In the quest for the perfect body, an ideal body fat percentage is one of the keys to meeting your goal. As everyone’s body is different, there are ranges for where your body fat percentage should be. For men, the fit range would be between 14% and 21% and an acceptable range would be 21% to 24%. For women, the fit range would be between 18% and 25% and the acceptable range would be 25% to 31%. There are a few different ways to have this measured to know where you are at.
A scale can be bought for use in your home to measure your body fat percentage. These are the least accurate of all the methods to calculate your number. But, they are affordable and can give you a general idea of where you are and where you need to be heading.
DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry)
With this method, an x-ray image of the body is taken and this measures the amount of fat muscle and bone in the body. With that information, your percentage can be calculated. This method is very accurate, but takes a special machine that may take some searching to find.
Using the principle that muscle weighs more than fat, a person will empty their lungs and be submerged in water while sitting on a scale. The more empty the lungs, the more accurate the reading. This type of calculation is offered at health clubs and facilities, but those again may be hard to find.
Skin Fold Test
A technician will measure the folds of skin in multiple areas on the body. The results are then entered into a formula and calculated. This is an inexpensive way to go, but the human error factor comes into play here.
An ideal body fat percentage can be calculated in a few different ways, and your doctor can help you determine if your body contains a healthy percentage of body fat.