What is a healthy body fat percentage
So what is considered to be a healthy body fat percentage? Whilst some of us hit the gym to pump iron and bulk up, others want to strip away the fat to ‘get lean’ – either way, we’re surrounding by images of what we could look like, or what others think we should look like.
Despite trainers or hard core gym-goers focusing on getting their body fat percentage to single digits, our Ambassadors have a healthy approach to body fat and look to stay on the right side of being in shape, simply because it’s a good indicator of how healthy you actually are. Many things play a role in a person's body composition, including gender, diet, fitness level, genetics and activity level. There are proven health risks associated by an increased body fat percentage, including raised blood pressure and higher cholesterol. It’s also important not to have too low a percentage, as this is also linked to health issues as well.
So without defining what’s right and what’s not, this is what our Ambassadors had to say about what having an ‘acceptable’ body fat percentage means to them:
I'd say around 18% for women and 12% for men is a healthy percentage. It’s low enough for muscle definition to be visible but still within a healthy and sustainable level.
I'm trying to get to around 10% - 15% as part of my health and fitness regime. I'm guessing that I must be around 20% - 25% currently but I'm just looking at it visually, I'm not really hung up on it enough to be getting calipers and stuff, just to stay on the right side of healthy.
I'm not too sure on body fat % but I'd say something like between 15-25% for women is healthy and a little lower for men. It's not something that really concerns me at the minute. I adapt my diet around my training and try to stay healthy all the time.
I feel like an acceptable index is around 12% but if you’re an athlete, it will be lower at around 8-10%.
I think for a female to be lean and healthy, their body fat percentage would be about 15-18% body fat. Yet it depends on so many factors, it’s just really important to maintain a healthy lifestyle all the time.
Healthy and acceptable body fat would be 25-30% but for athletes they like to hover around 15-20%.
I actually don't know what my body fat percentage should be! I certainly don't know what mine is - I just focus on how I look and feel rather than the numbers! I had a fat % test a few months ago, and it was at the lower end of 'ideal' as I've always been naturally slim - but I think it's hard to say an 'acceptable' body fat % as each person’s body is designed to be different. Some people store more fat than others therefore I think an 'acceptable' body fat % is one where you feel happy and confident.
Quoting an 'acceptable' body fat percentage is not always a great idea, and it's hard to pin point because everyone is different, we all have different builds and make up, it would depend on your age and whether you were male or female. It's definitely not a one size fits all! Also being super lean all the time is not necessarily healthy, which is what I like to promote.