When starting up on a fat loss diet plan, very often a great deal of energy and focus is placed right on the exact body weight that you’re at. You want to weigh a certain number of pounds or kilograms and that’s all that you have on your mind: reaching that goal weight.
But, one thing that you should stop and think about for a second is what level of body fat you’re at both at your current weight and what you will be at when you reach your goal weight.
Maintaining a safe level of body fat is incredibly important as there are negative health risks associated with being on either end of the spectrum. Let’s have a look at this issue further so you can see for yourself where you should stand.
The Dangers Of Too Much Body Fat
Most people are already quite aware of some of the biggest dangers of having too much body fat, but to summarize, when you have too high of body fat levels, you’ll likely be experiencing higher overall cholesterol levels which could set you up for heart disease, you’ll also be at risk for diabetes as the body tends to respond less to insulin when too much fat is present, and you’ll also be putting your bones and joints at risk for health problems due to all the excess weight coming down on them.
All in all, carry too much body fat and you’ll really be doing a detriment to your overall health and well-being.
The Dangers Of Too Little Body Fat
On the flip side of the coin, if you don’t have enough body fat you could run the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Since many of the vitamins that the body needs are only fat soluble, if you aren’t eating enough dietary fats in the first place, you likely won’t be taking these nutrients in, and then since the body has such low fat stores, there won’t be any place to store them.
Having too low of body fat levels can put your bones at risk for osteoporosis as well, especially if you’re a female.
Those females who do suffer from very low body fat levels will also notice that they stop menstruating, so that’s another negative health effect to be aware of.
Finally, when you have very low body fat levels you’re also going to notice that you feel tired on an ongoing basis, are constantly hungry, and may not even be able to focus and think as clearly as you normally would.
Your Optimal Range
So what’s the safe body fat range?
For females who do require more essential fat, you want to be between 21-33% if you’re 20-40 years of age and be 23-35% if you’re over the age of 40. This is the recommended amount to maintain proper health and going outside of these ranges are what will bring about the problems listed above.
For males, they can be quite a bit leaner and have a healthy range of body fat set to 8-19% for the age group of 20-40 years and have a healthy range set to 11-22% for those that are 41-60 years of age.