You’ve probably heard that your body fat percentage, not your weight, will really determine just how healthy you are and whether or not you are at a healthy weight. But what is the healthiest body fat percentage, at least according to medical research? Continue reading to get the facts, and then purchase a specialized scale that you can keep in your home and use to not only weigh yourself, but also keep track of your body fat percentage so you can stay within the right limits.
The Essential Amount of Body Fat You Need
Everyone needs a certain amount of body fat in order to maintain their overall health, so you definitely do not want to go overboard by losing too much fat, just as you do not want to go to the other extreme and gain too much fat either. Essential fat refers to the minimum percentage of fat that you need to maintain basic physiological and physical health. Men need 2-5% body fat, while women need 10-13% body fat.
The Average Body Fat Percentage
For the average woman, the healthiest body fat percentage is anywhere from 25-31%, but for men, it is 18-25%. Again, it is important to remember that you need a certain level of body fat in order to maintain your overall health, so maintaining this balance will ensure your body can remain in a state of balance.
Athletes and Those Who Are Very Fit
The healthiest body fat percentage for athletes is a little different from that for average individuals. Athletic men can maintain their body fat percentage anywhere from 6-13%, while athletic women can aim for 14-20%. Those who are not athletes but who are into fitness should maintain a body fat percentage of 21-24% for women and 14-17% for men.
Body Fat Percentages for Obese People
In addition to knowing the body fat percentage for people who are average or who are fit, it is important to know the body fat percentage that would make you fall under the category of obese. Women with a body fat percentage of 32% or more are considered obese, while men who have a body fat percentage of 25% or more would be deemed obese.
As you can see, the healthy body fat percentage will change if you are very fit or you are an athlete. Overall, though, maintaining the right amount of body fat will help keep your body healthy and keep you looking great.