Ideal Body Fat Percentage for a Woman

Obesity is a common problem nowadays. The human body is made up of muscles, bones, ligaments, fluids, and cartilage. A certain amount of fat is essential to perform various bodily functions such as regulate the body temperature, protect and insulate the organs and tissues, etc. Fat is also the main form of energy storage. The percentage of fat accumulated in the human body is called fat percentage. For example, if you weigh 130 pounds and have 10% fat, it means that your body consists of 13 pounds fat and 117 pounds lean body mass (bone, muscle, organ tissue, blood, etc.). This fat percentage determines whether you are just overweight or obese.


Many a time, you exercise and diet regularly, but you cannot see the expected change in your weight. The reason for this is that, sometimes, when you exercise and diet, your body fat decreases, but at the same time, your muscles get toned and built up. Therefore, when you are on a weight loss program, you must also refer to the ideal body fat percentage, which is different according to the gender and the age. If you are losing body fat and not seeing any significant change in your weight, you can see the change directly in the fat percentage. This is very motivational for weight loss. Moreover, motivation is very important in a weight loss program.

There are different methods to calculate the percentage of fat in the body, viz., bioelectric impedance and infrared interactance. In bioelectric impedance, a low-intensity electric signal is passed through the body. The electric signal can pass through the lean tissue since it is a good conductor of electricity. On the other hand, fat is a bad conductor of electricity and does not pass the electric signal. Through this, the body fat is calculated. In the infrared technique, an infrared light is focused on the skin and the body fat is calculated.

Chart for Women

Age Very Less Healthy Range Overweight Obese
20-30 yrs less than 21% 21-33% 33-39% more than 39%
31-40 yrs less than 21% 21-33% 33-39% more than 39%
41-50 yrs less than 23% 23-35% 35-40% more than 40%
51-60 yrs less than 23% 23-35% 35-40% more than 40%
61-70 yrs less than 24% 24-36% 36-42% more than 42%
71-80 yrs less than 24% 24-36% 36-42% more than 42%

Significance of Measuring Fat

It is very important to calculate the amount of body fat in women. There are certain health risks which can occur due to high-body fat. According to a research, if the body fat of a woman is greater than 32%, then the woman is considered obese and is at a higher risk of many diseases and disorders. These diseases include heart diseases, diabetes, cancer, etc. On the contrary, the fat percentage of a woman must not be less than 10%, otherwise, it have adverse effects on her health. Women who exercise regularly have 21-24% of fat. Women athletes have 14-20% of fat, while women who do not perform any kind of exercise or do not play any kind of sport have 25-30% of body fat.

Thus, along with the weight, you must also consider the body fat percentage while on a weight loss program.

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