The limitations of body fat percentage

Why is the fitness industry obsessed with percentage of body fat? Especially with its limitations and there are many other specific parameters that could be monitored such as, skeletal muscle mass and body fat mass.

What is body fat percent?

Most people believe it’s the percent of body fat on your body. Sounds cliché, but in fact it’s a percentage of body fat in comparison to your total weight. NOT in comparison to muscle alone, which is what most people generally think.

What is your percentage of body fat?

People really obsess over their body fat percent, even though it can be changed without changing their body fat. Everybody asks, “what’s your percentage of body fat?” when they should be asking “how many kilograms of body fat do you have?” or “how many kilograms of skeletal muscle mass do you have?”

Body fat percentage limitations.

Percentage of body fat can be a useful tool, but you must be aware of the limitations. By just monitoring your percentage of body fat, without looking at other parameters restricts you in assessing the rest of your overall health. Your percentage of body fat is relevant to weight. What happens when you change your weight? You can change your percentage of body fat without actually changing your body fat mass. For example, if you drank 5 litres of water, your body weight would go up and your percentage of body fat would go down, yet you have lost no body fat. This could be done in 5 minutes or as long as it takes to drink the water. Therefore, this method has a major flaw. However, if you specifically monitored the amount in kilograms of skeletal muscle mass and body fat mass, this would give a true picture as to what is actually changing. Body fat percentage doesn’t always show an increase or decrease of body fat. A more precise method to look at the overall picture of body composition would be for someone to list how many kilograms of body fat they have. Including, how much visceral fat they have and skeletal muscle mass.

Calculated analysis.

The InBody scans you for you, your scan is unique as you are. However, under the calculated analysis section you will find the body mass index (BMI) and percentage of body fat. We all know the limitations associated with your BMI and now we hope you know the limitations in percentage of body fat. We like to stair clear on focusing on these specific metrics.

Body composition as a whole.

The InBody 570 gives over 40 parameters, percentage of body fat is just one of them. There are many more precise parameters you should monitor. It’s not just about the scale and it’s not just about the percentage of body fat.  All the other parameters have equal importance and they should be monitored accordingly. We encourage people to embrace new technology and new ways to look at body composition.

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