In my studio I use a bio-impedence scale to measure weight and body fat ratio (one of my clients has lovingly dubbed this the "porkometer"). As this is an upper-end, home-use scale and not a more commercial model, the results should really be taken only as a rough guide--there is a much higher degree of inaccuracy with these--but, if you do your testing at the same time of the day each time, before coffee or other liquids and (if you're a woman who still has their cycle--I am through with those myself) at the same time in your monthly cycle, then it can be useful to see the differences over some period of time. I recently stepped onto a more commercial version of this scale at our local health fair and had pretty much the same result so I'm going to assume mine is relatively accurate.
This morning I weighed in at 19.7 % fat -- and this is a little lower than the healthy range for my age group (40 - 59 years). The healthy range for us is, apparently, 23 - 34% (ed: by "healthy" I mean "average"--not necessarily active). For men in this age group it's 11 - 22%. My bf, whose only exercise these days is occasional walks and short stints on our exercise bike weighed in at 23%. Women in the 20 - 39 years age group should be somewhere between 21 and 33%. Athletes (women) will sometimes be as low as 14% for women (any lower can be dangerous) and 8% for men. There are, of course, always exceptions to these rules.
From the American Council on Exercise:
General Body Fat Percentage Categories
Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus
*American Council on Exercise
I'm going to see if I can move mine down a couple of percent over the remainder of the month--I'm also pushing myself a little harder in my workouts--which consist, this month, of 5 fitness classes per week, at least a couple of hours of roller skating and some additional weight training as time allows.
...oh, yeah, as for food yesterday...
Breakfast: switched to almond butter on my toast just to mix it up. Coffee.
Lunch: Oatmeal with blueberries, nuts and raw sugar.
Snack: 1 Tim Bit (they were sitting on the counter of my hairdressers! Couldn't avoid it!)
Snack: Yogurt with fruit on the bottom
Dinner: Chicken salad (chopped organic chicken breast, shredded carrot, organic greens, red pepper) spritzed with balsamic and olive oil; 2 slices of whole grain toast, 1 square of dark chocolate.... ;0