4 Important Factors for Weight Loss

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4 Important Factors for Weight Loss

That's why experts now suggest that women ditch body weight as a fitness benchmark and look to body composition as a better gauge of how healthy they are. The most practical and accurate way to measure body fat is a skin-fold caliper test. This can be up to 96 percent accurate if the average of three tests is used and it's done by an experienced tester. The test is offered at most gyms. However, results on people of color may be skewed by an additional 1-3 percent because the formulas most commonly used in health clubs are derived from research performed primarily on white subjects.

For optimum fitness, a study in The Physician and Sportsmedicine points to an ideal body-fat-percentage range between 16 and 25. Less than 12 percent can be dangerous to your health, while more than 32 percent puts you at higher risk for disease and a shorter life span.

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