Let me just start this article off by making one very important point: There currently is NO research that has confirmed what the ideal, healthy body-fat percentage ranges are for anyone.
This point comes from the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. However, we’ve been able to see a trend when it comes to “healthy” ranges for men and women. There are a few considerations to keep in mind when judging what the best range is for you.
A certain level of fat is necessary and it lies somewhere between organ failure and diabetes type II. Let’s find out more. I want you to be armed with the best information possible so you can make an informed decision about how much to diet down if you’re trying to lose weight.
Quick Note: At the bottom of this article, I am going to offer you a body fat calculator. Please make sure you have a measuring tape handy. But just please realise that you should not pay too much attention to it.
Don’t obsess over the results. It’s just a very, very basic and generalised 50,000 foot overview of your body fat and simply use it as a tool to aid in your journey. There is no real significance in knowing your exact body fat level anyway. It’s more of a vanity thing (especially for men).
Overall It’s Pretty Clear that Obesity is a Massive Problem
Let’s get something cleared up. It is obvious that storing a lot of fat on your body generally leads to insulin resistance which makes it easier to not only store more fat, but it also leads to an increased risk for type II diabetes.
This isn’t groundbreaking research, right. I mean, we’ve known about this for quite some time.
It’s for this exact reason that we know that many North American citizens suffer from diabetes due to diet-related behaviours and patterns such as consuming an excess of calories in the form of simple sugars and calorie-dense meals.
Therefore, we know that storing too much fat on our bodies is bad for us. However, no one really speaks about storing too little fat. This is a topic of massive debate which is the reason that we don’t have any clearly set ranges of body fat.
However, when we look at men and women, a certain level of body fat is required to maintain hormonal function and organ protection. This isn’t a scientific analysis by any means but if you do a simple search you can find information that confirms this.
Wouldn’t it be safe to say, then, that there would be an ideal body fat range to stay within in order to reduce to risk of metabolic disease and diabetes and ensure correct hormonal functioning and organ functioning?
This is particularly true for women which is what we will explore below.
Fat Stores for Women Are More Important Than for Men
A male can comfortably diet down all the way to 6-8 percent body fat and sustain this indefinitely. Sure, his testosterone will take a hit along with sex drive, appetite will be spiked but overall his health won’t suffer any serious and negative consequences.
A man can bounce back from a low body fat percentage quite easily. However, when it comes to women, the story is much different.
Women are child-bearing individuals (obviously) and certain organs require an overall higher body fat percentage to remain healthy than men.
Men don’t have ovaries and reproductive organs inside their bellies so it’s safe to say that women require a higher range here.
But what exactly is the range to stay within to avoid obesity yet ensure correct organ functioning?
Well, the answer to this is not really as complicated as you might think. When you are obese or bordering obesity it’s quite clear by the way you feel, the way you look in the mirror and your overall energy levels.
Additionally, when you’re bordering obesity it’s easier for your body to store more and more fat thanks to insulin resistance.
Therefore, staying below this level would be ideal in my opinion. This is easy to achieve.
Let’s Take a Closer Look
When you look and feel good, what’s the issue preventing you from feeling good about yourself? Well, I know for me that oftentimes I have some arbitrary image of myself that I want to look like to be happy.
This is nonsense if you ask me. If you wake up every day and you look in the mirror and are happy with yourself, that is what you should strive for!
I am absolutely not saying that you should be happy with your obese self if that’s you. If you suffer from obesity, you definitely should look into fixing that as soon as possible.
When you are significantly obese, correcting this issue is the fastest way to ensure longevity, high energy levels and a healthy body image.
If you come to this website often at all you will generally come to the conclusion that a rock-hard, sexy and feminine physique is something you should strive for. However, this could not be further from the truth.
Here at Physique Authority I want to ensure people are looking the way they want to look, and not the way some website makes them think they should look.
Whatever your ideal image of yourself is, you should definitely strive towards that. If it’s a model-like body, go for it. If it’s overall just a healthy and feminine look, go for it. Whatever makes you happy, do it!
Although there is no scientifically accepted healthy body fat range for women, the generally accepted range in the fitness community is anywhere between about 18-20 percent and 25-28 percent.
When you fall within this range, you can be sure that you’re protecting those vital reproductive organs and avoiding the serious health consequences of obesity. I know this is a huge range, and rightfully so.
I could not tell you that it’s precisely 18-22 percent because there is no scientific evidence to support this. We just have to base our information on what we already know about obesity so that we can avoid the negative effects of that.
Final Thoughts, Conclusion and My Personal Recommendation
I want all of my readers to have a healthy body-image. This means that if you’re unhappy with the way you look either accept it or change it.
I want to make sure I provide you with all of the information and tools necessary to make this change. You never have to pay for any products or services to make a healthy change in yourself.
Don’t listen to the people trying to sell you things or offer you the the next bullshit device or information for a fee.
This article will help you get started on your journey to fat/weight loss. And it’s completely free.
When you are overweight, you must look into making a change within yourself to ensure your remain healthy into old age but also to ensure that your body image remains healthy as well.
It’s so sad to see so many people suffering from obesity because they do not have the right information to make a healthy change within themselves.
Alright, you can use the below calculator to determine your GENERALISED body fat percentage. But as described above, do not obsess over this number. It should aid you in your weight loss efforts only, not be the “end and be-all” of it.
Take everything that you read or learn with a grain of salt. Ultimately, they say, the best personal trainer is yourself and for a good reason. You know your body best, how it behaves, what it needs and how to treat it – so start making a positive change within yourself today!
Just keep these recommendations in mind as a healthy guideline to live the healthiest life you can and become the best version of yourself.