# Can you use body fat % to calculate ideal weight?

Discussion in 'Calorie Counting' started by Caz, 18 April 2011 Social URL.

1. ### CazSlimming down the aisle

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This might sound like a stupid question! But I've been struggle to decide what my end goal will be, I've always been fat so don't know what is normal for me! I'd decided to not really set a goal but stop when I feel comfortable if that makes sense.

Anyway, I was thinking. I went and used one of the weight and body fat machine things so I know what my body fat percentage is now and also how much in weight of my body is fat. So, in theory, if my BF% now is 45% and I want to get it down to in the middle of the healthy range, so say 27%. I could take my weight now minus all the fat I currently have (11st non fat) and add 27% to that for a healthy weight for myself, yes? Does that make sense or does it not work that way? I'd never really thought of it this way before!

3. ### leighleighFull Member

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Hmm I'm not sure it does? 11stone = 154lbs. 27% of 154 = 41.58. 154+41.58 = 195.58lbs which is not in the healthy range. If thats what you were talking about doing, then no, you couldn't do it in that manner.

4. ### CazSlimming down the aisle

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Healthy range according to BMI, no. But BMI isn't exactly the be all and end all. To be honest, I wouldn't care if my BMI says 'overweight' if I was healthy, comfortable and had a good BF%.

You can use BF% to work out your weight minus all fat, which for me is 11 stone. So for me that's a BMI of 21, which suggest I should be around that or a little more. So if I have a lean mass of 11 stone minus all fat, the healthy range of BF is 21-33% (21-24% athletic, 24-29% fit, 29-33% healthy) so even if I went for 21%, that's 12st 2lbs, which gives me a BMI of 25.1 so that's technically overweight.

I don't really place all that much importance in BMI to be honest. I would think BF% is a better way to do it, but I don't know, it's just my thinking.

5. ### leighleighFull Member

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I wasn't explicitly referring to the BMI range, as I don't actually agree with BMI as a way of recording a person's 'health' - maybe when they standardise the test and there isn't so much fluctuation between sources, things will be different. I'm the same height as you, and my personal opinion is that 195lbs is too much - even if most of that was lean muscle. But then again that's just my own personal opinion about the way I would want my body to look and feel. Then again, I worked it out differently to you and so...

12 stone 2 is the weight I'm targeting, but I hadn't worked that out using BMI or BF. I'd just selected a number which I thought would a) look good on me and b) be achievable whilst building muscle.

At the end of the day, my personal opinion is that weight loss can get too wrapped up in numbers. I'm not one for BMI or BF really, though I do keep track of my BF% so I can sure at least some progress is being made. Though I only check it maybe once every 2 or 3 months? To be honest just go with what you feel as opposed to what the numbers tell you. Did I tell you I hate maths?..

6. ### CazSlimming down the aisle

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Oh, I assumed you meant BMI. To be honest, I have no idea what would seem or feel normal or healthy for me, at all. I've always had people quite surprised at my weight because apparently I don't look it, though I don't know how much of that is being nice! So that's why I don't really know what would look good on me. I'm not really setting myself a goal for final weight because of that, am like you said, just seeing how it goes. It was more a wondering if it works than trying to set myself a goal, if that makes sense. Funnily enough, after working it out for me, it's almost exactly what the Dukan website says would be my ideal weight surprisingly.

7. ### FattackLikes to eat

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From personal experience when I was a dancer and swam a lot as a teen (but was still a bit overweight - with low body fat), unless you exercise a lot, it's quite unlikely you'll have a healthy body fat % and a BMI that's in the overweight range. It tends to be the other way around if anything.

As an aside, despite all the exercise I'm clocking, I'm finding it hard to lower my body fat %. In fact, this week I'm actually .6% higher in body fat than I was when I was 4.5lbs heavier XD I think, for me at least, I'm going to keep doing what I'm doing, upping my protein a little, try to stay within my fats, get to my goal, and then it should all balance out as I maintain my activity Building muscle = losing fat!

Just pick a number that sounds achievable to you - it doesn't even have to be in the healthy BMI range, and then see how you feel when you get there ^^ If the Dukan number works for you then go for that!

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