Ideal Weight and Ideal Percent Fat

IDEAL WEIGHT AND IDEAL PERCENT FAT

Ideal weight, historically has been based upon Body Mass Index (BMI) Height / Weight tables, which do not make sense for most people. These Height / Weight Indices do not take into account skeletal bone size and bone density or lean muscle weight. These BMI tables assume that if your weight is higher than average for your height, you are too fat, which can be false for many people.

Your Individualized ideal weight is based on the ideal amount of extra (stored) Fat (s FAT).  that you should have on your body, besides your core weight of bone, muscle and essential fat. (Essential fat – e FAT is needed for healthy bodily functioning).  Your measured DXA lean body weight (LBW, which includes your muscle and bone) plus your essential fat (e FAT) makes up your core body weight.

Ideal weight includes an amount of non-essential storage fat added to your core weight, which achieves your Ideal Percent Fat.

Your ideal weight is calculated assuming that when you lose weight, you will lose fat, not lean muscle. If LBW is lost during dieting, a new lower ideal percent will need to be recalculated.

Dieting alone to lose weight, usually results in losses of both lean muscle, as well as Fat. The right kind and amount of exercise and proper nutrition with reduced calories will result in maintenance or increase of lean muscle, while losing fat. This is the desired way to achieve ideal weight. Typically, decreasing calorie consumption by 500 calories / day while increasing exercise calories by 500 calories / day, results in a calorie deficit per week of 7,000 calories. This is approximately 2 lbs weight loss.

APPROXIMATE RECOMMENDED BODY FAT PERCENT

MALE

FEMALE

AGE

IDEAL % FAT

AGE

IDEAL % FAT

16 – 19

15 %

16 – 19

19 %

20 – 29

16 %

20 – 29

20 %

30 – 39

17 %

30 – 39

21 %

40 – 49

18%

40 – 49

22 %

50 – 59

19 %

50 – 59

23 %

60+

20 %

60+

24 %

Reference: The Health Manager by David L. Parker PhD

  • Fire fighters should maintain a Body Composition which equals a Stored Fat Percentage throughout career: Males: < 18-20 %, Females: < 21-23%
  • Athletes should be at least 2% – 3% less body fat than the figure listed in the table
  • Long distance endurance athletes should be 4% – 5% less than these table ideals
  • Crossfit athletes MMA Athletes  should be 3%  – 5% or better than these table ideals