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What is a normal, healthy body fat percentage?

I have lost 16lbs and 5% body fat. I am now down to 20% body fat. I still would like to lose another 10-15lbs - would I be losing too much essential body fat?

Wed. Nov 22, 10:40am

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Are you male or female?
Men tend to have a lower body fat percentage... :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 3:21 PM

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for looks it all depends on your body type and your muscle definition.
for performance 10-15% for men 18-24% for women

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 9:03 PM

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OP here. I am a female. So, if I lose 10-15lbs, what would my body fat % be?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 11:18 PM

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depends how much fat is in the 10-15lbs that you would lose. if you only lose lean mass your bodyfat % will increase and you will look smaller but more fat.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 11:37 PM

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also forgot to add that the leaner you become (ie the lower your bf%) the harder it is to decrease your bf% as body goes into survival mode and try to stick to the last gram of fat.

going fro 30 to 25% bf is tremendously easier than 25 to 20%.

there are many ways to trick the body out of this survival mode and the overall best is to let it stabilize keeping your caloric balance the same and then cut down again after few weeks. this also helps alot avoid stretch marks and loose skin as it will give ample time to the skin to destretch, also it helps brain/mood since trimming bodyfat is depressing (survival effect too)


Wednesday, November 22, 2006, 11:43 PM

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I have dropped from 26% body fat to 18-19% body fat. I still have another 10lbs to lose. What is the lowest amount of body fat I can have and still be in the "healthy" range? Is it 11%, 14% or 16%?

Monday, February 12, 2007, 10:38 AM

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Another question to ask all of the posters with the low % bf (the 20% and the 18-19%, all of which is low for a woman) - how are you measuring your body fat? Just to clarify, I ask because the scales that tell bodyfat are generally very inaccurate, and, anyone who's administering a caliper test or a hydrostatic dunk test for you would be a better person to ask about how much more you can healthily lose than any of us here on this message board.

If you're a woman and have 20% bf or less, you probably do not look like you have much fat anywhere that you wouldn't want it - mostly just a healthy amount in your breasts, hips, thighs, butt, but nothing loose or flabby. So, if you still are flabby but your bf% says 20%, my guess is that your bf reading is inaccurate.

Monday, February 12, 2007, 10:42 AM

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Also, for those in the low percentage, why is it that you want to lose the weight? Is it to narrow your waist? Trim your outer thighs, get more definition in your arms? How narrow your waist can go is a matter of anatomy- if your ribs are close to your hips, you may not be able to get the narrow waist your friends have because you have less space for all your internal organs. More definition or muscle tone obviously comes from working out those muscles, not from losing fat.

Monday, February 12, 2007, 11:42 AM

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If you're 20% fat, and want to lose another 10lbs, just figure out what amount of your weight is fat, and deduct 10lbs from it. If you're 120lbs, and 20% fat, then 24lbs are fat. Losing 10lbs (if it's all fat) puts your fat at 14lbs, which, if you weigh 110, is just under 13% fat. That's really low for a woman... 13% is considered low for a male, let alone a woman... so if you want to lose another 10lbs, you may either a) go dangerously low, b) frustrate yourself trying to do it but your body may not let you and you could schmuck up systems, or c) lose lean body mass as part of that 10lbs, and why would anyone other than a body builder want to lose lean mass?

Monday, February 12, 2007, 11:49 AM

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I definitely do not want to lose muscle mass. I am currently about 5'4 and 125. I have a medium build. My waist is 26.5 and my goal is 115-118. I am doing my body fat readings using a handheld analyzer. I also used the link provided in another thread and got similar results. My body fat is between 18-19%.

Monday, February 12, 2007, 1:48 PM

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So if you're 125 and 18% fat, then 22.5 lbs is fat. If you go down to 118, then your fat is 15.5lbs and your body fat becomes about 13%. I'd re-evaluate my goal weight. Your waist may not be able to get any smaller (there are things called bones that affect waist size), so you may want to firm up places, but I don't know if you want to get to 13% fat...

Monday, February 12, 2007, 10:37 PM

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