Have you ever had your body fat measured? If not, you should! It’s such a helpful tool to accurately measure your body composition. So many people rely only on the scale to check their weight loss progress. Instead, you should be looking at your fat to muscle ratio. Muscle weighs more than fat, so if you’ve been training hard and lifting heavy, the scale can be misleading when you see the number increase as you put on muscle (i.e. gains!)
So ditch the scale for a bit (so it doesn’t drive you crazy)! By using your body fat percentage instead of the number on the scale, you get a better view of what your body is made of and what range your body fat falls under.
Here’s a Body Fat Percentage breakdown for women (may vary depending on the chart used):
-Risky (low body fat): <15%
-Ultra Lean: 15-18%
-Moderately Lean: 23-30%
-Risky (high body fat): 40%+
There are many online body calculators, but the best ways to get a good reading are using a Bod Pod or an underwater test (Google/Yelp for some places close to you that do this!). If you are in Southern California, Applied Fitness Testing is the company that came to our gym and we can’t recommend them enough! The Bod Pod not only gave us a breakdown of our body composition, but also our heart rate, resting metabolic rate, and total energy expenditure. The best time to take any of these measurements is in the morning after 7-8 hours of sleep.
Remember, this is not something to obsess over. We never encourage people to get caught up in the numbers, but we have found that learning about our body composition and measuring our body fat percentage every so often has helped us to stay on track with our goals in a healthy and realistic way!