Posted by: Nikki | 2004/01/18

Ideal FAT PERCENTAGE for a woman?

If I'm 1.68, weight between 51 - 53, age 26, female and my body fat percentage is 21%, how much fat in kilograms would I have to loose to have a fat percentage of 19%. I don't want to loose weight, in fact I'm doing strength training to gain muscle so I will probably pick up. What is the IDEA fat percentage for a women that exercises and is in shape?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Nikki
The average fat percentage for normal, healthy women is 24%, thus you are already 3% lower than normal. According to Prof Tim Noakes, only the top female athletes have a fat percentage 10%, which is still double that of elite male runners. This difference is due to the difference in fat distribution in males and females. Body fat is a biological necessity in women because of their child-bearing capacity and unless you become anorexic (which you are leaning towards with your BMI of 18), you cannot achieve such a low percentage without doing yourself harm. Forget about this stupid machine, start enjoying your life and the fact that you have a beautiful figure even if it is rather thin. Your ideal weight would be 62 kg. Don't let this obession spoil your young life.
Take great care

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Our users say:
Posted by: Marlese | 2004/01/19

I would just like to know how you measured your fat percentage. I am 26, 1.66m and weigh 60kg, but my fat percentage is 13% and trust me, I am not anorexic looking at all. I had my fat percentage measured by a personal fitness trainer. The Body IQ machine at most Virgin Active gyms is definitely not accurate, if that is what you may have used. I agree that you shouldn't get obsessed with your body. My boyfriend especially requested that I don't lose the 'love handle' fat. So, our perception of the perfect body may be way out! In fact, a little fat around the body is very sexy for most men. We can't all look like the anorexic models on TV and trust me! most guys don't even like that look!

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