Fat percentage: your fat percentage tells you what percentage of your total body weight consists of fat mass. It is calculated by dividing your fat mass by your total weight. While it is actually a very simple sum, knowing your fat percentage serves a few important functions! When we talk about overall health, the fat percentage is one of the most important figures to know. It is even more valuable than knowing your weight or BMI. When you lose weight, this number does not indicate whether you have actually lost fat or fluids. When your fat percentage drops, you can say with certainty that you have lost fat. For men, a healthy fat percentage is between 10% and 20% and for women, between 18% and 28%.
Muscle mass percentage: as the term suggests, this number indicates how much of your total weight is muscle mass. This is calculated by dividing the weight of your muscle mass by your total body weight. An important role of your muscle mass is its relation to the amount of calories your body requires daily. Muscle mass ensures the continuous burning of body fat. The higher your muscle mass, the more calories your body needs (i.e. burns) and the higher your metabolism (burning at rest). Therefore, you can use the knowledge of your muscle mass percentage to design your unique diet. The calculation to work out your muscle mass percentage is available in our Basic-Fit app! Download it here.
Bone mass percentage and other tissue: this percentage is the weight of your bones and organs relative to your total body weight.
Body water percentage: body water refers to all the fluid in your body, from the water in your blood to the water in your organs and bones. This percentage is the weight of your body fluid divided by your total body weight.
Why is this important?
When you know your fat percentage, you can determine whether it is important for you to lower it. It is difficult to name a single, ideal fat percentage because it depends on your goal: the ideal percentage for a runner will certainly not be ideal for a football player. That is why fat percentages are always expressed within a range. For a healthy fat percentage, it’s critical that you fall within the range.
- For women, a healthy fat percentage is between 18% and 28%.
- For men, a healthy fat percentage is between 10% and 20%.
Knowing where your fat percentage falls within these ranges can be extremely helpful when deciding what to do for a healthier body.
Your fat percentage also tells you a lot about your body weight. While doing a lot of strength training, some people notice that their body changes, but the number on the scales does not. This is because muscle mass is heavier than fat mass. You may have lost a substantial amount of fat while gaining muscle mass. As a result, your weight on the scales may only vary minimally from before. That is precisely why it is better to look at your fat percentage to see the results from your training rather than your weight!
It is also important to bear in mind that no fat percentage measurement is 100% accurate. It may have a margin of error of between 5% and 7% because different components are used in the calculation. It only takes one of these components to be slightly inaccurate and your fat percentage will change.