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Body Fat Percentage Calculator

Body fat percentage is the percentage of your body weight that’s fat. A healthy body fat percentage for men is 8 to 17% body fat, and for women it’s 15 to 24%. The best way to measure and track your body fat percentage is to weigh yourself daily, and take caliper and waist measurements and progress pictures every two weeks.

Body fat percentage is the percentage of your body weight that’s fat. A healthy body fat percentage for men is 8 to 17% body fat, and for women it’s 15 to 24%. The best way to measure and track your body fat percentage is to weigh yourself daily, and take caliper and waist measurements and progress pictures every two weeks.

Frequently Asked Questions

How lean do you need to be to get great abs?

Most men need to be at least 12% body fat before they can see their abs clearly, and most women need to be around 24% body fat.

To get “six-pack-level” abs, most men need to be 10% body fat or lower, and most women need to be at least 20% body fat.

And to make your abs really “pop,” most guys need to be at least 8% body fat, and most women need to be at least 18% body fat.

What’s the lowest body fat percentage you can maintain?

Research hasn’t produced a definitive answer to this question, but anecdotally speaking, after having worked with thousands of men and women, I’ve found that the majority are happiest with how they look and feel when they’re in the upper end of the “athletic” range, or around 8 to 12% body fat for men and 18 to 22% body fat for women.

This is lean enough to have abs and fantastic muscle definition and some vascularity, but not so lean that every day feels like an uphill battle against lethargy and irritability. Most people can also maintain this level of leanness without meticulously counting calories, following a rigid meal plan, or doing excessive amounts of exercise.

Personally, I like to hang out around 9 to 10% body fat for most of the year because it’s easy to maintain on my normal workout schedule, and it keeps me within striking distance of lower body fat levels if I feel like getting really lean.

What’s the most accurate method of calculating body fat percentage?

Aside from skinfold caliper measurements, the most common ways of calculating body fat percentage are:

  • Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), which measures your body’s resistance to a light electrical current and uses the result to estimate your body fat percentage.
  • Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), which uses a full-body X-ray to calculate your body fat percentage.
  • Bod Pod, which measures your body’s density and uses the result to estimate your body fat percentage.

Many people claim that these high-tech methods are much more accurate than using skinfold caliper measurements and pictures, but research shows this is false. While some of these methods can produce accurate results for groups (particularly DXA), none of them work well for estimating an individual’s body fat percentage, as they can over- or underestimate your true body fat percentage by 5 to 15% or more.

That is, a BIA device might pin your body fat percentage at 10%, when you could be 25% body fat in reality.

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