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Body Fat Calculations

When you look at BMI it does not take into consideration the makeup of weight of your body. If BMI says you need to maintain a certain % it doesn't take into consideration that you might be all muscle on that six foot frame. BMI might say that person is overweight whereas the fat indexwill say you are underfat because your fat % is too low to sustain your overall health. This is why it is difficult to use BMI and instead you should use body fat.

Charting healthy body fat indexes for women by age

Age 20-40 under-fat <23% healthy 21-33%

Age 41-60 under-fat <23% healthy 23-35%

Age 61-79 under-fat <24% healthy 24-36%

There are many ways of calculating body fat. Most involve measurements from hips, waist, wrist, forearm for women. There are body fat calculator tools available on the web that will assist you in determining what your status is. From that point you can determine what is best for you to follow in dietary and lifestyle changes. What is interesting is that once you calculate your body fat you might find that you do not meet the age under-fat healthy range for your age and you might have to put on weight. Healthy weight gain means adding lean muscle not fat to your overall body mass.

In other cases you will find that you are over-fat which means you have to lose weight. Once you know your body fat % you should aspire to get down to a healthy body fat % instead of just identifying the number of pounds you want to lose. If you choose number of pounds you can find yourself in an under-fat position and you don't want that either.

Some Examples

Say you are 45 years old with a weight of 200 and body fat of 40%.

This means that of the 200 pounds, 120 pounds are muscle, bone etc and 80 pounds are fat.

You should aspire to get into the healthy range of 23 to 35%.

If you want to get to 25% body fat, this would mean that you would take 200 X .25 =50 lbs.

120 (health body fat minimum) +50= 170. You should aim to lose 30 lbs.

This might seem a little complicated but the calculations work and the ability to manage yourself to a healthy body fat weight can then commence. There are many women under-fat body weight issues just as there are men under-fat body weight issues.  Knowing your body fat is the first step to dealing with it appropriately.

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