I will never forget sitting in the living room of our two bedroom apartment in 1986 with my little brother at age ten watching the movie Krush Groove for the 5th time. At the time, he was six years old, therefore neither of us should have been watching that movie. My favorite scene was when the rappers known as, “The Fat Boys” were at the all you can eat buffet about to throw down! Every time I saw that scene, it made me hungry. I love food and I assume you do! I also loved that song and everything about it. However, my perspective has changed over the years regarding how much food I consume.
Body Fat Percentage
We need a certain amount of body fat to maintain good overall health. The amount differs between men and women. According to Frederick Delavier’s excerpt in Women’s Strength Training Anatomy, fat in normal women represents between 18% and 20% of body weight, whereas in men it represents only 10% to 15%. He further states the reason for this difference is that women at some point in their lives may nourish a fetus and then a baby from their own reserves, so women have to stock energy in the form of fat in anticipation of future pregnancies. I can tell you for damn sure that I will never get pregnant again, but I will certainly monitor my body fat percentage.
I recently hopped into the Bod Pod to get a general idea of what my body fat percentage is. For those of you who are not familiar with this machine, click here to read an article about how the Bod Pod works to measure body composition. Several other readings such as your fat-free mass, body volume, body density, and energy expenditure results are provided. They even provide you with the number of calories you need to eat per day depending on your activity level. For the past few years, my results have been as follows:
- 2014- 19.5% -Lean
- 2016- 24.3%- Moderately Lean
- 2017- 17.3%- Ultra Lean
There is a huge difference in the numbers for me this year because I have significantly changed my diet and my workout routines. I am happy with my current reading and I plan on staying there.
Other Methods for Measuring Body Fat Percentage
There are multiple methods for measuring body fat percentages such as skin calipers, bioelectrical impedance, hydrostatic weighing, 3D body scanning and the list goes on. I can’t tell you which is the most accurate but they should all give you a general idea of where you stand and what you can improve upon. According to Jeremy DuVall, contributor to the Daily Burn, high body fat has been linked to diabetes, high blood pressure, and other heart risks.
How Can You Reduce Your Body Fat Percentage?
There are a lot of supplements on the market labeled as “fat burners”. I have no experience with using those products, therefore, I can’t tell you whether or not they work. If you want to know more about supplements, click here to check out Joe Cannon’s website. He is an expert in the field of health and wellness and he provides a wealth of peer-reviewed research about various topics. What worked for me was consuming fewer calories and drinking more water. I’m also consistent with cardio and strength training. I’ve also increased my consumption of vegetables and I reduced my sugar intake. Read your food labels and do your research. Basically, it’s not rocket science. Do what makes you happy and healthy! Readers, are you concerned about your body fat percentage?