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Weight loss is not equal to fat loss
Healthy Body Composition
Healthy body composition | Yo-yo dieting
Let us learn more about the often spoken “healthy body composition” by starting at how body composition is viewed. We refer to the percentages of fat, bone and muscle as the ‘body composition’. It is important to note that compared to fat tissues, muscular tissues occupy less space in our body. A lean body is therefore determined by the body composition and body weight. Thus, two individuals may look very different from each other even if they have the same weight and height measurements because of the difference in their body composition.

adultSo, what is a “healthy body composition”? Your body composition is defined by the lean and fat tissues in your body, so obviously, your body composition determines your health. Body fat is categorised into essential fat, storage fat and non-essential fat. For normal body function, both the essential and stored fat are necessary. Male persons are considered obese once their body fat exceeds 25%; for females, they are considered obese once their body fat exceeds 30%.

It is known that people with high body fat compositions have almost three times more incidence of injuries to their knees, backs and ankles than those with healthy body composition. As such, excess body fat can directly or indirectly cause health complications. Athletes and muscular individuals have lower body fat percentages and are known for their physical endurance.

Here’s an additional important piece of information: adopt a permanently healthy lifestyle in order to maintain your healthy body composition in the long term.
spacer The following body composition is recommended by the US National Institute of Health:

13-17% Healthy adult male
20-25% Healthy adult female

The ideal fat to lean ratio varies by gender and by age. In order for our body to maintain a normal and healthy function, we need a certain amount of body fat, which is also known as essential fat. It is approximately 5% of body weight for males and 13% of body weight for females. Any level significantly above the ideal body compositions may indicate excess body fat. Reduction in body fat leads towards a healthy body composition which will improve your quality of life. On the other hand, reduction in body lean mass to negative body composition is undesirable. This commonly happens when the body undergoes drastic or an improper weight loss program.

There are different ways your body fat percentage can be measured, among which includes measurement of the thickness of subcutaneous fat in multiple places of the body; bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA); Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA) and more.

Body fat percentage calculator
It is relatively easy to determine your body fat percentage. With a few measurements from several places of your body, a body fat percentage calculator will help you estimate the fat mass in your body.
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