When trying to have a sharp and defined body, body fat levels become very important to achieve these results. But do you really know what the proper levels of body fat are for men and women?
In many sports, reducing body fat levels is a goal of training for athletes. This is because, in most cases, this practice allows for an improvement in performance.
However, reducing body fat levels can also be the goal of a person who is not in a competitive sport .
With the fitness trends prevailing today, everyone is looking to improve their appearance and better define their muscles by reducing their body fat percentage. However, do you know how to find the right balance for you?
Reduce fat levels to define muscles
First of all, it should be noted that body fat levels have to do with body mass index – BMI or BMI – but are not completely determined by it. BMI is the relationship between a person’s height and weight.
However, two individuals can have this index at the same level but, in each case, they have a very different body composition. In other words, one person can weigh a lot thanks to his muscles, while another because of his fat.
After making this important clarification, we can talk about the optimal percentages of fat an athlete should have in their body. In general, this percentage is between 12% and 19%; however, there are some differences between men and women which we will discuss later.
In fact, knowing the female and male BMI is the first step in planning a personalized diet that is also healthy and adapted to the needs of our body.
How is the body fat index measured?
The procedure for knowing these data is bioimpedance analysis. Basically, it involves the transmission of undetectable electrical impulses through an individual’s body to locate fat-free body mass.
What is its purpose? This method works because fluids in bones, muscles and blood vessels carry electricity better than lipids. In one person with more body fat than another, electricity will take a little longer to move from one electrode to the other.
Therefore, with this simple measurement that is applied by a scale or other specific device, a professional can obtain detailed information about a patient’s body composition. However, there are analog calibrators which are usually much more reliable than some electronic devices.
Optimal levels in men
A healthy man’s body fat should be between 12% and 14%. However, if it lies between 15% and 19%, it is still considered healthy average.
In the event that a higher percentage arises, as long as it is less than 40%, it is not even a serious problem. True, there will be some extra fat, but this does not affect the person’s well-being, although it does expose him to certain diseases.
If 40% of body fat is exceeded, the health risks increase and actions must be taken to reduce it.
At the other extreme, that of the most trained and healthiest people, body fat levels ranging from 6% to 12% correspond to a fit person with defined muscles. From 2% to 5%, in turn, falls within the range of fats necessary to carry out physiological functions; that is, at the limit of what is considered healthy.
Body fat levels vary in women
In women, the equation varies a lot. This is because their body composition is different, and due to physiological functions – especially during motherhood – their body fat levels are higher. In addition, hormone production, mainly estrogen, contributes to the storage of fat.
In addition to practicing the list of abdominal fat loss exercises we have presented, the most effective way to mark the abdomen is through diet, aerobic exercise, and strength training.
Normal body fat levels for a woman range from 20% to 25%, although a body fat percentage ranging from 17% to 19% still corresponds to a fit woman. Therefore, it is a positive number.
Women who achieve greater muscle definition are those who have between 14% and 17% fat. The limit is 10%, although this can alter physiological processes such as the menstrual cycle.
In relation to the maximum numbers, these are found at 26% for moderate overweight and 45% for obesity. As we all know, this condition carries significant health risks.
In conclusion, we can say that the key lies in the right balance. It is good to try to reduce body fat to feel better and progress in sports, but it should never turn into an obsession. Above all, the key thing is to respect the requirements of each organism and lead a healthy lifestyle.