Are You Fat? Measuring Fat Percentage with Body Fat Testing


The dreaded words we never want to hear, “skinny fat”. This is when you appear thin but are actually carrying around a very high percentage of body fat compared to your level of muscle tissue and overall body weight. You have weighed yourself hundreds of times, looked in the mirror even more and think you’re in pretty good shape, right? When is the last time you got a true measurement of your real body fat percentage?

Yes, I mean a comprehensive body fat test to assess where you are and to see if all your hard work in the gym training with weights, countless hours doing cardio and adhering to a strict nutritional plan is really paying off with decreased body fat levels and increased lean muscle mass. Learn how to get your body fat tested now to truly find out if you are indeed fat!

When it comes to tracking weight loss, most of us rely on the scale to tell us whether we’ve lost or gained weight. But, as people are fast learning, this isn’t the best way to keep track of your weight. A scale measures everything including muscle, fat, bones, and what you ate or drank that day. It doesn’t tell you what you really need to know: how much fat do you have?

Body Composition
Body composition is simply the ratio of lean body mass to fat body mass. Too much fat can lead to health problems like heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol and other serious conditions. If you keep your body fat within a reasonable level, you’ll be healthier and, of course, slimmer.

Body Fat Percentages – Women

AgeVery LeanHealthy RangeOverweightObese
20-40 yrsUnder 21%21-33%33-39%Over 39%
41-60 yrsUnder 23%23-35%35-40%Over 40%
61-79 yrsUnder 24%24-36%36-42%Over 42%

Body Fat Percentages – Men

AgeVery LeanHealthy RangeOverweightObese
20-40 yrsUnder 8%8-19%19-25%Over 25%
41-60 yrsUnder 11%11-22%22-27%Over 27%
61-79 yrsUnder 13%13-25%25-30%Over 30%

A very important aspect in really finding out if you’re on the right track or not, is to monitor your body fat levels. Go to your local sports store and buy some body fat calipers to test your fat levels. Record these levels along with your body weight each week and start to monitor these changes. You want to make sure you’re building quality muscle mass and burning that extra body fat.

By monitoring the changes of your lean body weight, you will be able to tell whether or not you are replacing adipose tissue (fat) with hard-earned muscle. Lean body weight (muscle) can be found by subtracting your body weight with your body fat weight. You body fat weight is calculated by multiplying your weight with your body fat percentage.

Tips on measuring your body fat levels:

  • Take all measurements on the right side of your body.
  • Carefully identify and recall your measuring site for accuracy.
  • Take the measurement when skin is dry and lotion-free.
  • Do not measure immediately after exercise due to shifts in body fluid.

There are three main sites for measuring your body fat for males:

  • Chest – Fold is taken 1/2 the distance between the anterior auxiliary line and nipple.
  • Abdominal – Fold is taken vertical 2 cm lateral to the umbilicus.
  • Thigh – Fold is lifted on anterior aspect of thigh midway between inguinal crease and proximal border of patella. Body weight is shifted to left foot.

There are three main sites for measuring your body fat for females:

  • Triceps – Fold is taken midway between the shoulder and elbow joint, on the center of the back of the arm.
  • Waist – Fold is taken diagonally above the iliac crest along the anterior auxiliary line.
  • Thigh – Fold is lifted on anterior aspect of thigh midway between inguinal crease and proximal border of patella. Body weight is shifted to the left foot.

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