Body Fat Percentage, Body Water Percentage and Waist-Hip Ratio
Body Fat Percentage is a body measuring method. In combination with BMI, Body Water Percentage and Waist-Hip Ratio, Body Fat Percentage enables us to estimate our physical state, health risks and body attractiveness.
How can I learn my Body Fat Percentage?
The easiest method for you to measure Body Fat Percentage is to resort to the bioelectrical impedance analysis. Just use a special a body fat meter or your bathroom scales with a body fat meter. Modern bath scales are able to calculate both body fat and water percentage. It is recommended to check weight and body fat and water percentage every week at one and the same time. It's preferable to do it in the morning in about 5-10 minutes after getting up.
How do these body fat meters know my body fat percentage?
The work of body fat meters is based on the bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). It determines the opposition to the flow of an electric current of body tissues. Fat-free mass (muscles) is a good conductor as it contains approximately 73% of water. The BIA enables calculating Body Water Percentage (fat-free body mass) and, by difference with body weight, Body Fat Percentage.
My bath scales show 30% Body Fat. Is it good or bad?
In fact, it depends. Most of all factors it depends on your gender. If you are a female the acceptable norm for you ranges within 25-31% of body fat, according to The American Council on Exercise. But for a man 30% of body fat means obesity, as the acceptable male body fat norms are 18-25%.
It also depends on the system that you choose as your criteria. For example, if you take doctor's Thomas A. Owens's (Depatrments of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics, Duke University Medical Centre, Durham, NC) idea of the body fat percentage norms, you'll turn out to be obese, anyway. He refers women with 22-25% of body fat and men with 15-19% to normal. You are in the obese group being 30%+ (for women) or 25%+ (for men).
Anyway, 30% of body fat should make you become more attentive to your health.
Why are women allowed to have more body fat?
The body fat norms are connected to the peculiarities of body composition. Men tend to have more muscle weight and physically stronger bodies. Women need to have more body fat than men for childbearing and correct hormone functioning.
Are there any other ways to find out whether I'm fat or not?
Of course, if you don't have bath scales with body fat meter, you can resort to other ways of estimating your figure and health risks. First of all, you can count your Body Mass Index (BMI). It will give you quite a good idea of your body state. Besides, you can count your Waist-Hip Ratio. It is the ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips.
A Waist-Hip Ratio 0.7 for women and 0.9 for men is an indicator of strong health and fertility. Men and women with the ratio mentioned above, have fewer health risk factors and higher chances to produce a healthy baby. Besides, scientists have found out that the optimal female Waist-Hip Ratio of 0.7 determines great physical attractiveness. A lot of famous sexy and attractive movie stars (like Marilyn Monroe) have Waist Hip Ratio equal to 0.7. Even the famous statue Venus de Milo has Waist-Hip Ratio of 0.7.
But here we are talking of the European and American culture traditions. Beauty standards of other nationalities can differ.