The Smart Guide To Body Fat: Achieving Optimal Levels For Men And Women

Body fat percentage will determine the level of muscular definition as well as the visibility of your abs. Here are some guidelines for achieving optimal levels of body fat for fitness and health.

Body Fat Guide

If you are someone who works out, you probably know how unhealthy it is to carry excess amounts of belly fat and how it can make you prone to many diseases. [1]

Making changes to your diet program as well as making better decisions when it comes to food choices can really go a long way for health and disease prevention.

Likewise, going to the gym several times per week to do a high intensity workout will also do your body good.

Even at-home fitness programs are excellent to start burning your belly fat and 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.

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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.

This is why it is so important to maintain a healthy waist-to-hip ratio.

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.

This can be done using resistance training along with high intensity cardio exercises or even a cross training program that combines both resistance training and cardiovascular workouts.

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 experts.


  • 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

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