How to Calculate Body Fat? Knowing your body fat or your IMG can be interesting to learn more about your body composition.
Different calculations help determine your fat percentage, and so define whether you are too lean or too fat.
Very useful to follow its evolution but is it really reliable? How to calculate body fat?
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What is Fat Mass?
The fat mass of an individual corresponds to the fat content contained by his body. It is expressed as a percentage.
The table below gives an idea of the different levels of body fat by sex and age. It is aimed at people who are sedentary or with moderate physical activity.
Table of Body Fat Levels or Body Fat Chart
|SEX AND AGE||MAIGREUR||“HEALTHY” |
|Male 20-39||<8%||8 to 20%||20 to 25%||> 25%|
|Male 40-59||<11%||11 to 22%||22 to 28%||> 28%|
13 to 25%
25 to 30%
|Female 20-39||<21%||21 to 33%||33 to 39%||> 39%|
|Female 40-59||<23%||23 to 34%||34 to 40%||> 40%|
|Female 60-79||<24%||24 to 36%||36 to 42%||> 42%|
Warning! This table is not for athletes!
An athlete “sharpened” can go down to 5% fat mass. Below this value, the organism will be particularly endangered.
Moreover, if you want to see your abdominals draw, know that you will have to approach 10% fat for a man and 17% for a woman.
What Does This Concretely Represent?
To give you an idea, if you weigh 80 kg and you have a fat content of 20%, then your body has about 16 kg of fat.
How to calculate body fat? Calculate its fat mass: what use?
The desire to calculate its fat mass does not escape the fact of wanting to measure everything.
If you go on a regular diet or sport, in return, you want to know how many pounds you have lost? How many cms of a waste? How much fat percentage?
But, as you say right now, it is not necessarily useful to have access to all these parameters.
The reasons are simple:
1. Most methods of calculating body fat are approximate and often give erroneous and unreliable results from one week to the next.
2. By practicing sports, you will lose fat but gain muscle. It is possible that your silhouette is tonic without losing 1 kilo on the scale. At equal weight and height, two people can have different physique visually.
Here, however, is a presentation of the different methods of calculating body fat.
However, take a step back from the results obtained. If for some people the figures may be consistent, for others they will be inaccurate.
This will be particularly the case if you are a regular sportsman (especially with a large muscle mass), if you are a minor, over 60, or pregnant.
Body Fat Percentage Formula
The fat mass index (IMG)
Everyone knows about BMI but few know IMG.
The principle is essentially the same, with the difference that the IMG proposes to specifically calculate its fat distribution.
This is the best ideat that How to calculate body fat?
IMG (%) = (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x Age) – (10.8 x Sex) – 5.4
The first step is to calculate your BMI. Then, know that the value “Sex” for a man is 1, while it is 0 for a woman.
|Normal||15 to 20%||25 to 30%|
|Too fat||> 20%||> 30%|
Example: A 25-year-old man measuring 1.98 m for 105 kg will have an IMG of 21.7%.
IMG = (1.20 x 26.8) + (0.23 x 25) – (10.8 x 1) – 5.4 = 21.7%.
According to our table, the man taken as an example is “too fat“.
You better understand why we are reluctant to use these calculation methods.
YMCA and US Navy Formulas
There are other formulas to calculate their fat mass. One thinks in particular of the formula YMCA and the formula of the US Navy.
YMCA takes into account waist circumference at the navel while the US Navy relies on different measurements: circumference of the neck, waist or hips.
Other formulas take into account your waist circumference to determine your body fat.
Here again, all these mathematical formulas present their advantages and their lots of errors.
Read Celebrity Weight Loss-
Body Fat Calculator Caliper
Other Evaluation Methods
The skin pliers
The skin pliers are an economical way to determine your body fat percentage.
Get skin pliers. There are different models, the first of which start at around ten euros. See here
Measure your fat at specific places in your body, ie folds:
Bicipital: In the middle of the biceps, midway between the high and low insertion.
Tricipital: Again in the middle of the triceps.
Subscapular: To be measured just below the tip of the scapula.
Supra-iliac: At the level of the famous love handles and more precisely 2 cm just above the iliac crest. Add the sum of the 4 folds.
To get your body fat percentage, refer to this chart.
The impedance meter
An impedance meter allows you to determine your body fat thanks to an electric impulse.
After entering your age, height, and sex, place your feet and / or hands-on the electrodes.
A light electric current quickly travels through your body, without you even noticing, to determine your proportion of intra and extracellular water.
With this information, the scale tells you your fat percentage in seconds.
Again, the results may be dependent on your dehydration state for example or the model of impedance meter used.
To go further: The balance impedance meter, an effective tool to follow his body evolution!
Body Fat Percentage Pictures and Measurements
These 2 methods are not enough to calculate their mass but rather have a rough idea of its corporal evolution.
This is undoubtedly the best methods to follow its evolution in the long term.
Regarding the photos, the idea is to photograph 1 time per month, always in the same conditions, ideally in the morning before breakfast, with the same brightness.
Then, thanks to the many examples presented on the internet, you can compare your physical with a panel of men and women with varying body fat levels.
We have seen, there are different methods to calculate its fat mass. However, most of these methods lack reliability and accuracy.
At Personal Sports Trainer, we believe that the best way to follow your physical evolution is to take pictures and/or monthly measurements.
Nevertheless, if you want to know your body fat percentage, we would like to know the same method of evaluation (skinfold, balance impedance meter or mathematical formula) by looking rather at the evolution of the result, more than at the gross figure.
Need a Custom Program to Lose Fat?
Because you are unique, it is essential to follow a personalized program if you want to slim down.
As professional coaches, we will adapt to your profile and your objectives to a tailor-made program, and especially to accompany you throughout this program.
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