Body Fat Percentage vs. BMI

When you think about your weight, a scale might come to mind, but this isn’t always the most effective tool in determining where you need to be in terms of body composition and body fat BMI. Two useful tools to find your ideal body are body fat percentage and body mass index (BMI). But are these two methods created equal? Not really.

What is the Difference?

Body fat percentage refers to the actual percentage of fat in relation to the rest of your body. BMI refers to a calculation using your height and weight to determine body fat. When measuring body fat percentage, more invasive techniques, such as calipers or hydrostatic weighing, are used. BMI is more commonly used because it is easy to calculate, and there are only two things needed, you height and weight.

Which is More Effective?

For general purposes, BMI is a good way to determine body fat, but there are some flaws. If a person is short and very muscular, such as a gymnast, using BMI they might be considered obese, when in reality they might only have 10 percent body fat.

For a true determination of body composition, body fat percentage is the ideal choice. This gives a very reliable calculation of actual body fat, and lets you know exactly where you are and where you need to be.


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