Body Fat Percentage Calculator
Use this calculator to estimate your body fat percentage.
This is a good tool for measuring fat loss progress since the scale isn’t always accurate due to weight fluctuations.
What is Body Fat Percentage?
Body fat percentage is the proportion of your bodyweight that is comprised of fat tissue.
Body fat percentage usually relates to your fitness level and it can be a better indicator of health than your BMI.
Here’s how the American Council on Exercise relates the body fat percentage of men and women to their level of fitness.
MEN | WOMEN | |
Essential Fat | 2-5% | 10-13% ** |
Athletes | 6-14% | 14-20% ** |
Fitness | 14-17% | 21-24% |
Acceptable | 18-24% | 25-31% |
Obesity* | 25%+ | 32%+ |
*Men are considered borderline at 25% body fat and clinically obese at 30%, while women are borderline at 30% and clinically obese at 35% body fat.
**A lower body fat percentage for women increases chance of amenorrhoea (cessation of menstruation).
How Tracking Body Fat Percentage is Useful When Counting Macros
Measuring and tracking body fat percentage is normal when counting macros for several reasons.
- Knowing your body fat percentage is important in formulating an accurate TDEE (total daily energy expenditure). Most standard formulas base their calculations on what is considered to be an “average” body fat percentage. Therefore, those with a high BF% or those with a low BF% will have skewed results when using the standard TDEE formula. Special calculations are needed for obese individuals as well as those that are very fit.
- Most flexible dieters are aiming to decrease their fat mass and increase their muscle mass. Tracking BF% change is a great way of tracking progress.
- Knowing your body fat percentage allows you to calculate how many pounds of fat your body has. This helps you establish a realistic and healthy goal weight.
What About Electronic Devices?
Electronic body fat percentage devices have become pretty popular but I’ve found most to be inconsistent and inaccurate. In fact, don’t even bother using the scales with BF% built-in or those handheld devices.
Some gyms have immersion tanks and these are probably the most accurate for measuring BF% electronically. Apart from that, using calipers with the skinfold method is the best option and will provide you with a better estimation.
Having Body Fat is Healthy
Having some body fat is healthy and the body actually needs fat tissue to regulate hormone production and body temperature. Having too low BF% poses health risks.
Alarmingly, there’s a trend with men in the IIFYM community to get down to an extremely low BF% where the skin is so void of fat that just about every muscle striation is visible.
This isn’t sustainable or healthy. Guys really shouldn’t strive for anything lower than 5% and women 13% if they want their bodies to function optimally.
How to Calculate Lean Body Mass
If you know your body fat percentage then you can quickly calculate your lean body mass. Simply convert your body fat percentage to pounds of fat and then subtract this from your total body weight. This will be your lean mass.
Example: If you are a woman who weighs 160 pounds and has a body fat percentage of 26% then you have 41.6 pounds of fat (160x.26) and 118.4 pounds of lean mass (160-41.6).
How to Calculate Muscle Mass
If you have calculated your body fat percentage, then you are just a few steps away from calculating your muscle mass. Your muscle mass will make up the bulk of the weight of your lean mass which is your body fat weight subtracted from your total weight.
Your bones make up 12-15% of your body weight. 12% for woman and 15% for men. (This is an average but it gives you a good estimate.)
Other bodily tissues like nervous, skin, connective, and lymphatic make up about 25%.
Therefore, your muscle mass will make up the remainder of your body weight. This is generally 40-50% but depends on your body fat percentage and what’s left over after subtracting the other weight from your other tissues.
Example: If you are a man and weigh 190 pounds with 15% body fat, here’s how to calculate this man’s muscle mass:
- 190x.15= 28.5 pounds of fat.
- 190x.15= 28.5 pounds of bone.
- 190x.25= 48 pounds of other tissues.
- 190x.45= 85.5 pounds of muscle.
How to calculate your muscle mass in kg
If you want to convert your muscle mass from pounds to kilograms you can do so with some simple math.
1 lb = 0.45359237 kg
So if you have 85.5 pounds of muscle like the guy in the above example you would have 38.8 kg of muscle.
85.5 x 0.45359237 = 38.78
Other Helpful Calculators
See also the IIFYM Macro Calculator and Ideal Body Weight Calculator.
- Jackson, A. S., & Pollock, M. L. (1978). Generalized equations for predicting body density of men. British Journal of Nutrition, 40, 497-504.
- Jackson, A. S., Pollock, M. L., & Ward, A. (1980). Generalized equations for predicting body density of women. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 12, 175-182.
25 Comments
I have 2 questions about your calculations. I understand that you just need to multiply one’s body fat% with one’s current weight to get one’s fat in weight. But in your calculations you also calculated 0.15 for bone density, 0.25 for other tissue, and 0.45 for muscle mass.
Are the numbers used here for bone, other tissue and muscle mass constants that are used for all such calculations? If not, then from where are these numbers derived?
Thanks
Hi Mark, Those other calculations would be based on averages. People would have slightly different percentages in reality. This just gives you an estimate.
I’m going on 68 4/9/01 and 13.8 fat, total body muscle 36%, and bone mass 8.2, is that good?
Hi Floyd, you’d be in the “athletic” range for a male which is great! I’d just recommend working on adding more muscle mass.
I’m currently working on my certifications through ISSA. Although I have one question in regards to personal fitness. So I’m 5’4, and I weigh 124 pounds. My body fat is 16% and my muscle is at 97.8lb, BMI is 21.5.
If I were to be at 116 pounds while maintaining my muscle, what would my body fat percentage be at?
Hi Grace, You mean your lean mass is at 97.8 pounds not muscle mass. Lean mass is bone, nervous, and muscle tissue. If this stays the same and you drop to 116 pounds this means you have 18.2 pounds of fat or 15.6% body fat. Your current body fat percentage is 21% not 16% based on the stats you listed.
1 weigh 203.2 lbs. my height is 5’11. What is my body fat percentage supposed to be?
Hi Gogo, To be in the healthy range your body fat should be between 18-22%.
yes my body fat is 25% and i want it to stay that way . I don’t want to turn them into muscles and become so lean. My husband said he want to feel some little fluffiness when he hugs me
Thanks for the warning against too low BFP. My BFP has gone too low, and I am suffering health problems. My bones are aching most of the time. And I have constant pain in my stomach. Why didn’t I wake up when my friends were trying to warn me. I have an inactive thryroid, and depend on thyroxins to function as a thryroid. Too much of them act as an overactive thyroid, too little of them act as an underactive thryroid. Guess the thyroxins were too much for me. Now I’ve decreased the dosage, and my brisk walking, and am eating more. It’s working. Because my weight has started increasing again. I’ve gone from 47.8kg to 49.3kg and will not rest until I weigh at least 51kg. I was at my healthiest then.
Whats the formula to calculate this?
I’m 55 female 5’6 220lbs body BMI 34.9%
Body fat 49.2
I’m doing the Keto and can’t figure out how to do the macros. I need to lose 60lbs. I was told not to go over 20 grams of carbs.
Will you please help me.
Please see our Keto Calculator here.
Do you want me to measure three time each time I measure to get a mean?
Yes, it is recommended to do each measurement 3 times and then take the mean. This improves accuracy.
So I am 155 lb 5,8 height runner need to know my cal intake
Hi Sandra, You can use our macro calculator here or you can select one of our coaching options. When you sign up for coaching you would describe your runs to me and then I’ll calculate your calorie/ macro requirements.
Hey y’all
So I weigh 190 pounds. I’m super short (5’2). I never really weighed myself because I hated the number. I’m usually a size 8 in pants though and have a 30 inch waist. I do work out very often and lift heavy. So it’s nice to see and know that most of my weight is muscle!! Wooo
160%… Must take up rapid fat loss regime. Oooor… You could add ‘height’ to the list of measurements required 🤔
I like this simple, no nonsense formula. Yes, I realize it may not be 100% accurate, but I’m sick of all those calculators that require me to measure neck, wrists etc… just to get something very similar.
pff based on this i’m supposed to be dead because i have -1.59%
no if you havea negative bf% it means that you might have heart problems etc
Thanks For This.