Ideal Body Fat Percentage: How Important Is It?

Ideal Body Fat Percentage: How Important Is It?

The facts are that more and more people are overweight and far exceed the ideal body fat percentage. Some studies are claiming that if left unchecked, the majority of Americans will be obese in just a couple of decades.

Clearly, with such daunting and serious news, people should take note of where their body fat percentage stands in relation to where it should be.

As far as what percentage of body fat is "ideal," different experts will give you a variety of answers. Thus, it makes sense to start with numbers that almost everyone can agree upon. It is generally considered healthy for women to carry more fat than men. This is an important fact and one that must be kept in mind when discussing the issue of ideal body fat percentage.

In general, obese is considered to be 32% and above for women, and 25% or above for men. Of course, there is a sizable range of difference between what is considered obese and what is considered normal or athletic. It is possible to have too little body fat, which is a problem all onto itself. Experts generally feel that roughly between 25% and 31% for women and 18% and 24% for men is considered an average level of body fat.

Where Do You Fall on The Spectrum?

There are online body fat calculators that you can use to determine whether or not you are obese or are right on target. Many different ways for calculating ideal body fat percentage do exists, and they range from the scientifically involved to simpler methods. It is possible to derive ideal body fat percentages from using the BMI or body mass index set of calculations, which are based off of height and weight.

In short, your body fat percentage can be a very important tool for giving a quick snapshot of your potential overall health. There are many factors that determine health. However, despite what some people stubbornly want to believe, if you are very overweight, you are reducing your lifespan. Your body fat percentage serves to give you insight into your overall health and the quality of your diet.

You may be tempted to think that there isn't a link between weight, health and longevity. But ask yourself this very basic and simple question, how many obese or considerable overweight 90 year olds have you seen in your lifetime?

What is the Best Way to Achieve This Lower Body Fat Percentage?

Eating a diet that is lower in calories than your current diet that is free of processed and fast foods will work wonders in helping you reduce your fat percentage. Some fats are good in moderation, such as the fat you find in nuts, seeds and fish like wild Alaskan salmon. Yet, the fats you find in processed and fast food is another story. By eating a smart diet you can lower your body fat percentage and increase your longevity and overall quality of life.

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