How to find out the percentage of body fat?

Our body consists mostly of water, but it also contains soft tissues, muscle and, of course, fat. And how to find out the exact amount of fat?


What is the normal percentage of body fat? The rate will depend on the gender and age of the person. So, for boys from 18 to 24 years old, the normal value is 10-18%, and for girls of the same age - about 18-25%. Further, with increasing age, the percentage increases. But we are talking about unsportsmanlike people leading the most ordinary way of life.

Why is the fat percentage higher in women? Because the structure of their body is very different from the male. Thus, the breast is almost entirely composed of adipose tissue. In addition, it is permissible to have fat on the abdomen (it protects important reproductive organs). And usually men are more mobile. In addition, the metabolic rate of women is usually lower.

How to find out the amount of fat?

So, how to determine the level of body fat? There are several different ways.


If you do not want to make calculations yourself, you can use a calculator. This is a program that allows you to determine the level of fat using the basic parameters of a person. All that needs to be done is to enter the necessary values ​​in the appropriate columns. But first, take a few measurements.

So, you will need to measure the volume of the neck, waist and hips, as well as height and weight. Some calculators suggest taking into account sex and lifestyle. Enter all the necessary values, you just need to run the program, and in just a few seconds you will know the percentage of fat. But such calculations, of course, are approximate, since a single formula is used (or several formulas), and the features of the body structure are not taken into account.


On sale you can find scales with the function of measuring the percentage of fat, as well as bone tissue and muscle mass. The main principle of their work is to use a weak electric current that passes through the body and assesses the state of the body, namely the volume of certain tissues in it.

You will not feel the tension, since it is minimal.The calculations are very reliable, but truly accurate scales can hardly be found in regular stores, and they will cost a lot. Devices with low cost and commercially available departments of equipment, most likely, will not show accurate results. Probably, the calculations in them are made using simple mathematical programs and algorithms.

Professional measurements

Professional methods for determining the percentage of fat, of course, accurate and reliable, but are available only in specialized institutions. In addition, measurements are usually paid and not cheap.

Basic methods:

  • Bioimpedance - current measurement. The essence of the method is based on the action of the current, or rather the speed of its passage through the body. A weak charge will pass through you. And the slower it will pass through the body, the more fat it contains. The measurements are very accurate, the error is about 2%.
  • Measurements in water are fairly accurate (the error is 3%), but this service is provided in a few clinics. The method is based on the fact that in water fat, as you know, does not sink, because it is much easier. The person is put and fixed in a chair that is immersed in water for 10 seconds (for this period you needhold the breath). Several dives are made, then the percentage of fat is calculated using formulas.
  • Ultrasound. Fluctuations of the waves allow us to determine the density of tissues and thereby find fat. But such measurements are inaccurate, so they are practically not used.
  • X-ray scanner. This method is most accurate, but the procedure is quite expensive. In addition, such a service is not available everywhere.


Another way to calculate body fat percentage is caliperometry, that is, measuring fat folds. For measurements it is best to use a special device - caliper. But if it is not, then the most common calipers can come up.

Measurements should be made in four places:

  • On the triceps, namely in the back of the arm approximately in the middle of the shoulder (at equal distances from the elbow and shoulder joints).
  • Now, just as you need to measure the biceps (it is also located in the shoulder, but in front), grabbing fat in the middle.
  • You also need to measure the blade, but so that the grip of the fabric is made at an angle of 45 degrees.In this case, you will need outside help.
  • The last area is the abdomen (it has the most fatty tissue on it). Depart from the navel to either side approximately 10 centimeters.

How to measure fat fold? It is necessary to pinch yourself in the necessary place with the ends of your index and thumb. Pull the skin along with the fat, but do not grab the muscle tissue (they are more rigid and elastic). Hold the fold and measure it with a caliper.

All the results obtained should be summed up, and the total sum should be compared with the values ​​in the special table.

Determine the percentage of body fat to find out if you should lose weight.

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