# Body Fat Percentage Guide and Chart

Body fat measurements and the measuring tape are recognized as superior methods for measur-
ing “weight loss”. When one declares that they want to “lose weight”, what they often mean is
that they want to lose fat. So, now that you’ve had your body fat percentage measured, what does
the number really mean?
First, your body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains. If you are 150
pounds and 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 15 pounds fat and 135 pounds lean body
mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else).
A certain amount of fat is essential to bodily functions. Fat regulates body temperature, cushions
and insulates organs and tissues and is the main form of the body’s energy storage. The following
table describes body fat ranges and their associated categories:
istic. Remember, weight loss doesn’t always mean fat loss. For example:
Let’s say you’re a 130# woman with 23% body fat, and you goal is to “lose 20 pounds”:
Initial body fat: 130# x 0.23 fat = 30 # body fat
Lean body mass: 130# total - 30# fat = 100# lean body mass (bones, organs and all else)
Goal: 130# - 20# = 110 pounds
As you can see, the goal of losing 20 pounds is not realistic or healthy. At 110 pounds, this wom-
an still requires 100# of lean body mass (bones, organs, etc.), but would only be carrying 10#, or
only 9% body fat. From the chart above, you can see that this is a dangerously low percentage.
A better goal might be for the woman to reduce her body fat from 23% to 18%. In this case:
130# x 0.18 = 23 # body fat
100#leanbodymass+23#=123#goalweight
So, for this individual to achieve a lean, but healthy
18% fat, she would need to lose only 7 pounds
of fat, reducing her weight from her current 130
pounds to 123 pounds. Losing more than 7
pounds means losing lean body mass (usually
metabolically-active muscle tissue), which is
clearly not desirable.
So before you decide that you need to “lose
weight”, remember to consider that “weight”
consists of both lean body mass and body fat.
Try to keep your weight loss goals realistic, and
remember, keep the calorie-burning muscle,
and lose only the fat.
GeneralBodyFatPercentageCategories
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## Body Fat Percentage Guide and Chart PDF

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