By Lauren Denos: 11/6/2015 (Ask Lauren)

Dear Lauren,

What is a healthy amount of body fat? I am seeing mixed information on this subject. Thank you!


Dear Helen,

Good question. Although there are definite charts on what is healthy, this also really depends on what is healthy for each individual.

The essential amounts of body fat for a woman is between 10-13%. This means that going under this amount can be hazardous for your health. When you go too low with your body fat you can start having issues with regular menstruation as well as other parts of your body not functioning properly.

Athletes tend to range between 14 – 24 % depending on the type of sport. Athletes also can have issues with regular periods due to low body fat, as long as you have them some of the time you are probably okay, but talking to your doctor is always a good idea. The range of body fat many of the fitness pro's tend to maintain takes dedication and hard work. So if you want to be at the lower levels of the athletic body fat then make sure that you have a good reason, otherwise it may be difficult to stick with.

The ideal weight range for pregnancy is between 20 and 25% this is not to say that you can not conceive below this amount, but this is a good range to shot for. This is good to keep in mind if you are someone who likes to eat very precisely and workout a lot. Working out while attempting to get pregnant and while you are pregnant is great, but you may need to bump up your calorie consumption to achieve a higher body fat.

An average healthy person who is not an athlete tends to range between 25-31%. This is where many people fall when they eat a generally good diet with the occasional dessert and workout a little bit but not excessively.

The amount you should have depends on where you feel best. Make sure that you are eating healthy meals and getting in enough calories. You do not want to starve yourself for the sake of a lower body fat percentage.

I hope this helps you find your right body fat percentage. LIVE FULL OUT!



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