When we say the term ‘body composition’, we are talking about the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in your body.
It’s important to know your body composition to understand your health, your fitness level, and your improvements beyond just overall weight. Weighing yourself on a regular bathroom scale does not assess your body composition. This is why it is important to also measure your circumferences and, when possible, your body fat.
One common question is how much body fat is healthy? The American Council on Exercise has published the following guidelines:
|ACE Body Fat Percent Norms for Men and Women|
|Essential Fat||10% to 13%||2% to 5%|
|Athletes||14% to 20%||6% to 13%|
|Fitness||21% to 24%||14% to 17%|
|Acceptable||25% to 31%||18% to 24%|
|Obese||Over 32%||Over 25%|
By these measurements, you should never have less than ~13% body fat if you are a woman, ~5% if you are a man. Otherwise you are endangering your health. Also, note that they provide levels for athletes, as well as those that are very fit. For the average person, look at the acceptable range to understand where you should aim for.
While we often try to control our body composition through exercise and diet, there are factors it is affected by that we cannot control:
Workout Link (14:00 workout): This week is a core workout!
Why It’s Important: So often we think of weight in black and white terms- we gain weight, we are gaining fat mass. We lose weight, we are losing fat mass. But in reality, weight gain and loss is much more complicated.
Your Challenge: With the help of your health coach, set realistic body composition goals to achieve for this challenge for the following measurements: 1) Weight; 2) Body fat; 3) Muscle mass; 4) BMI