What’s the optimal body fat range for you? Find out the facts on how much belly fat is safe!
Last Updated: October 06, 2017
If you are someone who knows how unhealthy it is to carry excess amounts of belly fat and how it makes you prone to many diseases, then you have probably already tried to overcome these conditions by starting a program to get healthy and fit.
You have either made changes in your overall diet program or at least have made better decisions when it comes to food choices.
Likewise, you probably have tried a program that involves heading to the gym, several times per week to do a high intensity workout.
Or maybe you have just adopted a new at-home fitness program, hoping to start burning your belly fat and hoping to improve your overall health by gaining a little bit more muscle mass.
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The Key to Burning Body Fat
They key to burning body fat is lean muscle mass.
Muscles are heavily involved in the burning of stored fat, even while at rest.
Even a little increase in muscle mass will help to boost your metabolism so it works more actively and helps you to continue to burn a larger amount of fat throughout the day.
Whatever your purpose is, whether for competition, to complete a full workout session or just to feel good, your muscles help you get leaner and stay healthy.
Belly Fat and Women
As for women, you should know where your target areas are; that is, where your body fat is being stored.
Some women can even be skinny fat; they are capable of looking healthy gauging from their weight and height but underneath their clothes they are still flabby.
The truth is that ignoring these target areas may put you at risks for many different health conditions.
A high amount of abdominal fat can be dangerous especially for women having waistlines of 35 inches or more.
The risks of developing heart diseases and dangerous blood clots in the veins among other diseases can increase if your overall body composition is ignored.
Create a Fat Burning Action Plan
So what you need to do is determine the areas that you have to target and then take action with a good program that will help in the overall reduction of body fat while at the same time increasing your muscle mass for the best overall metabolic boost.
What’s The Best Body Fat %?
Innovations to improve the preciseness of body fat measurements are being introduced to help you optimize your workouts.
If you are after a lean beach body then you should set your target at a range of around 8 to 12% if you are a man and 12 to 20% if you are a woman.
Aiming for lower levels than these pose health risks and are harder to sustain as well.
Tracking Your Progress
Aside from direct body fat analysis from a calibrated device, the best way to keep tabs on your progress is to visually assess your body and how you feel about it.
You could simply check yourself in the mirror or even better yet, check how your clothes fit you now.
For guidance, you could monitor your progress by using these optional fat loss indicators. You will need to simply determine the answers for the following questions:
- How do your clothes fit you now? Are you fitting comfortable into them? Do they have a much better fit now?
- Has your exercise performance improved for the better?
- Do you have a lot more endurance to exercise longer and harder? Can you lift more weight or can you perform your exercises more easily?
- Are you able to perform your daily activities without any difficulty?
- Do you easily get tired and bored of what you do? Or are you always in a good mood to complete all of your daily activities?
- How do you look now? Check yourself in the mirror.
A key point to make is to not rely on just the numbers on your scale, these can often be misleading.
How Low is too Low?
While having an excessive amount of body fat poses greater threats to your overall health and wellness, dropping below 6% if you are a male and 10% if you are a female might cause complication to your health and is not recommended for any sustained period of time.
Below is a healthy body-fat percentage ranges for your guidance according to HumanKinetics.com
- Athletic – 5-10
- Good – 11-14
- Acceptable – 15-20
- Overweight – 21-24
- Obese – Over 24
- Athletic – 8-15
- Good – 16-23
- Acceptable – 24-30
- Overweight – 31-36
- Obese – Over 37