How to calculate body fat to lose

How to calculate body fat to lose

Learn how to calculate your body fat percentage and use it as a tool to lose weight effectively. This article will guide you through the process step-by-step.

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Losing weight can be a challenging task, especially when you are not sure where to start. However, one way to measure your progress and set achievable goals is by calculating your body fat percentage. In this article, we will guide you through the process of calculating your body fat and using it as a tool to lose weight effectively.

Step 1: Understand what body fat is

Body fat is the amount of fat in your body that is not essential to your overall health. It is important to have some body fat, but too much can lead to health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure. Body fat is stored in adipose tissue, which can be found under the skin, around organs, and in bone marrow.

Step 2: Measure your body fat

There are several ways to measure your body fat, including skinfold calipers, bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA) scans. Skinfold calipers are a simple and inexpensive method that involves pinching the skin and measuring the thickness of the fold. BIA uses a small electrical current to measure the resistance of body tissues, while DEXA scans use low-dose x-rays to measure bone density and body composition.

Step 3: Calculate your body fat percentage

Once you have your measurements, you can use a body fat calculator or formula to determine your body fat percentage. One popular formula is the Navy Method, which uses your height, neck, and waist circumference to estimate your body fat percentage. Other formulas include the Jackson-Pollock 3 Site Caliper Method and the Durnin-Womersley 4 Site Caliper Method.

Step 4: Determine your ideal body fat percentage

Your ideal body fat percentage will depend on your age, gender, and overall health. Generally, a healthy range for men is between 10-20%, and for women, it is between 20-30%. However, it is important to consult with a healthcare professional to determine what is a healthy range for you.

Step 5: Set a weight loss goal

Once you have determined your body fat percentage, you can set a weight loss goal. Aim to lose 1-2 pounds per week, which is a safe and sustainable rate of weight loss. This means creating a calorie deficit of 500-1000 calories per day, depending on your weight loss goal.

Step 6: Create a calorie deficit

To lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit by consuming fewer calories than your body burns. This can be achieved through a combination of reducing your calorie intake and increasing your physical activity. Aim to reduce your daily calorie intake by 500-1000 calories, depending on your weight loss goal.

Step 7: Incorporate strength training

Strength training can help you build muscle and increase your metabolism, which can help you burn more calories even at rest. Aim to do strength training exercises at least 2-3 times per week. This can include exercises such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, or resistance band workouts.

Step 8: Add cardio to your routine

Cardiovascular exercise can help you burn calories and improve your overall health. Aim to do moderate-intensity cardio for at least 150 minutes per week, or vigorous-intensity cardio for at least 75 minutes per week. This can include activities such as running, cycling, swimming, or dancing.

Step 9: Monitor your progress

Regularly tracking your body fat percentage and weight can help you stay motivated and make adjustments to your weight loss plan if necessary. Aim to weigh yourself and measure your body fat once a week. You can also take progress photos or use a tape measure to track changes in your body composition.

Step 10: Stay consistent

Consistency is key when it comes to losing weight and reducing body fat. Aim to make healthy lifestyle choices such as eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, and managing stress. Remember that weight loss is a journey, and it takes time and effort to achieve your goals.


Calculating your body fat percentage can be a useful tool to help you lose weight and improve your overall health. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can determine your body fat percentage, set achievable weight loss goals, and create a plan to achieve them. Remember to stay consistent and make healthy lifestyle choices that will support your weight loss journey.

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