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Ideal Body Fat Percentage

ideal body fat percentageThe American Council on Exercise has provided ideal body fat percentage guidelines:

Essential fat - 10-13%
Athletes - 14-20%
Fitness - 21-24%
Acceptable - 25-31%
Obesity - over 32%

Essential fat - 2-5%
Athletes - 6-13%
Fitness - 14-17%
Acceptable - 18-24%
Obesity - over 25%

According to the Council, addressing personal fitness trainers:

After determining a client’s body composition in terms of fat weight and lean weight, you can help him or her set a realistic goal for desired body weight. Initial goal setting should be focused on small attainable objectives, such as losing 10% body weight or moving from one body fat classification category to the next.

Since lean mass can increase as a response to exercise, regular body composition assessment can help clarify if increases in body weight are a result of enhanced muscle or actual body fat. It is important to understand that muscle weight can increase even when exercise participation is limited to aerobic activity.

Body composition should be assessed periodically throughout an exercise program. This can provide motivating information, especially when fat weight loss appears to have plateaued.

If you want to maintain an ideal body fat percentage, the purchase of a body fat scale is highly recommended. Here, to guide you, are introductions to the five best body fat scales, as judged by customer reviews at (For details of the criteria used, see Helping You Find the Best Body Fat Scale.)

1. Withings WiFi Body Scale - Measures fat mass, BMI and sends data via Wifi - not cheap, but gives you the ability to transmit data wirelessly to the internet and perform all kinds of analysis. Ultra-stylish. At the time of writing an amazing 17 out of 18 customer reviews rated it five stars (out of five).

2. Omron HBF-306 Body Fat Analyzer - Omron does not make a lot of body fat scales, but the Omron HBF-306 (also sold as the Omron HBF-306C) is consistently one of the best sellers among these devices. It is a hand-held monitor, and the 306C version sells for as little as $25.

3. Tanita UM-080 Scale with Body Fat and Body Water Monitor - Tanita is the leader in body fat monitors. The UM-080 is not one of its top sellers, yet of all the many Tanita monitors it has the highest satisfaction rating among reviewers.

4. Escali High-Capacity Bathroom Scale with Body Fat/Body Water Monitoring (picture) - Escali does not sell many body fat monitor models, but this attractive device is a big seller with a high satisfaction rating.

5. Omron HBF-514C Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor - an upmarket model that claims to be as accurate as professional medical devices. The list price is $109.99, but you should be able to buy it online for less than $75.

See also the Bestsellers in Body Fat Monitors rankings at - updated hourly - to see what people are currently buying.

I have written reports on the following models:

Escali Body Fat Calculators
Omron HBF-306 Body Fat Analyzer
Omron HBF-400 Body Fat Monitor and Scale
Tanita BC 533 Innerscan Body Composition Monitor
Tanita Body Fat Scale
Tanita Innerscan BC-545 Segmental Body Composition Monitor
Tanita InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Series
Tanita Ironman Body Composition Monitor Series
Taylor Body Fat Scale
Taylor Glass Body Fat Analyzer & Scale
Withings WiFi Body Scale - Does More Than Calculate Body Fat Percentage

December 22nd, 2009



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