The Body Fat Index shows, how much your healthy body fat percentage should be. The body mass index (BMI) on the contrary is an estimated range of how much a person should weigh. It is no indicator for the body fat percentage. For the correct calculation of your personal percentage of body fat you need to measure your waist, wrist, hips and forearm just as well as your body weight. In the chart below you can see the average healthy body fat amount for adult women and men.
Men and women have a different body fat index, with women’s naturally being much higher than men. This may be mostly due to the sex hormones, women have higher levels of oestrogen necessary for reproductive functions and men have much higher testosterone levels, which help give males more muscle mass.
Body Fat index and Age
As we age past 30 years body fat percentage naturally rises often due to hormonal changes, sometimes referred to as “middle age spread”. For men, there is a gradual decline in testosterone levels which slowly reduces the amount of lean muscle weight. This decreases the metabolism and the body requires less energy to maintain weight. Along with eating habits strongly established it all contributes a positive energy balance forcing the body to store excess energy in fat cells.
Average Healthy Body Fat Amount for Men & Women in Percentage
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Values are estimated and can be plus or minus 5 percent to give a range for the body fat index.