The Problem With The Body-Fat % Obsession


We are use to hearing “Don’t obsess over your weight on the scales” in health & fitness circles these days.

However, the obsession Body-Fat Percentage can be just as bad.
Obviously measuring your body-fat is important if your goals are body-composition related. But your Body-Fat Percentage is one piece of the equation and doesn’t tell the full picture.

What does your body fat percentage actually represent? 

It's important to remember your body fat "percentage" is exactly that, just a percentage. The number represents the "percentage" of your body weight that is fat.

i.e. 10% Bodyfat @ 80kg body weight = 8kg fat.
To find out your "fat free mass" or "lean-body mass/LBM" you deduct the kg of fat from your body weight.

So the example individual has 72kg of lean muscle mass. (80kg body weight - 8kg fat) 

I'm explaining this for two reasons:

a) This is why we don't just trust the scales alone
b) The body fat % isn't the most important number, what it represents is

Let's look at why:

A fat loss client starts at 100kg @ 20% Bodyfat (20kg fat mass, 80kg lean-mass).
Over a period of time they lose 10kg and body-fat reads 18%.
On paper this sounds like a good result.

But let's crunch the numbers:

Starting point:
100kg @ 20% (20kg fat, 80kg LBM)

90kg @ 18% (16.2kg fat, 73.8kg LBM)

So although the numbers have gone down, their body composition change isn't ideal.
They have lost 10kg weight but only 3.8kg of this is actually fat, the rest is all LBM/Lean-Mass or muscle -

So they aren't likely to look all that different - they may even look or feel worse than before!

Remember the key to any successful fat loss program is the retention of lean mass so in summary that's where all the figures are more crucial.

Weight x BF % = Kg of fat
Weight - KG of fat = Fat free mass/Lean Body Mass (which includes your muscle)

So don’t judge yourself soley on your body-weight or body-fat percetange.

Also, don’t set body-weight or body-fat percentage goals. Set goals based on your Fat-Mass and Lean-Muscle Mass.

With both our in-house and on-line coaching clients, we measure body-fat regularly (up to once per week).

Your bodyweight fluctuates daily and is affected by various external factors such as; sleep, hormones, stress and food/fluid intake, therefore we cannot judge your fat-loss or muscle-gain progress purely based on bodyweight alone.

Book in for a free fat-loss consultation and body composition test today and find out how we can help you