We believe that, when it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, knowledge is power. And an important number to know is your body fat percentage. Why? Well, in addition to providing a precise measure of your health, it also allows you to ensure that any weight you are losing is fat, not muscle, which is what we want!

In this article, I will guide you through the process of calculating body fat and explain why it is crucial for your overall well-being and fitness journey.

Want to slim down? Focus on fat loss, not weight loss

How & Why we Calculate Body Fat

Body fat percentage is a measurement that determines how much of your body is composed of fat mass in relation to lean mass. Unlike simply weighing yourself on a scale, calculating body fat provides a more accurate picture of your health. 

There are several methods to calculate body fat, including the skinfold measurement, which involves pinching the skin in various areas of the body to measure the thickness of the subcutaneous fat layer (that’s what Audrey is doing with client Brooke in the image above). These measurements are then used in a mathematical formula to estimate your body fat percentage. While this method may not be 100% accurate, it is a practical and convenient way to keep track of your progress over time (and one we use with our clients).

If you are looking to figure out your body fat on your own, we have a handy body fat calculator you can use. It isn’t 100% accurate but will provide a good sense and a baseline for you to track against as you progress. Be sure to choose the ‘tape’ measurement option!

Understanding your body fat percentage is important because it gives you a deeper understanding of your overall health. High body fat percentages are associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases, such as heart disease and diabetes. Knowing your body fat percentage allows you to set realistic goals and tailor your fitness and nutrition plans accordingly.

Fat Loss vs. Weight Loss

When it comes to achieving your health and fitness goals, it’s essential to understand the difference between fat loss and weight loss. Many people focus solely on the number on the scale, but this can be misleading because a lower number on the scale does not necessarily mean you are losing fat; part (or all) of it could be muscle mass or water weight. 

If you would like to become leaner and lighter, your goal should be to lose not weight – but fat. Ideally, while maintaining or even increasing lean muscle mass. This will improve your body composition, enhance your metabolism, achieve a leaner and more toned physique, and enhance your overall health and well-being.

need help?

At Nielsen Fitness, we understand that achieving your health and fitness goals can be challenging. That’s why we have developed a proven method that combines personalized workouts and ongoing support to help you achieve sustainable results.

Our in-home personal training services in Toronto, Hamilton, and Collingwood, as well as virtual training options, allow us to meet you wherever you are on your fitness journey. Our experienced trainers will guide you through effective workouts, provide nutritional guidance, and offer continuous support, ensuring you stay motivated and on track. Request a complimentary first workout – here.