A healthy body will reduce your risk of disease and lengthen your life. Here’s a guideline of what a target body-fat percentage should be.
The percentages differ between professional athletes and fit and healthy persons.
Elite athletes: 14–20%
Fit and healthy: 21–24%
Do you have to measure your body fat?
Well, only if you want to. If your goal is to get fitter, it may be a good idea to use an objective measurement. Don’t use the scale, instead try tools that will calculate your body-fat percentage, which is a much better predictor of your health. It can be measured by a fitness professional using calipers or with a bioimpedance machine.
Or consider underwater weighing, but this is sometimes not realistic to get regular measurements done.
At home, you can use a pair of pants as a measurement. Find a pair that doesn’t fit, and as you are making progress, put them on every 2-3 weeks to track your progress. For some people, throwing any sort of number away is healthier emotionally and mentally.
Don’t focus on numbers, it’s way better to concentrate on feeling healthy. Asking yourself the following questions is more powerful than any string of digits.
Do you feel rested at night and alert throughout the day?
Are you making good choices?
Are you setting goals, work towards them and achieving them?
Are you happy?
And try to answer them as sincerely as possible.