Believe it or not, your gender plays a key role in your body composition metrics. Therefore, if you are a woman on a fitness journey, you should be looking for information tailored to you. However, once you start your research, you’ll see most of the findings are actually male-specific, which can be discouraging because we’re dealing with two completely different body comps.
In this article, we’ll focus on metrics related to average body fat for women. We’ll try to elaborate on any of the misconceptions you might have regarding this topic. By the end, you’ll understand all the factors impacting your body fat percentage and what you can do to track it efficiently. Let’s get started!
What Is Body Fat Percentage?
First, we need to explain the concept of body fat percentage in more depth. Namely, the term is pretty self-explanatory, as it refers to the overall percentage of fat in your body in proportion to other factors like lean muscle, water, organs, etc. The overall body fat percentage (BFP) differs from person to person — based on their physiology, the body fat percentage women have is typically 10% higher than that of men.
Despite the differences, though, it’s important to keep those figures within the normal range, as excess body fat is associated with a higher risk of chronic ailments such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases.
Most of us are under the misapprehension that measurements on a regular scale are good indicators of one’s fitness. In reality, you’d need a smart body scale like INEVIFIT’s Eros, which can show you accurate body comps. Once you know where you stand, you’ll be able to devise a plan to keep those percentages under control.
The Eros Smart Body Fat Scale will help you keep track of 13 crucial metrics, including body weight, protein, subcutaneous fat, body fat, skeletal muscle, water, muscle, bone mass, BMR, BMI, visceral fat, metabolic age, and fat-free body weight. All you need to do is connect it to the app, and you’ll be able to monitor your BFP in no time.
Factors That Affect Body Fat Percentage
The disparities in male and female BFP start in puberty. While men's body weight is associated with an increase in lean mass, it’s the average body fat for women. Of course, there are other factors that impact BFP values in the female gender, and we’ll examine each of them more closely in the following section.
- Hormones: There are a lot of findings on how menstruation can affect body composition and vice versa. Namely, one study showed that participants who hadn’t started their period yet generally had a lower BMI than those who had. Moreover, during their monthly cycles, women tend to experience bloatedness due to water retention. What many don’t know is that there is also a possibility of fat mass increasing up to one pound.
- Age: Menopause can have a huge effect on body fat percentage. The menopausal transition usually occurs between ages 45 and 55. At its onset, the serum in estrogen levels drops, and the adipose tissue redistribution toward the midsection of your body occurs.
- Diet: Needless to say, your BFP metrics can change depending on your diet, too. A calorie surplus will naturally lead to fat storage. Therefore, make sure you have a diet plan in place. It’s important to be mindful of food intake. However, it’s not just about its quantity; it’s about the quality, too (more fiber, protein, good fats, etc.).
- Exercise: Any kind of daily physical activity will positively impact your body. If you decide to hit the gym, make sure to incorporate strength exercises so as not to lose any muscle along the way.
- Sleep: There’s a reason everyone recommends having at least eight hours of sleep. Dark circles no concealer in the world could cover shouldn’t be your only worry here. Aside from getting food cravings as your body tries to make up for the lost energy, there are other scenarios you need to consider. Namely, poor sleep habits can increase inflammation in your body and possibly lead to insulin resistance and fat storage.
- Stress: You should try to avoid stressful situations since they can impact the normal fat percentage female individuals need to have, too. As your body enters the so-called survival mode, cortisol (the stress hormone) activates. Some studies indicate that there’s a connection between high levels of cortisol and the formation of fat cells.
As you can see, the ideal body fat percentage for women fluctuates based on numerous factors. Depending on the age and other variables, those figures can range from 21% to 35%. If you’re using a smart scale like Eros to keep track of your progress, make sure to be consistent with your measuring habits for accurate results.
Although many aspects we’ve mentioned are just part of our genetic makeup, there are certain changes we can implement to get that BFP right. Adjusting our diet, having a regular exercise routine, and maintaining healthy sleeping habits can have a positive impact on our bodies. Make sure to use a reliable device like INEVIFIT’s Eros Scale as your faithful companion on your journey. Good luck!
READ NEXT: HOW TO SET REALISTIC WEIGHT LOSS GOALS