Is 25 percent body fat ideal for females?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “Is 25 percent body fat ideal for females?” and provide information on types of body fat, ways to determine body fat percentage as well as how to maintain them.

Is 25 percent body fat ideal for females?

Yes, 25 percent body fat is ideal for females. Females aged 20 to 39 must aim for 21 to 32 percent of body fat. If the women are aged between 40 to 59, fat levels must be between 23 to 33 percent. 

If a woman is aged older than 60, they should aim to maintain their fat levels between 24 to 35 percent.

Women have a higher body fat percentage and men have higher levels of muscle. As females age, their body fat levels can further increase as well.

What are some components of body fat?

There are 2 components of body fat. These consists of Non-fat mass and fat mass. Non-fat mass can be essential fat. This fat can be present around the liver, intestines, bones, muscles, and kidneys. 

Fat mass can be another type of body fat. It is stored in adipose tissue and is used for energy. Fat can help in cushioning the body and aid in insulation.

However, excess body fat can be associated with heart failure, diabetes, obesity, increased cholesterol, and other metabolic diseases.

What are some ways to determine body fat percentage?

  • Skin calipers can be the cheapest way to check body fat. It can be used to measure skinfold thickness. Skin calipers however might not be much accurate. Besides, proper training might be required to check fat through calipers.
  • Underwater weighing can be another way to check body fat. Through underwater weighing, fat can float but lean tissue would sink which can give an idea of body fat percentage.
  • Body pods can be another way to check body fat. It is easier to measure body fat through body pods wherein fat percentage can be checked by looking at the amount of air displaced.
  • Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) can be another way to check body fat levels. Apart from body fat,  DEXA can be used to measure muscle content and bone mineral density too.
  • Bioelectrical impedance can give an accurate way to check body fat levels. There is a current that passes through your body. This current can help in detecting body fat.

How to maintain body fat percentage?

  • Check the protein and fiber content of the diet to reduce body fat percentage. This is because both protein and fiber promote satiety. 

Protein is found in seafood, lean meat, pulses, soy, peas, and nuts. Low-fat dairy and eggs can provide protein too. Fiber is present in whole grains, whole pulses, green leafy veggies, fruits, and nuts.

  • Consume good fats. Good fats are monounsaturated fats (MUFA) as they raise HDL levels and lower LDL levels. MUFA is present in nuts and seeds. Apart from this, it can also be found in oils like canola oil, virgin olive oil, peanut oil, and mustard oil.

Omega-3 fatty acids help in reducing inflammation. Omega-3 fatty acids can be obtained from nuts, seeds, and fatty fish. Fatty fish like salmon, sardines, anchovies, herring, tuna, and mackerel contain them.

Do not consume processed foods as they are a source of trans fats. Baked foods and fried foods should be consumed in moderation.

Avoid fats that are solid at room temperature. This can include butter, coconut oil, lard, and palm oil.

  • Make sure to plan the number of carbs you consume. Consume complex carbs over refined carbs. Complex carbs are present in whole cereals and whole pulses. 

However, after a workout, you can consume simple carbs (refined cereals) as they are easily absorbed and reduce muscle fatigue.

  • Do not skip meals. This is because skipping meals can result in the body breaking down muscles to obtain energy. 

Apart from this, skipping meals can prompt you to become hungry and you might eat more than required. As a result, do not skip meals but instead have small healthy meals throughout the day.

  • Exercise can be another way to maintain body fat percentage. Indulging in simple cardio-based exercises for 30 minutes a day can be beneficial. 

This can include jumping, running, swimming,  cycling, and dancing. Playing sports like basketball can be beneficial too.

You can also indulge in weight training or resistance training-based exercises. High-intensity training exercises can be done for 20 minutes. It involves a combination of low and high-intensity workouts.

Conclusion

In this brief article, we have answered the question, “Is 25 percent body fat ideal for females?” and provided information on types of body fat, ways to determine body fat percentage as well as how to maintain them.

Reference

https://www.webmd.com/fitness-exercise/what-is-body-composition

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