Understanding the numbers.
Knowing your body fat percentage is an important first step at the onset of any fitness or dietary program. An accurate body composition analysis provides a baseline for tracking progress, in addition to offering motivational feedback along the way. Be sure to measure your body composition regularly as you work towards your fitness and nutritional goals.
|Body Fat Rating||Men*||Women*|
|Risky (high body fat)||>30%||>40%|
|Excess Fat||21 – 30%||31 – 40%|
|Moderately Lean||13 – 20%||23 – 30%|
|Lean||9 – 12%||19 – 22%|
|Ultra Lean||5 – 8%||15 – 18%|
|Risky (low body fat)||<5%||<15%|
*Applies to adults ages 18 and older. Based on information from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, Exercise Physiology
Risky (high body fat): Too much body fat can pose serious health risks. Ask your health care professional about how to safely modify your body composition.
Excess Fat: Indicates an excess accumulation of fat over time.
Moderately Lean: Fat level is acceptable for good health
Lean: Lower body fat levels than many people. This range is excellent for health and longevity.
Ultra Lean: Fat levels sometimes found in elite athletes.
Risky (low body fat): Too little body fat can present health risks, especially for women. If in doubt, check with your health care professional.
Body Fat: A certain amount of fat is absolutely necessary for good health. Fat plays an important role in protecting internal organs, providing energy, and regulating hormones. For men, the minimal amount of “essential fat” is approximately 3-5%. For women, “essential fat” is approximately 12-15%. If too much fat accumulates over the years, health may be compromised.
Lean Mass: Lean mass is everything except the fat. It includes muscle, water, bone, and internal organs. Muscle is the “metabolic engine” of the body that burns calories (fat) and plays an important role in maintaining strength and energy. Healthy levels of lean mass contribute to physical fitness and may prevent conditions such as osteoporosis.