Exercise is Medicine by ACSM

BLOG 117 BODY FAT

July 2, 2017 / Uncategorized

BLOG 117 BODY FAT

One of the fitness progress measurements and health standards used to indicate one’s weight range, is body fat. Fat is our energy storage warehouse that our body pulls from to meet the demands we place upon ourselves. Because every BODY is different, we see a range people who either carry too little, just the right amount, or an excessive amount of body. But what does this body fat mean in relation to our bodies and on our fitness journeys??

The scientific term for body fat is “adipose tissue”. It’s important to clarify that a person carries both fat pound and muscle pounds and a normal bathroom scale doesn’t differentiate between the two. I know that for myself, my weight might be higher than one assumes because of the muscle that I carry. This might put me in a different bracket on a chart that shows the health ranges of body weights. But body fat needs to be accounted for. On the reverse, a normal looking sized person may actually be unhealthy because the majority of their weight is fat not muscle. This would then put one at risk for medical problems. This goes to show that just because a person is “skinny” doesn’t mean they’re healthy.

When a person tells me they want to lose weight. I know that they want to lose fat, not muscle. Here is a good example of what this means: “Body fat percentage is simply the percentage of fat your body contains.  If you are 150 pounds and 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 15 pounds fat and 135 pounds lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood and everything else)”

(http://www.healthchecksystems.com/bodyfat.htm).

Here is the standard chart:

General Body Fat Percentage Categories

Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus

Another useful too would be:

  • Fat mass: Weight x body fat percentage
  • Lean mass: Weight – (weight x body fat percentage)

(https://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/your-body-fat-percentage-how-its-measured-and-why-its-useful.html).

The scale doesn’t always show your weight in terms of good vs. bad pounds. Being realistic and understanding that losing body fat, not muscle is important. Often times quick fixes, cleanses, and really restrictive approaches to weight loss, yield water loss in weight, not fat. Having your body fat measured allows you to determine your goals and be realistic about how much and what type of weight you should lose. I hope this is informative for those of you who are stuck on that scale number. There is much more to weight loss than one thinks ?

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