What is Body Fat?
Body fat, which is made up of fatty acids and glycerol, is an essential energy source for muscles.
The essential fat will regulate the temperature of your body, which also serves as insulator of the organs, acts as a cushion, and is a storage area for energy. It is known to be the essential component of the human body. This is what is measured when using those methods mentioned awhile ago.
How much normal body fat should be present?
The normal body fat percentage depends on the frame and height. Generally, the male’s average body fat should fall under 6-13%. Meanwhile, females should normally have to be in between 14-20% of the essential body fat weight to be considered healthy.
This will differ when it comes to athletes. The acceptable range in the body fat percentage is within 25-31% for females and 18-25% in males. More than that, they are considered to be in the obese range.
Picture 1 – WHO classification of BMI of underweight, normal, overweight, obese people (Asians only)
Picture 2 – Normal Body Fat ranges for Underfat, Healthy, Obese, Over fat People
Image Source -Healthruby.com
Different methods to measure body fat percentage
With the many luscious and affordable dishes, it’s easier to get fat than get thin. Obesity is the number one problem of the people nowadays. However, there are ways to get the desirable healthy weight. There are products sold in the market that will help you lose excess fats. You can also opt to do some exercise to be able to shed off that weight. Whatever ways you plan to burn those extra pounds, experts says that you must be able to keep note of your weight and your body fat.
It is very much important that you also measure your body’s fat. There are numerous equipments that will help you this goal. You can use either of the following methods:
Picture 3 – Body Fat Analyzer & scale for body weight & fat measurement
Image Source – wellpromo.com
1. Skin Fold Caliper
The skin fold caliper uses the body fat caliper to measure the body fat percentage of your body. It is called as the “pinch” test. When using it, you pinch a fatty are with the use of your fingers and let the caliper measure the thickness of the pinched area, either in your thighs, hips, arms and several other areas in the body.
It is measured in millimeters. After getting the millimeter measurement, you then will compare that with a specified chart. The results are reliable if the one who is getting the measurements is a trained person or has experienced in using this kind of equipment. Otherwise, the results will be capricious.
Picture 4 – Skin Fold Calipers for measuring body fat
2. Anthropometric Measures
The anthropometric measure is one of the oldest tests that are widely known. This makes use of the circumference of the body with the use of a measuring tape or tape measures. It is the simplest way to measure your body fat.
3. Height or Weight Charts
This is merely done as checking the tables found in the chart and then getting the height versus weight plot equivalent. It has been used for many years, but experts say it’s not fiduciary.
4. BMI (Body Mass Index)
The BMI method is calculating your height and weight. It will use the formula height in meters divided by weight in kilograms. With this method, you are able to know if you are in the normal, overweight, or obese category. The advantage in using this method is that it is free and easily made available. However, not everyone can use this method. The short people or the people who are muscular will have much less accurate results.
5. BIA (Bioelectric Impedance Analysis)
Using the BIA method will impel impedance of electricity, or the opposite electrical flow of the current in your body. The muscle, having water content that is high and conductive, while the fat has lower content of water and isn’t that conductive. In a matter of seconds, it will calculate the body fat.
6. Hydrostatic Weighing
With this method, it is required that you need to be submerged in a special tank filled with water. Its idea is that the bones and muscle are denser than water; persons having large percent of fat free mass weigh more in water and thus, will eventually produce a low percent of body fat. It is considered as the “gold standard” measurement.
7. DEXA SCAN
DEXA scan or Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry is the newest breed of technology that measures your body fat. What happens here is that it divides the body into three parts: total body mineral, fat tissue mass and fat free soft mass. The advantage of using this method or equipment is that it is very accurate. However, the disadvantage of this is that it is very expensive.
8. Bod Pod
This is the newest equipment which relies on the displacement of air. This is contrary to the Hydrostatic Weighing. What you need to do is that you step inside the Bod Pod chamber, be very still and you must control your breathing. We don’t want the results to be affected. The hydration level before the test can also affect the results. There is little accuracy when one uses this method.
Excess Body Fat Problems
- Heart attack
- Heart Failure
- Arteriosclerosis (atherosclerosis)
- Kidney failure
Picture 5 – Over body fat complications
Ten Steps to Lose Body Fat
To effectively reduce the excess body fat mass naturally, the individual needs to exercise to be able to extend energy. You need to spend energy more than what you are consuming. Burning calories shall be your goal. Once your goal is established, you need to discipline yourself in eating less and exercising more.
Experts suggest that you can ten important steps to consider when you want to decrease body fat through eating:
1. Don’t run away from cravings. You should not let the food that you are craving, stop you from eating it. We suggest that you eat that food so that it won’t bother you ever again.
2. Work with your hunger pains. When you feel that your stomach is rumbling, the best way to solve it is to eat. Don’t starve yourself, you are only slowing your metabolism and storing the food that you had consume, which should not be the case.
3. Acknowledge the fact that you have fat phobia. Avoiding the foods that you think that could cause you to gain fats, is not the solution to reducing body fats. You have to be wise enough not to give in for it will cause you grief and it will remove the aim of producing unwanted fats results.
4. Eat Veggies and Salads. These are good for you.
5. Drink lots of water. It will keep you refreshed and hydrated.
6. Enjoy your protein intake. Protein doesn’t only be found in meats and poultry. You can get protein from numerous protein drinks.
7. Schedule your calorie reduction cycle. Some decrease their calorie intake on the odd days and increase them on even days. In this way, you let your body do the guessing while you stimulate your metabolism.
8. Portion size eating. You have to eat by portion. You can either do this by gauging a portion size of a mobile phone, for instance, as the amount of food you are to consume. Not too little, not too much. In this way you will be able to watch what you are eating.
9. Add variety to you meals. To spice up and entice your taste buds. It is advised that you try on other country’s dish
10. Good friends and Good Food. There’s nothing more enjoyable when your eating out with your friends.
How to Prevent Excessive Body Fat?
Excess body fats are due to excess consumption of calories. Eating the wrong kind of food is the leading cause of why there are excess body fats. Understand and gaining knowledge on what food to avoid is necessary in preventing such accumulation of excess unwanted fats. Foods that you should avoid are foods high in sugar or sweeteners, fats, starches and processed carbohydrates.
Sugar should be avoided since sugars are known to convert to fats when not in used. Wrong kind of fats such as saturated ones will lead to excess storage of body fats. While the carbohydrate and starches, just like sugars, are easily converted to fats when not in used by the body.
Five suggested steps to prevent body fat
There are five suggested steps that one must follow in order to prevent body fat accumulation, such steps are:
Step 1: You do at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity of exercise per week. You can either do brisk walking or engage in jogging activities.
Step 2: You need to watch what you eat. It is important to watch what you eat so that you are able to notice which food can cause you more body fats. We suggest you research of foods that have lower calories or consult a nutritional expert and ask help from them with regards to calorie counting procedures or methods. Experts, advised to eat at least 500 calories less per day than you burn.
Step 3: Next eat a cup of blueberries every day, as much as possible. According to studies, the polyphenols that is found in blueberries helps in preventing the growth of new fatty cells and promoting breakdown of fat cells.
Step 4: Eating grapefruits, that is fresh, after meals or during snacks. According to studies, it will help in effectively reducing body fats.
Step 5: You have to stay hydrated. The suggested water intake per day is at least eight cups of water per day. Water is good for the body. It helps in intoxication and will keep the body system, such as digestive system and metabolic system, from functioning well.