The body fat percentage indicates what percentage of the body consists of fat. If the proportion is too high, this may increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis. In such a case, the body fat should be reduced - best by a calorie-reduced diet and enough exercise. We'll tell you how to measure your body fat and give you valuable tips on lowering body fat. In our body fat table, you can also see which values are in the normal range and which values are too high.
Body fat percentage and BMI
The BMI (body mass index) sets our body weight and our body size in relation to each other. It provides a rough guide to whether we are normal, underweight or overweight. However, we do not receive any information about the composition of the body mass through the BMI.
This information provides us with the body fat percentage. It indicates what percentage of body weight is fat. The figure does not necessarily say something about the body fat percentage: even lean people can have too much body fat. Because fat deposits are not always visible from the outside - sometimes fat is stored in internal body cavities.
Structural fat and storage grease
The body fat percentage itself does not provide information about the ratio of different types of fat in the body. Here, however, there are crucial differences. For example, structural fat is important to us, as it protects organs and joints from excessive pressure.
On the other hand, storage fat can be detrimental to our health - at least if we have too much of it. It accumulates in the subcutaneous tissue - especially on the abdomen, thighs and buttocks. In times of hunger these fat reserves are the first tapped by the body. Through them, humans can survive up to 40 days without food.
Generally, body fat should not be too high or too low. Too much fat is harmful to your health, but not enough. Because the body fat content is so low that the structural fat reserves have to be attacked, the body can no longer function trouble-free. This is the case for men with body fat levels below six and women below twelve percent.
Danger to the cardiovascular system
If the body fat percentage is too high, it may negatively affect our health. Because too much body fat is usually associated with an increase in blood lipids and blood pressure. This increases the risk of cardiovascular diseases such as arteriosclerosis and a stroke or heart attack. Also, the development of diabetes mellitus can be favored by an increased body fat percentage.
However, body fat is not equal to body fat: Because while small pads on the thighs and buttocks increase the risk of cardiovascular disease only slightly, too much fat on the stomach is dangerous. Because many vascular-damaging substances are produced here, which significantly increases the risk of cardiovascular disease.
Reduce excess body fat
To reduce body fat in the long term, lightning diets are the wrong way. Only by a thorough change of habits a favorable result can be achieved. In addition to a healthy, low-fat diet, a lot of exercise is important.
If not only your body fat percentage is elevated, but you are also overweight, you should change your diet so that you consume fewer calories than you consume. This is best done with healthy foods such as vegetables, fruits and whole grains. On the other hand, you should avoid sweet and fatty foods as much as possible.
However, a change in diet alone is not enough to reduce body fat. It is important that you also do sports. Well suited are endurance sports such as jogging, walking, swimming or cycling. Ideally, exercise at least three to four times a week for at least 30 minutes.
Anyone who is slim and still has an increased body fat percentage, should also do more sports. Here, in addition to endurance sports, a regular strength training is especially recommended, through which specific muscles can be built.