Your body needs a certain amount of body fat weight in order to work effectively. The fat in your body helps to regulate your temperature and protect your organs, and it is the way in which your body stores its energy.
Body Fat Versus Lean Body Mass
Your body fat percentage refers to the percentage of your weight that is fat. The rest of your weight is referred to as lean body mass. Lean body mass is the total weight of your blood, muscles and bones, organs, and everything other than fat.
Healthy Body Fat Percentages
To remain healthy, women should have 20-25% body fat and men should have 15-18% body fat. Age also has an impact on the appropriate range of body fat. For women who determine that their percentage of body weight is too high, (25% of total weight or higher), the best course of action is to make slow weight changes and to exercise doing both cardiovascular exercise, such as running or walking, and weight training. By reducing weekly calorie intake by 3500 calories, most women will lose at least a pound a week. As you lose weight and bulid muslce, you are more likely to find that the percentage of body fat has declined.
The Body Mass Index
Today, many doctors use the Body Mass Index (BMI) instead of body fat measurements to determine whether a person is at the correct weight for their height. The BMI is based on a mathematical formula that estimates total body composition.