Sunday, April 1, 2012

Measure your Body Fat Percentage, not Weight


While your weight is way you can track your performance , it isn't the best indicator of your overall Fat loss achievement.

What truly shows you the best picture is your Body Fat percentage.
What 8 out of 10 people will continue to do is, give their weight more importance than their body fat percentage.
This is very important to understand because, at times in your fat loss effort, you might see no change in weight, but only in inches.
This is the best thing that could happen to you. This means, you are losing FAT and gaining Lean Body Mass.

What is Body Fat percentage?
Your weight is determined by various organs, muscles, fat, hair tissue etc. inside your body. So, if your body fat percentage is 20% and you weight 100 kgs, this means, approx 20% of your weight is FAT inside your body and the rest 80% is Lean Body Mass. Good for you!!


What is Lean Body Mass?
Lean Body mass can be a general term used for your Muscle, Bones, Hair, Tissue, Nails etc. Basically everything except your Body Fat.

So what I am trying to say here, is that you can weight whatever you want 60 kgs or 100 kgs or even 150 kgs. What's important is, How much Percentage of that weight at which you are comes from FAT?

  • So you could be a male weighing 120 kgs, and be at 15 % Body Fat. That is phenomenal.
  • Or you could be a male weighing 60 kgs with 25% Body Fat. That is down right obese/unhealthy.
So, it isn't the weight that matters, it's the percentage of that weight coming from FAT , that truly matters.

American Council of Exercise gives you guidelines regarding healthy Body Fat Percentages:
 
Essential Fat : Fat surrounding your vital organs like Liver etc. So, it isn't advisable to remain at such low body fat percentages for a long time. Body Builders get to this Body Fat percentage for a show, where they look like a walking talking anatomy chart and each surface muscle on their body is visible.

Here's a visual I found. it exactly describes what I'm trying to say here: 
 
A few real life pictures will make it clear: 
Muscle Definition at different Body Fat Percentages
It's best if we stop at 30%


Again, it's best if we stop at 30%


So, no matter what you weigh... 60 kgs, 70, 80, 90 or even 100 kgs! Make sure your Body fat percentage is on the lower side.
                      Here's a photo of  mean weighing 100kgs , but at crazy low body fat percentage: 


Now, How do you measure your Body Fat Percentage?
I've been using his link for many years now, to determine my body fat percentage using a Tape Measure. It's simple and quite accurate. Here's the link: 
http://www.linear-software.com/online.html ( Read instructions for measurement carefully) 

All you have to do is, enter your weight height, tape measured waist, neck etc. and you have your body fat percentage!!

Happy Measuring.
Cheers!

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