The norm of fat in a woman’s body: minimum and maximum indicators, ways to reduce body fat

Leaning is not a sign of health. It is much more important that the fat content is normal. Crucial is also the combination of bone and muscle mass and water. The norm of fat content in a woman's body needs to be known not only to losing weight. It will be useful for those who simply respect their health. To feel good and have an active life, a certain proportion of fat in a woman’s body is needed. The norm of this indicator varies in the region to be 15-25%, and for a man - 12-19%. Deviations in one direction can cause problems. The fact is that fat has its own functions, which should be remembered if you want to look good.

What is it needed for

the mass of fat in a woman's body is normal

A female body cannot exist without fat. It is he who provides the synthesis of sex hormones, normal MC, and enables fertility.

Without fat, there will be no protection for internal organs and bones. The fat layer provides:

  • normal functioning of the immune system;
  • helps to accumulate energy, and this supports the person;
  • helps the absorption of vitamins;
  • allows you to conduct nerve impulses that promote movement;
  • participates in the delivery of nutrients to myocytes;
  • maintains a stable body temperature;
  • protects the body organs from negative consequences in case of any injuries, taking all the blows first;
  • softens the joints.

Fats are carriers of flavor in food, which is why people like to eat them. No matter how athletic a person is, it is impossible for him to live without a certain amount of fat. Therefore, do not give up fat for the sake of fashion.


what is the norm of body fat in women

With age, the amount of fat in the body increases. The basis of this phenomenon is age-related overeating and decreased physical activity.

In the human body, there are 2 types of fat:

  • subcutaneous - it can be felt, it is external;
  • visceral (internal).

Subcutaneous fat is metabolically less active, and visceral is rapidly broken down. Important: when trying to lose weight, visceral fat leaves first; moreover, he begins to leave precisely from the abdomen. With a weight loss of only 5-10%, fat in the abdominal cavity is reduced by 10-30%.

Features of Visceral Fat

All organs are covered with a film, under which there is fat, enveloping all these organs. This is visceral fat. If the internal fat in the woman’s body is normal, then it acts as a reserve for the body. You will not see it visually, but when the indicators are exceeded, the proportions of the body are violated: the stomach is protruding forward. Although visceral fat is necessary for organs, since it serves as protection for them, but with excess it becomes dangerous. If we talk about what norm of visceral fat in the body of a woman should be present, then experts determine an indicator of 15% of the total amount of fat. This applies not only to women, but also to men. With its excess, varicose veins, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes mellitus, all problems with blood vessels, atherosclerosis occur. An excess of such fat is visible at the waist - in women it is more than 80 cm.

There are also essential and accumulated fats.


These are omega-3 fatty acids. Sources can be sea fish, nuts, seeds, olive oil, etc. Without them, the heart and liver do not work well, fat-soluble vitamins A, K, D cannot be synthesized.


If calories consumed are not immediately used for functioning, they are converted to triglycerides. During fasting or other frequent calorie deficiency, the body uses this accumulated fat, which depletes reserves and causes weight loss.

Is BMI Definition Important in Obesity?

normal body fat

The BMI formula is based on height and weight. It has been used since the mid-19th century, but has become popular in recent decades. It was considered a way to measure healthy weight. A BMI of less than 18.5 indicates a lack of weight, from 18.5 to 24.9 - weight is normal, from 25 to 30 - excess of the norm, but not yet obesity, from 30.1 and more - obesity.

But the minus is that BMI only orientates how heavy you are, and does not make any difference between the fat layer and muscles, that is, it does not say anything about body composition. Namely, this indicator is the main one.

Therefore, in such cases, a physically active woman can fall into the category of puffy people, but it is clear that she has much less fat and more muscle than a woman with a sedentary pastime. Muscles are always three times heavier than fat and take up less space. If active training shows weight gain, this is progress, and you should not give up classes. That is, BMI in itself is an indicator of false health.

Body fat percentage

His indicators are affected by gender, heredity, age.

Many experts say that the norm of fat mass in a woman’s body is from 16 to 25%. And although people try to reduce this figure in every possible way, it is worth remembering that below 15% is the result of ill health. With it, osteoporosis and fatigue develops, and MC is lost altogether.

Miscellaneous indicators

10-12% is the minimum level possible for bodybuilders. Everything is intertwined with veins and muscle grooves are visible.

15-17% is the second level of fat. The figure is typical for most models. There are practically no hips and buttocks, but shoulders, abs and arms are expressed. The problems in the body are clear.

20-22% - typical for most athletes. There is not much fat on the extremities, abs cubes are clearly visible.

25% is the percentage of more women. This percentage is the norm of fat in a woman's body (photo is presented below). Such a woman is not thin, but not fat. Booty and hip bending are present.

the proportion of fat in the body is normal in women

30% - accumulation of fat in the buttocks and thighs, which become pronounced. This indicator is the upper limit of the norm for the proportion of fat in the body of a woman.

35% - hips grow in breadth, face and neck are rounded. ABOUT more than 100 cm, FROM - 80 cm. The abdomen begins to hang.

40% - hips more than 106 cm, waist - 90 cm. On a stomach a life buoy.

45% - there are more circles, hips more than 115 cm, waist more than 90 cm. The pelvis exceeds the shoulders.

50% - hips increase in volume and significantly exceed the width of the shoulders. They are more than 120 cm, waist - 101 cm. Half the weight is fat.

So, the norm of fat content in a woman’s body:

  • athletes: from 15 to 20%;
  • overweight: more than 33%;
  • healthy / acceptable: 25 to 32%;
  • active woman: from 21 to 24%.

Minimum percentage

Scientists have deduced at least a fraction of a% of fat, which cannot be dropped below due to health risks. The rate of fat in a woman’s body varies from 13 to 16% to a minimum depending on age:

  1. Age ≤ 30 - 13% (15-23).
  2. 30-50 - 15% (19-25).
  3. 50 and older - 16% (20-27).

And what is the norm of body fat in women living in countries with very cold climates? In this case, the percentage of fat increases by 5-7%. In appearance, this can not be determined. Because in such individuals, the metabolism is rearranged to accumulate the fat layer, which will protect the person in critical conditions.

If the norm of fat in a woman’s body in% is on average from 16 to 25, such a woman is outwardly attractive and has good health, and the reproductive system works fine.

How to calculate the ideal ratio?

There are more than 10 calculation methods. Below is one of them.

Step 1: Find out your fat rate by age. Recommendations on the age-related content of normal levels of fat in a woman's body are presented below.

20-40 years old:

  • shortage - less than 21%;
  • normal - 21-33%;
  • oversupply - 33-39%;
  • obesity - more than 39%;

41-60 years old:

  • shortage - less than 23%;
  • normal - 23-35%;
  • oversupply - 35-40%;
  • obesity - more than 40%.

After 61 years:

  • shortage: less than 24%
  • normal: 36-42%,
  • obesity: more than 42%.

Step 2: Weigh yourself several days at the same time.

Step 3: Calculate your BMI.

Step 4: Calculate% fat: substitute the BMI result for the formula:

(1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x age) - 5.4 =% body fat.

Step 5: compare the result and step 1. You will get a full alignment of how far from ideal.

How to measure your percentage of fat?

Jewelry accuracy is useless. The easiest way to undress to underwear and very carefully examine yourself.

Wardrobe method - measuring clothes. For accurate results, purchase a measuring instrument of fat folds in the pharmacy - caliper. Those who are very economical can use a vernier caliper and tape measure, since the principle of operation is the same. There are points on the body (key places), measuring which you accurately determine the total amount of subcutaneous fat.

How to use a caliper

caliper use

There are some rules:

  1. Measurements with an assistant.
  2. If you are right-handed, pull the fold and hold it with your left hand.
  3. The jaws of the device may open slightly. Try to get a hold of yourself.
  4. Before releasing the skin, do not press on the jaw of the caliper.

Where to take measurements?

Point number 1. Triceps - a vertical fold is taken immediately in the center of the back surface of the arm.

Point number 2. Biceps - the same fold, but on the other hand.

Point number 3. Shoulder - the fold is taken just below the shoulder blade.

Point number 4. Waist.

How to apply the received measurements?

The obtained 4 values ​​in mm are added up, and the percentage of fat is found in a special table.


In clinics and health centers, measurements of fat percentage are performed using MRI, X-ray scanning, and bio-impedance (the device emits weak electrical pulses through the body, and the proportion of fat is calculated from the speed of their passage).

Measurement rules

normal body fat of a woman photo

For a woman, measurements are taken on day 3-7 of the MC. Otherwise, the data obtained will be inaccurate, because puffiness increases before menstruation. Calculations are enough once a month. For athletes, before important starts, tests are carried out once a week.

The following rules are as follows:

  • the assessment is carried out on an empty stomach, that is, it is forbidden to eat 3-4 hours before measurement;
  • minimize consumption of salt and drink 3 days before the measurement;
  • folds are measured in the morning, as swelling may appear in the afternoon;
  • winter measurements are most accurate;
  • it is better to delay skin folds with a caliper, this will reduce the error;
  • the test is done before active training;
  • it is useful the day before the measurements to drink a liter of lingonberry juice to get rid of excess moisture.

Fat distribution

With age, the fat content always increases, especially after menopause. This is due to its ability to spread around organs and muscles.

The minimum fat indicator does not indicate the ideal body. To form a figure, physical activity is necessary.

Deterioration of health and the appearance of pathologies indicates that there is an excess in sports.

How to reduce the percentage of body fat?

normal body fat

Even if your indicators are not ideal, and you are constantly striving to reduce weight, you cannot go beyond the physiological norm. Recently, it has been proven that drastic diets and quick results are especially dangerous for the elderly.

If the norm of fat in a woman’s body is exceeded, first adjust your lifestyle. Of the physical activities, the best are cardio loads (bike, jumping, swimming and even walking). They burn fat.


Extreme diets are impractical because fluid and muscle go away, but not fat. In addition, strict diets are stressful, and the body begins to store fat in a panic, rather than spend it. Only change the quality of food.

What to do:

  1. Enlarge Protein - A Building Material For Muscles. Simple carbohydrates are either significantly reduced or eliminated altogether - sweets, muffins, white flour. Instead, cereals and pasta.
  2. Refuse sausages and semi-finished products. All of them contain chemistry and trans fats. Replace them with natural meat, poultry and fish. More greens, vegetables and fresh fruits.
  3. Refusal from mayonnaise, fried, sauces, animal fats - a minimum.
  4. Fractional nutrition, at one time, at least 5 times a day.
  5. Drink more water - up to 2 liters.

Short-term results are short-lived. So give yourself time - go forward with slow but steady steps. And remember: there is no healthy fullness.


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