What is Body Fat Percentage? – 10 Ways to Lower it

Diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors are increased by high body fat. The health of one’s heart, immune system, and reproductive system may also be harmed by having too little body fat. An essential measure of body fat percentage is provided by the body mass index (BMI). It serves as an excellent general guide. It has restrictions, though. For instance, people with significant muscular mass may have a high BMI without substantial body fat. Calculating body fat accurately is crucial for identifying health problems.

Learn about the recommended Body Fat Percentage for men and women according to age, as well as how to calculate BMI, in this article.

Body fat percentage chart

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

Physiologically, women need more essential Body Fat Percentage than men. Because of this, women need a little bit more body fat for excellent health.

Insulation, internal organ protection, vitamin storage, and hormone regulation are all made possible by essential body fat, which is also necessary for a healthy pregnancy. With age, body fat also varies.

How to compute?

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

The percentage of body fat that a person has cannot be determined with a single calculation.

A doctor can determine the proportion of fat in particular body parts using fat calipers.

Other precise methods for calculating body fat exist. These include air displacement plethysmography, underwater weighing, and X-rays.

  1. Counting BMI is another reliable source for calculating body fat. One should multiply their weight in pounds by 703 to determine their BMI.
  2. Increase their height in inches by that amount 
  3. To get their BMI, divide their response from Step 1 and Step 2.

When interpreting the result, use a BMI:

Underweight is defined as weighing less than 18.5 pounds, “normal” weight is defined as weighing between 18.5 and 24.9 pounds, overweight is defined as weighing between 25 and 29.9 pounds, and obesity is defined as weighing more than 30 pounds.

Issues and Restrictions

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

People routinely have a higher Body Fat Percentage than recommended by official guidelines, according to assessments of body composition (Trusted Source). Even those who are healthy can have extraordinarily high body fat levels.

These discrepancies make it questionable whether optimal body fat percentages are achievable.

Additionally, average body fat percentages differ by race and ethnicity. This implies that ideal body fat percentages might be subject to cultural or racial bias.

Another problem is using BMI to evaluate body fat or general health. BMI solely takes weight into account. It does not differentiate between bone mass, body fat percentage, or lean muscle.

These elements are essential for determining body fat and general health. For instance, a person with high bone density and muscle mass may have excessive body fat according to their BMI.

BMI cannot determine where fat is located in the body. The distribution of body fat has an impact on general health. For instance, belly fat poses more significant health concerns than fat in other locations.

The BMI and Body Fat Percentage tally both have many drawbacks. A high body mass index (BMI) or body fat percentage is not usually a sign of health issues. Nevertheless, this approach offers a quick and practical clinical tool for evaluating health concerns.

Ways to Reduce Body Fat Percentage

1. Begin your strength training 

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

Lifting weights is frequently required to build muscle, which promotes strength and power mass.

Research demonstrates that strength training benefits many aspects of health, especially fat loss.

Resistance exercise for at least four weeks may help reduce body fat by an average of 1.46%, according to a study of 58 research. 

2. Consume a lot of protein

You might eat less and burn more calories if you eat more protein-rich foods. More high-quality protein consumption has been associated in numerous studies with a lower risk of obesity and excess body fat.

Other studies suggest that a high-protein diet may help people lose weight while maintaining their metabolism and muscle mass.

Consider including several servings of high-protein foods daily in your diet. Examples of foods high in protein include meat, seafood, eggs, beans, tofu, and dairy products like milk, cheese, and yogurt.

3. Get more rest 

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

Numerous studies have linked getting enough sleep to weight loss. In a 10-year study, young women who slept for fewer than 6 hours every night had a higher risk of becoming obese. Another small study found that, compared to a control group, people on a low-calorie diet lost less fat when they slept 1 hour less per night.

4. Eat extra beneficial fats

Even though this may seem paradoxical, increasing your consumption of good fats may prevent weight gain. Compared to a low-fat diet, a 12-month study found that adopting a Mediterranean diet high in good fats from nuts and olive oil led to more significant long-term weight loss.

Another study found that when compared to diets lacking olive oil, meals rich in olive oil significantly decreased body weight and belly fat.

Modifying your healthy fat intake is vital because it still contains many calories. Try replacing fried foods, processed products, and refined oils with more nutritious alternatives instead of eating more fat overall.

5. Ingest unsweetened liquids 

Switching from sugary drinks to healthy alternatives is one of the simplest ways to promote sustained, 

long-term weight loss. For instance, sugar-sweetened beverages like soda are usually calorie-dense and lack nutrients. Alcohol has many calories and can reduce inhibitions, increasing the likelihood that you will overeat.

Drinking 1 pint (570 mL) of water before a meal increased feelings of fullness, decreased hunger, and reduced the number of calories consumed during the meal, according to a small study involving 14 young men.

6. Eat plenty of fiber

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

Plant foods contain soluble fiber, which absorbs water and passes slowly through your digestive system to help you feel fuller for longer. According to several research, increasing your intake of foods high in fiber may prevent weight gain. Fruits, vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts, and seeds are some examples of these foods.

For instance, a 345-person study found a link between enhanced dietary adherence and increased weight loss when eating more fiber.

Independent of calorie intake, a different evaluation indicated that increasing soluble fiber intake significantly reduced body weight and Body Fat Percentage.

7. Choose whole grains over processed carbohydrates.

By consuming fewer refined carbohydrates, you can reduce your body fat percentage even further. During processing, refined grains lose their bran and germ, leaving behind a final product low in fiber and nutrients.

Furthermore, the high glycemic index (GI) of refined carbs typically causes blood sugar spikes and falls that enhance appetite. However, you’re more likely to suffer these side effects if you take refined carbohydrates alone instead of as part of a well-balanced meal. Keep in mind that traditional measures of weight, such as BMI, do not accurately reflect a person’s general health.

Try to replace refined carbohydrates with whole grains such as whole wheat, quinoa, buckwheat, barley, and oats in pastries, processed foods, different types of pasta, white bread, and breakfast cereals.

8. Boost your cardio 

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

Cardio, often known as aerobic exercise, is one of the most well-liked forms. Any activity that aims to improve the heart and lungs is related to body fat percentage. Including cardio in your program may be the best way to enhance fat-burning and weight loss. 

For instance, a review of 15 research found a link between middle-aged belly fat and Body Fat Percentage reduction and more excellent aerobic exercise. Most research suggests 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise per week, which translates to 20–40 minutes of cardio per day.

9. Savor coffee

An extensive analysis of 12 studies found a link between increasing coffee consumption and a lower risk of obesity, particularly in men. A second study involving 2,623 participants found a correlation between increased caffeine use and a higher success rate for maintaining weight loss.

10. Attempt sporadic fasting

What is Body Fat Percentage? - 10 Ways to Lower it

A diet pattern is known as intermittent fasting cycles between eating and fasting. Even though it might not be suitable for everyone, some studies suggest that it might improve both weight loss and fat loss.

An analysis of intermittent fasting examined alternate-day fasting, a technique in which you switch between eating normally and fasting on different days. This technique reduced body weight by up to 7% and body fat by 12 pounds over 3–12 weeks.

Take in a lot of protein and fiber. You’ve undoubtedly heard it before: you need protein to start gaining muscle and lose that stubborn fat. The body may burn protein to stay alive, but it prefers carbohydrates and fats; as a result, if you feed it primarily with protein, it will turn to the stored carbohydrates and fats. Protein also aids in muscle growth and repair.

Fish and chicken are excellent sources of it; lean, white meats are generally chosen. Low-fat dairy products are also beneficial, as are sources like beans, soy, and eggs.  Protein should make up 10 and 25% of a typical person’s daily calorie consumption. Fiber is not being overlooked! It takes a while to digest, makes you feel full, and absorbs water and fat like a sponge. So expand on your current list of excellent foods to eat by including beans, whole grains, brown rice, almonds, and berries.

Wrapping It Up

Avoid crash diets and dangerous supplements to decrease Body Fat Percentage permanently. Instead, you should include healthy habits into your daily routine, such as consuming whole grains instead of processed carbohydrates, substituting water for sugary beverages, experimenting with probiotics, or drinking coffee.

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