Body Fat Percentages: pictures of women & men
There are some Challenges on Tribesports which are all about getting your body fat percentage below a certain level. This is an excellent measure of health and fitness (and much more accurate than scales such as BMI) but there are certain levels you should not go below: fat is necessary for your body to function.
Men and women's essential fat levels are different; essential fat means the minimum amount of fat that you need to survive.
Men can live at 3% body fat though not comfortably - the body does not naturally maintain this level. Whereas, women need around 8% but would be unable to menstrate and it is definitely not a healthy body compositon.
The higher essential fat levels of women combined with the fact that male testosterone levels build larger muscles contribute to the size and shape differences between men and women.
Women have a higher level of fat due to breast tissue and cushioning around the uterus.
Marc Perry from the website Built Lean has put together some very useful images to demonstrate the varying body fat percentages in women and men:
These images are just examples of what these body fat percentages can look like - different body shapes with gain weight in different areas to others. Typically men are more likely to have excess fat on their guts whereas women will have it on the thighs, hips, buttocks and guts (sorry ladies!).
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