View Full Version : Body fat percentage numbers?
07-25-2003, 10:29 AM
Does anyone know what the "acceptable" range is for women? I just recently had my body composition done. In the past 5 1/2 months, I lost 3.2% body fat (yeah!! Go away fat!!) but I was wondering what I should strive for, bearing in mind that everyone is different.
07-25-2003, 10:35 AM
I think that for females over 30, it should be around 24% or below. Here's a link that says the range should be 15 to 23%:
Keep in mind that I've heard that testing done by pinching can have up to a 5% margin of error.
07-25-2003, 11:03 AM
It was the pinching method. My only problem with that is that they do arms, hip, and stomach and don't take legs into account. I wonder if that's really accurate. My legs are quite lean. My stomach, well, that's another issue.
According to this, I'm at 23.8% right now. The guy at the gym told me I was at the high end of the acceptable range, but that range seems to vary. Thanks for the link!
07-25-2003, 01:36 PM
Funny story about body fat: DH and I were at a home show a couple years ago. There was a place that had one of the electonic handheld body fat testers (you hold two handles, and it sends an electric signal through you based on the resistance measures your body fat) Anyway, those aren't real accurate, and DH and I had been tested a few years earlier when we were working out with a personal trainer. So we decide to try to little handheld tester to see approximately how much our body fat had changed in the two years. So DH does it, and it comes up with 24%, and the woman at the booth looks at the chart on the back of the machine, asks DH his age (45 at the time) and proclaims that that is in the "Excellent" range. Then I do it, and it comes up with 18% and the woman looks at the chart and says that for my age (34), that is only "good". I was like "how can 24% be 'Excellent' and 18% is only 'Good'? I would have thought that 18% was pretty D@MN good! Anyway, the point is that the ranges are tied to both your gender and your age, so that is something to take into account. And I think some of the ranges are just plain OFF. (BTW, DH had been at 10% two years earlier, so neither he nor I thought that his 24% was very good.)
07-26-2003, 06:03 AM
Dewey, that's my problem with it. When I was working out at a gym at the age of 28, they told me that 23% was very good. Now that I'm 33, they tell me that 23.8% is at the "high end" of acceptable. I do question the accuracy. At best, though, I had it done at the same place so I know that the amount of the decrease is accurate.
07-26-2003, 09:08 AM
Yup I agree, there's no consistancy. So here's a new chart I just came up with:
The Dewey Optimum Body Composition Chart
For Women that have had two children, work full-time, have a two hour commute, manage to run a household AND are working out regularly: 23.8% = FANTASTIC!!!!! So congratulations!
07-26-2003, 04:18 PM
I agree that your body fat range is FANTASTIC! :)
According to my Tanita body fat scale info, they list the following as healthy ranges:
MALES under 30 = 14-20%
MALES over 30 = 17-23%
FEMALES under 30 = 17-24%
FEMALES over 30 = 20-27%
07-28-2003, 09:54 AM
I just had the Trainer at my gym do a fitness assesment which includes your body fat. Mine is 24.2%, although it is in the good range for my age of 49 I was told optimum is less than 20%.
It is highly recommended to achieve that goal to do cardio 30-35 minutes 5 days at week and do strength training with weights 3 days a week. Then I will reduce my body age from 42 (current fitness level) to 37 yo.
07-28-2003, 11:57 AM
At the very least, I have had my cholesterol checked and they told me that I am "extremely" healthy and my heart disease risk number is close to zero. It seems that now that I have built up the muscle and lost some fat, the weight loss is getting easier. I know I'll stall again, but I am back to my prepregnancy weight (the second time around). 10 more to go to get back to my prepregnancy weight before baby number 1. It's progress. I feel so much better about myself now.
You guys crack me up!! I like Dewey's chart the best! I believe I'm in the healthy range. I really can't fit anymore exercise into my day as it is. I'm lucky to take a shower without hearing "Mommy! Mommy!!" or having little hands open up the shower doors 100 times, drenching my floor. I wish there was one definitive chart. I guess I can choose which one I like best and use that one :D ! 20% body fat. Yeah, okay. I'd have to quit my job and work out full time!
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