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What is Body Composition/Body Fat %?

Updated: Sep 12, 2021

Body composition refers to the percentage of your body weight that is fat versus the percentage that is lean body mass (LBM), i.e. muscle, bone and water. For this reason, body composition is a major determinant of appearance, more so than weight.

How do I lower my body fat %?


The most important factors to consider

Weight

Being overweight can have a big impact on your body composition. Weight loss can help improve it, but what the scales read does not necessarily reflect a healthy body composition. A healthy weighted person could have a worse body composition that someone considered overweight.


Body water

Maintaining the right amount of water and fluid in your body is key for body composition. The body is made up of around 70 percent water, which is good for a healthier body and composition.


Body fat

Body fat is considered to be the number one things dieters wish to decrease first, however body fat does play a role in keeping our body healthy and protected against disease. Body composition will allow you to assess if you need to decrease body fat or not.


BMI

A person’s body mass index (BMI) depends on their weight and height. A healthy BMI does NOT reflect a healthy body composition.


Visceral fat rating

Visceral fat plays a key role in developing health conditions, especially those linked with obesity. Visceral fat is fat which is stored around the waist deep under the skin. Too much visceral fat will mean your fat is close to your organs which will increase blood pressure. To assess this, a body composition measurement is key and if it is an issue, it must be improved as quickly as possible.


Muscle mass

Muscle helps burn energy and fat and plays an important role at maintaining a healthy body composition. The more muscle mass you have, the quicker energy and fat will burn. Muscle mass measurements include smooth and skeletal muscle as well as the water in the body.


Daily calorie intake

What you eat in a day will affect your body composition. Eating the right foods will help maintain and build muscle, whilst the wrong foods will contribute to fat mass.

Keeping track and on top of these factors can be challenging, but are all a part of maintaining a healthy body composition and preventing any obesity related health conditions.

For some, certain factors are genetic and cannot be altered. However, most can be improved and worked on, so if genetics plays a role in affecting your body composition then it is recommended to work on the other factors. Here is how to understand if you have a healthy body composition:




Understanding a healthy body composition

Understanding what your body composition should read is important to know in order to assess if you need to change your diet and/or exercise routine to achieve or sustain a healthy reading.

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