The young population, predominantly female, struggles to go below their normal body fat percentage to attain the model size or size zero. Size zero might look good in glossy magazines and silver screen, but it is not a good idea to deprive your body of fat or other nutrients in reality.
What is normal body fat percentage?
The BMI is not the exact calculation for body fat percentage. A person with a normal body fat percentage might be overweight or underweight as per BMI. BMI does not take into account whether the weight comes from lean tissue and muscles or fatty tissues. Normal body fat percentage is the percentage of fat that your body accumulates. Your doctor can calculate this percentage by using a caliper to understand the body fat amount under the skin. You can also measure the fat percentage by underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, DEXA scan, Bod Pod, etc. Most of these methods are very expensive or hard to find.
Normal body fat percentage with regard to age
Since it is not readily plausible to calculate the fat percentage, here is an age-wise categorization for each gender. Women between the age of 20 and 39 should have 21-32% of body fat. Men of the same age can have 8-19% of fat. Women below 59 and above 40 should have 23-33% of body fat and 11-21% for men. Those who are above the age of 60 should have 24-35% (female) and 13-24% (male).
Normal body fat percentage and size zero
Size zero demands 31 inches of the bust, 23 inches of waist, and 32 inches of the hip in an adult. Such a standard requires very meager food and a ridiculously strict diet. Why is it not a healthy move to attain size zero?
Lack of normal body fat percentage leads to vitamin deficiency
If you wish to reach size zero, you should go way below the normal body fat percentage. It is healthy to keep body fat at the minimum level. However, your body does need fat for proper functioning. Essential vitamins like A, E, D, and K are soluble in fat. Thus, fat is essential to absorb these vitamins. Fat helps to regulate body temperature, keep your skin healthy, and avoid fatigue.
Emotional impact due to lack of normal body fat percentage
Your food habit will heavily influence your mental stability and emotions. The obsession with size zero can lead to anorexia nervosa, making you assume to be fat, even when you are very underweight. The struggle towards size zero can lead to depression, anxiety, personality disorder, low self-esteem, and even obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Bone disorders due to lack of adequate fat
The fat mass is essential to build bones. According to a study, women are three times more likely to suffer a hip fracture or develop osteoporosis than men. The struggle towards size zero can lead to fat deficiency, which will affect bone health.
Looking thin vs looking sick – the myth of body fat
If your body contains more fat than adequate, you are obese. But, if your body tends to hold too little fat, you would look sick. Fat is essential for glowing skin, lush hair, and good bones. Thus, if you reduce your fat consumption considerably, it would lead to lifeless hair, dry and pale skin, and brittle nails.
Lack of fat leads to lack of concentration
Size zero demands staying below the recommended fat mass for a very long time, and such a deficiency would lead to reduced concentration and brainpower. Fat food does not improve concentration. But, your brain cells need healthy fats to perform effectively.
Size zero can lead to fatal disorders
Have you heard the models who have succumbed to death because of malnutrition? Fat deficiency and malnutrition can increase the risk of cardiovascular diseases, including atherosclerosis, hypertension, coronary heart disease, cardiac arrest, stroke, and others. Omega-3 fatty acid deficiency can lead to autoimmune and inflammatory disorders, like multiple sclerosis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Crohn’s disease, COPD, etc.
Fat deficiency can make you fat
Fat does not essentially make you fat. Fat helps the body to feel full after a meal, and it gives enough energy and endurance throughout the day. When you deprive your body of consuming fat, you tend to get more carbohydrates or other nutrients. Low-fat chips will be very high in sodium, carbohydrate, and other ingredients. If you skip both carbohydrates and fat, your diet will be rich in protein, which leads to liver and kidney problems. Thus, it is important to have a balanced meal.
How much fat should I consume?
It is not healthy to consume an enormous amount of fat too. The body fat percentage does not give a good gist about how much fat to consume. The fat required depends on your routine and daily calories. Someone consuming 1200 calories per day should not take less than 27g of fat and more than 47g. A person with a 2000 calorie diet should take up to 78g of fat and more than 44g. In short, 20-35 percentage of daily calories should come from fat.
How to maintain a healthy body fat percentage
The first step is to maintain a healthy diet. Diet does not essentially mean depriving nutrients. All macro and micronutrients should be a part of your daily meal in moderation. Exercise and a good sleep cycle are crucial. It is important to add good fats to your diet than bad fats. If you are buying processed food, it is healthier to eat the normal version than the low-fat or sugar-free ones.
If you believe that you are overweight even after following a healthy diet, it is essential to get a doctor’s opinion. There could be a medical explanation or an underlying medical condition leading to the accumulation of more fat. Please do not go around and buy supplements and diet pills to reduce your weight.