Many people go through the trouble of calculating their body fat percentage in an attempt to find out if they are fat or not. Unfortunately the body fat percentage is a good indicator for obesity of being overweight. The purpose of the body fat percentage is that of evaluating the fitness level of an individual.
Basically what the body fat percentage does is establish how much of your body is made up of fats. Healthy women usually have a body fat ratio of 19% to 25%, while healthy man have a body fat percentage of 12% to 18%. If you are an athlete your body fat percentage will be lower than those mentioned above because athletes burn more energy on a daily basis and their fat supplies get used up frequently.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to calculate your body fat percentage. The bad news is that not all of them are very reliable. The rule of thumb is that the simpler it is the test used to establish the body fat level, the more flawed probably it is. That is why I don’t recommend you use online body fat percentage calculators for super exact information. The information you get form them is too broad to make a valid assessment.
The classic methods to establish the body fat percentage are immersion (where you get weighted while under water), calipers (the pinching method), electrical impedance and infrared measurement. Of all of them immersion is the best one but it is also the most tedious way of calculating one’s body fat percentage. I recommend you use the infrared measurement for good results.
Once you use a certain method of establishing your body fat percentage, make sure you stick with it if you want to use it as a way of tracking your workout and diet results. Jumping form one method to another will only confuse you because you will get different results, even if you use them the same day. So once you have a preferred method of establishing your body fat percentage stick to it. That way you will be able to track your fitness level and gauge your fitness results.