it over!
For all of the rest of us living and loving the TLS® Lifestyle, you can safely aim for a men’s body fat percentage of 14-17% and women’s percentage of 21-24%. Sure, you may not have a six-pack like the super-committed athletes, but you’ll have some great tone that’s far more reasonable to maintain!
At the upper end, a good range is within 18-25% for men and 25-31% for women. If your percentage is 26%+ for men or 32%+ for women, then it may be time to take a look at a new meal plan to reach a healthier range. Don’t worry – we’ve got what you need to find the right plan for you here!
How Do I Improve Body Fat Percentage?
They’re many fat-burning exercises to lower body fat, so the choice is ultimately up to you! These exercises are meant to burn fat (so no hours on the treadmill!) so get ready to push yourself and get your muscles into some upbeat exercises. Here are a few moves you can combine as you wish for a fat-blasting workout:
Rotating T Extensions
Standing Knee Raises
Parallel Bar Dips
Battle Rope Wave
Did you think we forgot? Here’s a playlist to get your heart pumping along with those muscles! Download these songs and get out there to #FindYourFit!
- Electrcity – Silk City, Dua Lipa
- 365 – Zedd & Katy Perry
- Close to Me – Ellie Goulding, Diplo & Swae Lee
- Don’t Call Me Up – Mabel
- Body – Loud Luxury
- Tie Me Down – Gryffin & Elley Duhe
- This Feeling – The Chainsmokers & Young Bombs
- Sweet but Psycho – Ava Max
- Rise – Jonas Blue
- I Wanna Know – NOTD