A Lean Life

Body Fat Calculator

  • Author: David Williams
  • Date: July 12, 2018 Time: 4:23 pm
  • Category(s): Tools

Did you know that you can determine the percentage of your body fat even without having to go to a doctor? Thanks to the body fat calculator, you can get a pretty much accurate measurement of your body fat with the help of just a tape measure. Before anything else, you must know that it is very important for you to find out the fat percentage in your body. This is one of the best ways to determine your overall health. It can help predict more serious problems and diseases. It would also help determine your overall fitness level.

You don’t have to be a regular gym goer or a bodybuilder to have interest in calculating your body fat. Once again, it is good to check on your body fat percentage every once in a while so you would know whether you’re in good shape. You can be aware whether it’s time to step it up in the gym or if you can start slowing down and giving yourself a break.

How Does a Body Fat Calculator Work?

You don’t have to be brilliant in Math and you don’t even have to understand the science behind it. The body fat calculator is a very easy way to check on your fat percentage as it is already built in with the necessary formulas.

Using a tape measure, you simply have to get the measurements of the following parts of your body:

  • Height
  • Neck Girth
  • Waist
  • Hips

The calculator below, which uses the US Navy Formula, will already give you your body fat percentage and its corresponding body fat category. Once you are aware of your body fat status, you can then start planning how to go about your fitness journey.

More Information About Body Fat Percentage

Simply put, your body fat percentage is the part of your total body weight that’s fat. First and foremost, you must understand that you can’t have zero body fat. Fat is still important for you to live, move and function. Truth be told, even the leanest bodybuilders and athletes still have a percentage of fat in their body — the ideal amount of fat will be discussed further below.

It is also important for you to know that body fat percentage is different from your body mass index or BMI. While body fat percentage can be calculated using your body size measurements, BMI is derived from your height and weight. One cannot determine his body fat percentage based solely on his BMI.

Here’s a good example: If you calculated your body fat percentage at 10% and your total body weight is 180 pounds, then you have 18 pounds of fat in your body. That sounds ideal, right? But if your body fat percentage is at 30% and you weigh 180 pounds, then that only means you have a full 54 pounds of fat in your body. It is definitely time to sweat those fats out for the sake of your health and fitness.

The Ideal Body Fat Percentage Ranges Based on Your Goals

There are several categories you may fall under depending on your body fat percentage. men and women have different ideal percentages because of the difference in the body’s built. For instance, women tend to have way more body fat compared to men because of the breasts, thighs, buttocks, and hips.

Body Fat Percentage for Men

  • Essential: 4 to 6% body fat
  • Athlete: 7 to 10% body fat
  • Fit: 11 to 16% body fat
  • Normal: 17 to 25% body fat
  • Obese/Overweight: 26% and above body fat

Body Fat Percentage for Women

  • Essential: 10 to 12% body fat
  • Athlete: 13 to 20% body fat
  • Fit: 21 to 24% body fat
  • Normal: 25 to 31% body fat
  • Obese/Overweight: 32% and above body fat

Now you don’t necessarily have to fall under the Essential category. That very little amount of body fat percentage is most ideal for bodybuilders who actually go on stage and display the results of their hard work in the gym. Even athletes don’t get as low as 4 to 6% (males) or 10 to 12% (females) body fat! Truth be told, there’s even no ideal body fat percentage, according to health and fitness professionals.

Imagine this — a 4 to 6% body fat percentage leaves you with no skin to pinch at all. The body is just so lean and hard as a rock. To get to this point, you have to be very strict with your diet and exercise, and it goes way beyond simple. These are people who actually measure the food they take and check on actual nutrition facts before even tasting anything they have on their plate. While it’s definitely okay for you to aim for that, you at least know now what your goal should be if you simply want to be fit or on the average/normal level.

Just to clarify, there are some people who have very low percentages of body fat but are not bodybuilders. These people are those who are mostly underweight or way too slim or skinny. The only difference when it comes to physical appearance though is that bodybuilders with very low body fat percentage have way more muscle weight.

The Pros and Cons of Using a Body Fat Calculator

There are other ways to measure body fat percentage such as a skin caliper or going to a physician or health professional. However, many opt for body fat calculators as it gives them the figures automatically and very easily. Of course, there are pros and cons to it such as those listed below:

Body Fat Calculator Pros

  • Most online body fat calculators are available to use for free.
  • You simply need a measuring tape to get figures to enter into a body fat calculator.
  • You don’t have to think of manual calculations and formulas anymore when using a calculator.
  • You would know whether you’re close to or far from your body fitness goals by regularly checking on your body fat percentage using the calculator.
  • You would know if you should be worried about your health and fitness when the fat percentage seems to be alarmingly high.

Body Fat Calculator Cons

  • There are so many versions of the body fat calculator that you can find online, and it would be challenging to find the one which is more accurate than the others.
  • It was earlier mentioned that you’re getting a pretty much accurate measurement of your body fat percentage using a body fat percentage calculator. That’s because it only provides you an estimate, which could be wrong.

Experts have spoken — there’s nothing out there, not even doctors, blood tests, etc. that can provide you with 100% accurate body fat percentage. The only way for you to find out is by taking your body apart, look for the fats and weigh it — and of course, that’s impossible for you to do! If what you’re aiming for is a leaner and stronger body, then getting these estimates should be more than enough.

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