For more than 60 percent of Americans, being overweight or obese is an unfortunate — and dangerous — daily reality. Fortunately, it is possible to slim down through healthy eating and regular exercise. But you always have new goals to set and to conquer, and for those who are looking for a next-level beach body or an edge in competitive sports, the next goals may have less to do with the number on the scale and more to do with something a bit more involved: body-fat percentage.
What is Body-Fat Percentage, and How Is It Measured?
The culprit behind excessive weight is fat. Fat is what we get when we consume too much energy and don’t expend that energy through exercise. Eating fats, of course, can lead to fat, and so can eating too much of just about anything, because our bodies are quite adept at turning excess calories of all sorts into stored fat. Of course, some amount of fat is good, which is why our body makes it in the first place. So once we’ve slimmed down, our goal isn’t necessarily to just cut all of the fat we can — instead, we’ll want to measure our fat and figure out just how much we could spare.
The measurement we most often use, of course, is body-fat percentage. Body-fat percentage is a pretty simple metric. It’s exactly what it sounds like: it’s the amount of fat in your body, relative to everything else you’ve got in there.
So what’s a healthy body-fat percentage? It can range widely. A bodybuilder might have a body-fat percentage as low as less than 5 percent. But that’s a pretty extreme example: a typical fit male will have about 15 to 17 percent body fat. Sex matters, too. Women have body-fat percentages that are a bit higher than those of men in each category (for instance, a fit female would have a body fat percentage in the low 20s, insteady of the mid- to high-teens).
Measuring body-fat percentage can be done in a few different ways, but some of the simplest do-it-yourself methods include body circumference measurements and skin calipers.
Nutrition and Supplements
So what do you do when you want to reduce your body-fat percentage? Simple: you need to eat better, take the right supplements, and exercise.
Easier said than done, right? For one thing, fats and calories may be hidden in your diet in places you wouldn’t expect. Keep an especially sharp eye on what you drink, as calories love to sneak into our beverages. Alcohol is a major culprit, and coffee shop products can be, too. Cut out those milkshake-like coffee drinks right away, experts advise. You can transfer your Starbucks gift card balance to a healthier option and start brewing your own coffee. Take it black to cut out more calories and fats.
Supplements can be a big help in cutting body-fat percentage. Superdrol, a prohormone supplement, is one example of the supplements that are known to help reduce body fat and build leaner muscle. Feeding your muscles while trying to avoid excess fat can be tough, so you should definitely consider supplements designed for that purpose if you’re interested in working out and bulking up at the same time as you trim fat.
Sticking to your goals isn’t easy, but you can improve your chances by arming yourself with information. Keep a food journal and track the macronutrients in your foods. Being able to see at a glance what you’re actually eating can make it a lot easier for you to figure out what’s going wrong and what you can do better. If you work hard and focus on your goals, you can trim that fat and get a leaner, more athletic body.