Is 20% body fat healthy?

In this brief guide, we’ll address the search query: “Is 20% body fat healthy?” Also, we’ll explore how you can calculate body fat, what the effects of having too much body fat are on your health, and what you should do to achieve your ideal body mass index (BMI). 

Is 20% body fat healthy? 

Whether 20% of body fat is healthy will depend on a person’s sex and age group. For example, as both men and women age, the percentage of body fat that is considered healthy increases, though, in some instances, the threshold for women may be slightly higher than that of men. 

As our bodies age, it’s normal for our muscle mass to decrease, and for our body to proportionately rise in fat content. 

However, if you’re uncertain of whether or not your current body mass index is healthy for you, we encourage you to speak to a general practitioner who can help you resolve any doubts and veer you on a course towards your ideal BMI (body mass index). 

To be clear, body mass is not necessarily synonymous with body mass; for example, a bodybuilder will be quite lean, and still have a higher body mass index than a person who is of normal weight. 

Below, we’ll describe how a person can calculate his or her body fat.

How can I calculate body fat? 

To calculate your body fat, you can input your measurements from your waist, neck, height, and weight into an online calculator,  These calculators function with the input values and can help you ascertain your body fat. 

Other formulas can help you calculate your body mass index, which may not be so accurate, and only contemplate a person’s height and weight. 

Furthermore, accurate readings can be provided by specialized equipment such as calibrators, which a specialist can use to determine whether or not your body fat is within the limits for your age group and gender. 

What are the effects of having too much body fat? 

Having too much body fat can have detrimental effects on your body. Namely, it can jeopardize your health by putting too much strain on your joints, muscles and other connective tissues. 

Physiologically speaking, it can also endanger your heart, as it will demand more vascular function to maintain blood pumping throughout your body. 

In addition to heart disease, high amounts of adipose tissue are also associated with an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, fatty liver disease, insulin resistance, and certain types of cancer. 

In women, too much body fat can trigger hormonal irregularities that can lead to irregular menstrual cycles, hirsutism, and other anomalous traits. 

Also, having a lot of body fat can increase chronic inflammation, which is associated with oxidative stress, caused by free radicals. 

Oxidative stress is also associated to damages to cells, and premature aging, in addition to other conditions such as metabolic diseases and degenerative conditions. 

Therefore, it is recommended that people maintain their body fat at acceptable levels for their age and gender. 

What should I do to achieve my ideal body mass index?

The first step in achieving your ideal body mass index is to consult with a doctor and see if your current body mass index is above, beneath, or even within an acceptable range of your ideal percentage. 

From there, a doctor, and a licensed nutritionist, can offer you tailored guidance to help you lose weight, gain it, or even maintain it at a healthy level. 

You should avoid dieting without first consulting a licensed nutritionist or a medical professional, as any diet may not meet your specific nutritional needs, and as a result, trigger symptoms of malnourishment. 

Specifically not all diet types are indicated for all weightloss patients. Your doctor and nutritionist can decide which diet best suits your needs by performing a few tests and analyzing your calorie intakes and requirements. 

Aerobic exercise may also be indicated for patients looking to lose weight, as this will trigger the oxidation of fats and lead to fat burning. 

Some diets such as ketogenic, Atkins and paleo may also be recommended, though they may not be indicated for prolonged periods, or in all patients, especially those with metabolic syndromes. 

To summarize, we encourage our readers to seek out professional medical advice before they embark on an exercise regime or a specific diet. We also urge our readers not to make drastic changes without first speaking to a specialist. 

Transitioning to a healthy diet may be gradually achieved, and we encourage our readers to make small changes such as substituting foods that are high in calories for those that have lower amounts, and to cut out the consumption of added sugars, fat, sodium, and other noxious food types. 

Conclusion

In this brief guide, we’ve addressed the search query: “Is 20% body fat healthy?” Also, we’ve explored how you can calculate body fat, what the effects of having too much body fat are on your health, and what you should do to achieve your ideal body mass index (BMI). 

References 

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/body-fat-percentage-chart#:~:text=Another%20option%20is%20to%20measure,than%2032%25%20classifies%20as%20obesity.

https://www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/what-is-the-body-mass-index-bmi/

https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fcvm.2020.00022/full

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26291691/

https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-eat-healthy-guide

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