Guide To Body Fat Percent

Body Fat Percent

Body Fat Percent – Healthy Weight and Desirable Body Fat Percentage, Muscle-Fat Ratio

Guidelines for Reducing Body Fat Percentage

Excess body fat rather than excess weight is now seen as the major indicator of weight-related health problems. For a general guide to desirable body fat levels, see the following body-fat-percent table.

Table 1. Body Fat Guidelines from American Council on Exercise

ClassificationWomen (% Fat)Men (% Fat)
Essential Fat10-12 percent2-4 percent
Athletes14-20 percent6-13 percent
Fitness21-24 percent14-17 percent
Acceptable25-31 percent18-25 percent

NOTE: For an explanation of how surplus calories – from dietary fat, protein or carbohydrate – are stored as body fat, please see: Body Fat/Adipose Tissue – Why We Gain Fat