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How to Understand Your Body Fat Calculator Results

A body fat calculator estimates the amount of fat you are carrying based on measurements at various parts of your body.


  • Step 1: Understand body fat percentage Understand that your body fat percentage is the percentage of fat on your body. If you weigh 150 pounds and have 10 percent fat, your body is made up of 15 pounds of fat.
  • Step 2: Recognize the need for fat Recognize that your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly. Fat regulates body temperature and cushions and insulates your body's organs and tissues. It is also used by your body to store energy.
  • Step 3: Understand desirable fat levels Recognize that for women between the ages of 20 and 40, a body fat percentage between 19 and 26 is desirable. For older women the range is 23 to 30 percent. For men between 20 and 40, the optimal range is between 10 and 20 percent, and for older men, the range is 19 to 23 percent.
  • TIP: The ranges for athletes and those who participate in fitness programs are lower.
  • Step 4: Consider a weight loss plan Use your body fat percentage to determine whether a weight loss plan is realistic. Calculate the number of pounds of fat on your body using your body fat percentage, and then subtract your body fat from your current weight to get you lean body mass.
  • Step 5: Work from body fat percentage Set as a goal the healthy body fat percentage you wish to achieve. Calculate the pounds of body fat this corresponds to, and add it to your lean body mass.
  • Step 6: Achieve your goal Calculate the number of pounds of body fat you would have to lose to reach your goal and then start on a fitness and diet program.
  • FACT: In 2010, the world's fattest man died at the age of 48 of a heart attack. He weighed 854 pounds at the time of his death.

You Will Need

  • Body fat percentage
  • Weight
  • Desirable fat level range
  • Weight loss plan
  • Body fat goal

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