Tracking our progress with a weight scale can be frustrating. And a body fat percentage calculator using height and weight is simple and reasonably accurate.
You diet diligently, do all of your workouts, get your seven to eight hours of sleep, and then, after a week, you step on the scale and...nothing. Your weight hasn’t budged even half a pound.
The truth is, you may have lost fat and gained muscle, but you just can’t know it. The scale won’t show you such information.
Because of that, body fat percentage calculations have become incredibly popular in recent years. (1)
Today, we’ll take a look at one particular breed: Body fat percentage calculator using height and weight.
The formulas below for men and women show the actual calculations, but you can always click the button below which does the calculations for you:
The Problem With Conventional Body Fat Percentage Calculators
We all know of the conventional ways to track your body fat percentage – using calipers and taking circumference measures. Granted, these methods can be accurate, but the person making the measurements needs to be incredibly experienced. Even small errors in value inputs can severely skew your result.
Other, more expensive options – DXA, Bod Pod, and hydrostatic weighing, to name a few – are more accurate, but they are not as accessible for the average person. In most cases, you would have to go to a university lab, get tested, and get your results a few hours later. Plus, they are expensive, and doing them at regular intervals is not an option.
So, until research advances more, our best – and only – option is to use a body fat percentage calculator using height and weight. (2)
The Most Reliable Calculators So Far – Those Based on Height and Weight
Granted, no body fat calculator is 100% accurate. But, without the regular access to expensive options like the DXA scan, we can calculate our body fat with a formula that takes weight and height into account.
For the most part, we can calculate our body fat pretty accurately in most cases with the use of height, weight, and waist circumference:
Body Fat Percentage for Men
Value 1 = (Body weight * 1.082) + 94.42
Value 2 = Waist measurement * 4.15
Lean mass (total weight without fat tissue) = Value 1 – Value 2
Fat mass = Body weight – Lean Mass
Body Fat Percentage = Fat Mass * 100 / Total Bodyweight
Body Fat Percentage for Women
Value 1 = (Body weight * 0.732) + 8.987
Value 2 = Waist measurement (largest point) / 3.140
Value 3 = Waist measurement (at naval) * 0.157
Value 4 = Hip measurement (largest point) * 0.249
Value 5 = Forearm measurement (largest point) * 0.434
Lean mass = Value 1 + Value 2 – Value 3 – Value 4 + Value 5
Fat mass = Body Weight – Lean Mass
Body Fat Percentage = Fat Mass * 100 / Body Weight
For your waist circumference, it’s best to measure at the same time of day each time. The measurements tend to be most accurate in the morning after you go to the bathroom and before you consume any food or liquid.
How About Weight Scales With Built-In Trackers For Body Fat?
The other more accessible option for tracking your body fat percentage is to get yourself a weight scale with a built-in tracker for body fat.
The bad news is, these trackers, as expected, aren’t very accurate and can be off by up to five percent. Meaning, you could be nearly 20 percent body fat, and the scale could report you as 15.
The good news is, these scales give you a value that you can use as a baseline and compare subsequent values to. So, even if you don’t know your precise fat percentage, you can gain a pretty decent idea of how it might be changing over time.
Click to see more tools in the toolbox.
1. Marcin, A. (2018). How to Measure Body Fat: 6 Methods to Try. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-measure-body-fat.
2. Villines, Z. (2020). Body fat percentage chart: Women, men, and calculations. Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/body-fat-percentage-chart#men.