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Basic Concepts. Percentage of body fat

The percentage of body fat, although less used, is also one of the methods for evaluating excess weight.

There are various methods for evaluating body fat, such as calculating it from skin folds or using specially designed electronic instruments.

Whatever the chosen method, it is considered that the normal values in men vary between 12% and 20%. In women, the normal is between 20% and 30% body fat.

The limit at which there is considered to be clear excess weight is 25% in men and 33% in women.


Contrary to what most people think, there are no exact figures for healthy weight; as you have seen in the Body Mass Index section, it varies within wide margins. This tells us that we can vary in weight, gain or lose weight (providing this is gradual and moderate) and still be a healthy weight.

Example: Let’s imagine an adult who is 1.75 m tall. Their healthy weight can vary between 56.6 kg (BMI 18.5) and 76.2 kg (BMI 24.9), that is, it can vary by 19.6 kg and still be normal.

Of course, we would take a significant and rapid increase or decrease in BMI as an alarm signal. In such a case, it is advisable to consult a health professional.

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