The Dreaded Body Fat
Everyone has probably noticed that I focus a lot on this percentage when we do our body composition testing. This is the danger one! If your body fat is too high you set yourself up for a lot of the common health problems we face today, i.e. high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, obesity and some cancers. Bodyfat is a tricky one because not all skinny people have a low bodyfat and not all fat people have a high one!! The bodyfat measurement is a measure of not just the fat we see, but it is the visceral fat as well, that is the nasty fat that sits around our internal organs.
A certain amount of body fat is essential, it regulates the body's temperature, insulates our organs and is the main form of our energy storage...but you know the story, too much of a good thing!!
When you are looking at your score charts, take note of what your muscle mass percentage is and compare it to your bodyfat percentage. In men I would like the muscle mass to be about double the bodyfat score. In women I would like muscle to be about 1/3 higher than the bodyfat reading. It can be compared to a set of scales, usually if your body fat decreases, your muscle mass increases and vice versa. Often it doesn't have the same effect on your body weight(kilos) or your weight could go up slightly when you increase muscle, because muscle really does weigh heavier than fat. This is one of the reasons I don't focus a lot on body weight, as it's more improtant to look at your whole body composition.
I noticed on recent testing for Noosa the bodyfat decreased in most Lazy Runners, and when that happened there was a slight increase in muscle mass. That is because cardio exercise (running) is great for decreasing bodyfat levels. However, if you didn't lose enough bodyfat and want to work on losing more you may need to look at your diet.
Below are some general bodyfat percentage guidelines:
||Men % body fat
||Women % body fat
|| 30% Plus
|| 40% Plus