What Body Fat Percentage Is Maintainable? Find Out!

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Written By David Falcone

Our body is like a threshing barn but instead of storing grains, hay or straw, it stores body fat. The bigger the fat storage is, the bigger the body frame.

So you might be wondering, what body fat percentage is maintainable?

Usually, your body fat percentage should be maintained between 11-22%. However, you should keep in mind that this range differs in case of a multitude of different factors. Factors like gender, genetics and height play the biggest role in determining what your ideal body fat percentage should be. 

Still, want to learn more information regarding maintainable body fat percentages? Hop in for a complete in-depth analysis.

What is Body Fat Percentage?

Body fat percentage works as a parameter. It helps to determine the portion of fat one has.

We have different sources to measure how big our body storage is. Body fat percentage is one of the ways to tell how much of our body is actually consisted of fat versus lean muscles and organs.

In short, it helps to determine the fitness level of an individual.

According to The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 10 to 22% is maintainable for men and 20 to 32% is maintainable for women.

However, you have to keep in mind that there are no standard body fat percentage values. It only helps you to have an idea of which range is considered healthy.

The percentage level really depends on athletic ability or whether you are male or female. To lessen health risks, maintaining a healthy body fat percentage (BFP) is essential.

What Body Fat Percentage is Maintainable?

Now, a maintainable body fat percentage is totally up to an individual. You can not just say this or that rate is maintainable. According to age, sex, height, weight and lifestyle one’s ideal body fat percentage is determined.

Body fat percentage really depends on one’s lifestyle. If an individual is active in daily   life and has regular exercise, it is likely to have a lower percentage of body fat. 

If someone’s increasing muscle mass,  the amount of body fat percentage can stay the same.  In some cases, body fat percentage can remain the same even if the particular one is losing fat and becoming more toned. 

What Body Fat Percentage is Maintainable

Hence, no number is perfect to say healthy.

 But the chart below can give you an idea about the ranges of healthy body fat percentage: 

Description MenWomen
Athletes 6%-12%14-20%
Fitness13%-16%21%-24%
Average 17%-21%25%-30%
Obese22%-29%31%-39%
Overweight 30%+40%+

(Women naturally tend to have more percentage than men due to pregnancy and hormonal issues.)

How Will You Look According To Your Body Fat Percentage? (For Men) 

According to different body fat percentage ranges, your look will vary differently. Let’s find out how your body will look with your possible body fat percentage rate. 

Below 8%

This percentage is considered too much low.

At this stage, the muscles, veins, and striations are very visible. Many bodybuilders or athletes drop their body fat percentage when they are preparing for competitions. 

8%-19%

This category can be called “fit and lean”.

 Some clear vascularity in areas such as arms, legs, and abs are visible. This body fat percentage describes the perfect body that every man wants. 

11%-21%

At this rate, muscle definition is not present, especially in the abdomen.

A man with this level of body fat typically has the “soft” look and has a little pouch on his abs.

13%-24%

At this range, the layer of body fat is remarkable.

More fat is present around the body. As men get heavier, their fat tends to go right to their stomach or gut.

How Will You Look  According to Body Fat Percentage? (For Women)

How Will You Look  According to Body Fat Percentage? (For Women)

Body fat percentage is also pictured differently on women’s bodies. Your body structure will possibly look like the following with these percentage ranges: 

Below 15%

A woman shouldn’t lower her percentage by this amount. 

This level of body fat is not considered safe and healthy. 

21%-32%

At this level, a woman is not too slim or too fat. This is a common level of body fat percentage 

33%-40% 

This level of body fat percentage is considered obese. 

Belly fat is more visible at this stage. Hips become noticeably wider. 

How to Measure Body Fat Percentage? 

The total amount of body fat divided by the body weight and multiplied by 100 gives us the Body Fat Percentage measure. 

For instance, if a man weighs 200 lb and the total body fat is 35 lb, his body fat percentage is 17.5%. His upper two abdominal areas are visible and don’t have many definitions of muscle. This percentage is predicted as healthy. 

There are numerous ways to find out what your range is. The most effective ways that can give a near accuracy rate are given below: 

Online Body Fat Calculator

Just using a  tape measure does all the work in this case.

 You have to make a record of your waist, wrist, hip and forearm and inputting them gives you a possible body fat percentage. Remember, this is not an indicator of fitness level. 

Calipers

You will need a technician to get the reading. 

Taking the measurements of parts of your body’s skinfolds generates body fat percentage. The next step is simply putting these records into the formula and that’s that. 

Body Fat Scales

The scales are the most convenient to use and have easier access. 

It can only give a rough idea about how much fat a person contains. 

Bod pod

Now this method calculates a person’s body fat density. Bod pod uses body weight and body volume to measure body fat percentage. 

Special sensors help to measure the volume and highly give accurate measure of the weight. 

It gives cooperatively accurate reading but it is only used in research laboratories. 

Read also: 15 Body Fat Cut Or Bulk [Know The Correct Answer]

Is It Healthy to Maintain A  Low Body Fat Percentage? 

The straight answer is a big no. No one should only focus on the body fat percentage. Too little body fat can be as bad as having too much of it. 

Proper maintenance is a must if you want to lead a happy and healthy life. It may sound too tempting to have that picture-perfect body or have the body that everyone craves. 

But lower body fat percentage comes with its own lesions like-

  • Malnutrition 
  • Heart disease 
  • Weaker muscles
  • Drops of testosterone hormone
  • Always having a bad mood

The list can go on and on. So, try to focus on being healthy, not on getting some mythical body frame. 

How Can You Maintain a Healthy Amount of Body Fat Percentage?

A healthy level of body fat can make you feel so confident under your own skin. It can make your significant one easily attracted to you. You can actually live the life of your dream. A little bit of effort can make everything come true. These are the following:

Start Strength exercises

To maintain your body with lean muscles this strength training comes in super handy. Burning more calories during workout sessions reduces fats that are stored in the body so easily. 

Maintain a balanced diet

Maintaining a balanced diet not only helps to reshape you but also creates a great impact on remaining healthy. Try to be in a caloric deficit term with fewer intakes. 

This will help you to lose weight at supersonic speed. On the other hand, if you are underweight, try to consume more calories than you burn. Balance the whole diet with proper proteins, whole grains and vitamins. 

Drink Unsweetened Beverages 

 Sugar can really mess up the body fat percentage while you are trying to maintain it. Sodas, carbonated beverages, beers, and alcohol come with a higher risk of getting excessive belly fat. Try to replace these with green tea and water. Green tea and water impact on reducing fat and weight loss. 

Do Intermittent fasting

Fasting has amazing results when the matter is maintaining a good shape. Studies showed that eating for an 8-hour time period each day helps to maintain muscle mass when combined with resistance training.

FAQs

At which level of body fat percentage I can see abs?

If you’re a man with six to seventeen percent body fat, your abs should be noticeable. The body fat percentage ranges from 14 to 24 percent in women for ab definition. On the upper end (17 percent for males, 24 percent for women), your abs will begin to show definition, and as that number decreases, your abs will become more sculpted.

Can I survive 0% body fat? 

No, you cannot survive on 0% body fat. It’s not humanely possible to survive on 0% body fat. For survival you at least need some amount of fat in your body. 

Is 15% body fat healthy? 

Yes, 15% body fat is generally considered healthy. According to the American Council on Exercise, a man’s body fat ranges from 18 to 24 percent. 15 to 17 percent body fat qualifies you for fitness, while 6 to 13 percent body fat qualifies you for athletic status.

Last words

That’s all on what body fat percentage is maintainable? We hope we could make you clear regarding this topic. 

If you are facing difficulties to track your achievements, try to segment your goals into short term plans. 

Until next time!

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