Read these 7 Body Fat Tips tips to make your life smarter, better, faster and wiser. Each tip is approved by our Editors and created by expert writers so great we call them Gurus. LifeTips is the place to go when you need to know about Muscle Building tips and hundreds of other topics.
Body mass index (BMI) is commonly referred to in discussions of overweight and obesity. Over 25 is considered to be overweight and over 30 obese. But BMI is based on height and weight, so is not appropriate for many athletes and other heavily muscled individuals. A more important determiner of overweight is measurement of body fat.
So how do you reduce your body fat? You need to exercise and eat a balanced diet. Weight lifting exercise builds muscle, which increases the percent of lean tissue, and aerobic exercise burns som extra body fat. Do both and eat right and you can improve your body fat percent. Don't expect it to happen overnight, though.
Body fat calipers measure skinfolds. You grab the layer of fat everybody has some of under their skin, and measure it at certain places on the body. These have been scientifically determined and are cross referenced in a chart that gives percentage of body fat. Follow the instructions that come with the body fat calipers instrument.
When you measure body fat you are really measuring you body fat percentage. This is what percent of you is fat, versus lean tissue, which is muscle plus bone, organs, skin, etc. A fitness range is considered to be 12-18% body fat for men and 17-25% for women. Over 25% for men and over 30% for women is considered obese. Very low body fat is only advantageous for certain athletes, like bodybuilders and distance runners, and can be dangerous for women.
The easiest way to measure body fat is with the new high tech scales now available. The body fat scale gives you your weight and also your body fat percent. It's use is similar to a common bathroom scale. Do read the instructions to get the best results with these fine instruments.
There are several methods of measuring body fat. Some are used only in research settings. Of the others, the most accurate body fat caculator is underwater weighing, but the equipment is bulky and expensive, and not widely available. The most common techniques used in gyms, sportsmedicine facilities, and health fairs are body fat calipers and bielectrical impedance devices. Recently, home-use devices have become available so you can measure your own body fat. These include body fat calipers and body fat scales.
When you work out at a lower percentage of your maximum heart rate, you burn a higher percentage of calories as fat calories. But when you work out at a higher heart rate, you will burn more calories overall, and a total of more fat calories as well. Don't slow down if you're capable of working out at a faster pace. The harder exercise will burn more fat in the long run.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|