Having the right amount of total body fat can motivate you to stay healthy and set aside thoughts of weight obsession, extreme dieting, and over-exercising. It can also help you focus on balancing the quality of your workouts, food intake, and recovery. 

Your gender, age, genes, and life stage are among the factors to consider in determining the right amount of total body fat for you. The ideal body fat for men ranges from 15 to 20% of total body weight, while it’s from 24 to 30% for women because of the hormonal and childbearing functions of their bodies. Going over the average, regardless of your weight, puts you at risk for health problems such as diabetes and heart diseases. On the other end, having too little body fat is also unhealthy because the body needs “essential” or “storage” fats to function properly. 

Here are ways to achieve your ideal body fat percentage:


  • Move more during the day so you can burn enough calories. Set simple goals like walking 10,000 to 12,000 steps a day. In addition, devote four to six days a week of 30 to 60 minutes of cardio exercises like brisk walking, dancing, running, or cycling. 
  • Build and train your muscles two to four times a week. You can use machine weights and dumbbell bands or perform basic exercises such as squats, push-ups, and pull-ups. 
  • Practice different lifestyle activities. It is one of the most effective ways to lose weight because as you lose excess body fat, you gain muscle mass which is needed to improve your metabolism.


  • Balance your physical activities with proper diet. There are two things to consider when preparing your meals: it has to be the right amount and it has to be of good quality. 
  • Always eat according to your body weight, gender, physical activities, age, and fitness goals. Consult with a qualified health professional to know the right amount and the recommended types of food for your body so you can lose body fat while getting stronger and leaner. 
  • Don’t over-eat after a workout. It will just negate the positive results of exercising. On the contrary, eating less than what you need will deprive your body of important nutrients. As a result, muscle building cannot be achieved and effective weight loss cannot be sustained. 
  • Don’t worry about putting on more weight despite exercising regularly and eating right. This just means that you’re losing body fat and gaining more muscle.


  • Get seven to eight hours of quality sleep so your body can efficiently metabolize the nutrients from your diet and all the organ systems in your body can function well. Consequently, you will be more mentally and physically energized during your waking hours. On top of that, you will be more capable of burning extra calories while having the right mindset when it comes to what you eat.


There are various ways to know what your body fat percentage is. A skinfold caliper can be used to measure external fat (subcutaneous), while a bioelectrical impedance machine which you can find in commercial fitness centers can be used to measure both external and internal fat (visceral). A more expensive but accurate way to measure fat is a body composition machine such as underwater or hydrostatic weighing and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). No matter what method you choose, seek the help of a health professional to ensure the accuracy of the test.