I am looking to get leaner. I have been working on it but I would like to set the goal at my destination. I want to be at the lowest possible body fat percentage without suffering any negative effects from it. There are charts, with age and height, showing average, overweight, underweight percentages. I want a specific answer, what is the lowest healthy percentage. male 5'11 20yr
For women 10 to 13 % body fat and men 2 to 5 % body fat but even most athletes are above that.
Athletes are usually a few percentage points above that unless they are competing in a sport that requires a low body fat percentage at which point they will reduce their percentage a day or two before.
Both men and women can have up to 10% higher body fat and still be considered 'fit' in fact, your body fat percentage must reach 31% for women and 25% for men before you are considered overweight.
Depends what you mean by risk, there have been a number of studies that indicate a BMI below 18 correlates with higher mortality rates and a couple give it as high as 22.5 e.g.
Below the range 22·5–25 kg/m2, BMI was associated inversely with overall mortality, mainly because of strong inverse associations with respiratory disease and lung cancer. These inverse associations were much stronger for smokers than for non-smokers, despite cigarette consumption per smoker varying little with BMI.
- Relation between body mass index and mortality in an unusually slim cohort
- Body-mass index and cause-specific mortality in 900 000 adults: collaborative analyses of 57 prospective studies
Note: BMI is no better or worse a measure of fatness than many of the formula / devices that attempt to actually give a percentage, rather than an index value e.g. Depending on who you believe today's Body Fat percentage is: