You’ve been hitting the gym hard and tracking your progress, but how do you really know if what you’re doing is actually making a difference? Two common metrics used to evaluate physical fitness are body mass index (BMI) and body fat percentage. But is BMI the same as body fat percentage? Let’s dive in and explore the differences between these two measurements.
What is BMI?
Your BMI number is an indication of your weight relative to your height. This can give you an idea of whether or not you are at a healthy weight—although it isn't always accurate. BMI doesn't take into account things like age, gender, muscle mass, or bone density, which can all have an effect on your overall health. Therefore, someone with a high muscle mass could have a higher than average BMI but still be perfectly healthy.
On the other hand, somebody with a lower BMI but higher body fat percentage could be classified as overweight or obese according to their BMI even though they may not necessarily be unhealthy in terms of their overall body composition. The bottom line here is that while it's helpful to know your BMI number for reference purposes, it's important to remember that this number does not tell the full story about your health.
What is Body Fat Percentage?
Body fat percentage tells us how much of our total body weight comes from fat versus lean mass (muscle). This gives us a more accurate idea of our overall health because it takes into account factors such as age, gender, muscle mass, bone density, etc., unlike BMI which only measures weight and height. Generally speaking, men should have a body fat percentage of between 8-19%, while women should have a body fat percentage between 21-33%. If you fall outside of these ranges then it could indicate that changes need to be made in order to reach optimal health levels.
So while it may seem like they are similar concepts at first glance, there are some subtle yet significant differences between BMI and body fat percentage when it comes to measuring physical fitness levels. Knowing both numbers can help you create an exercise plan that works for your individual needs and goals so that you can improve your overall health and well-being!