How to calculate your IMG for free or Fat Mass Index?

As you may have discovered in the previous article, calculate your BMI or Body Mass Index is much more reliable than the BMI calculation. Indeed, the latter only takes into account weight and height.

However, we must admit that knowing your body fat accurately is really more complicated. Fortunately, there are automatic calculators like this one (you still need to get out a tape measure):

Free IMG Calculator

Body Fat Rate Calculator
Measuring system
Gender
Size (in cm)
Necklace (in cm)
Waist size (in cm)
Hip size (in cm)
Your body fat percentage
Your result
Calculations based on the US Navy formula

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What is the IMG index?

Here is the definition given on Wikipedia:

L'fat mass index (IMG) is an index, expressed as a percentage, that allows us to judge the proportion of adipose tissue in an adult person. It takes into account the disproportion between the mass of fat and those of the muscles.

That's why it's a much more reliable indicator when you calculate your ideal weight. If you know how much fat is in your body, you know if you are really overweight.

In fact, weight by itself does not give any serious indication of your body composition. The problem with the BMI calculationA bodybuilder is considered obese in most charts. However, he is indeed obese of muscle, but not of fat 😉

What is the right percentage of body fat?

Unlike the body mass index, which is based solely on height and weight, there are large differences in interpretation between women and men when calculating the BMI.

Ideal IMG calculation for a woman

Body fat percentages for women are sometimes categorized in different ways. Some tables separate athletes from the acceptable levels for average individuals, while others distinguish by age.

L'American Council on Exercise (uses a body fat chart similar to the one used for the body mass index (BMI). It does not take into account age and classifies according to these categories:

Category Percentage of fat
Living wage 10-13 %
Athletes 14-20 %
Fitness 21-24 %
Acceptable 25-31 %
Obesity > 32 %

For an ideal female IMG percentage according to age, Beth Israel Lahey Health Hospital in Winchester gives the following recommendations for body fat levels:

AgeAcceptable IMG percentages
20-39 years old 21-32 %
40-59 years old 23-33 %
60-79 years old 24-35 %

The right IMG for a man

Normally, men have a lower body fat percentage than women. This explains the differences you will see in the table proposed by the American Council of Exercise:

Category Percentage of fat
Living wage 2-5 %
Athletes 6-13 %
Fitness 14-17 %
Acceptable 18-24 %
Obesity > 25 %

For an ideal IMG percentage based on age, the Beth Israel Lahey Health Hospital in Winchester gives the following recommendations for men's body fat levels:

AgeAcceptable IMG percentages
20-39 years old 8-19 %
40-59 years old 11-21 %
60-79 years old 13-24 %
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How to calculate your GSI?

To measure the percentage of fat, there are several methods that are very expensive. In addition, they are not all very accurate.

We use among others :

  • Dual X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA)
  • Hydrostatic weighing (you are immersed in a liquid)
  • Plethysmography or air displacement (Bod Pod)
  • 3D body scan (mapping)

Well, all these techniques are NASA worthy and I highly doubt you have access to them. So we won't spend all day or night on this 🙂

The adipometer or measurement of the skin fold

Since the above techniques are not available, most people use a small pair of pliers called adipometer. This is a fairly easy and inexpensive way to assess your body composition.

The principle of this device is to measure the thickness of the skin in one or more given areas of the body to evaluate your fat level. It is always best to have a professional do it, but you can do it quite easily on your own.

The impedance meter scale to help you

If you are looking for a quick and easy method to calculate your GSIImpedance scales are a good way to get an idea of your body composition.

However, I must point out that this material is not not as reliable than the measurement of the skin fold. But its ease of use has won over many users. Such equipment has the merit of encouraging you to follow your progress over time.

However, you should not be concerned if you see fairly large variations from day to day. Instead, try to keep track of your average rate.

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[BAND METER AND SEWING METER] - Skin fold pliers and...
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Withings Body - WIFI Connected Scale with Weight and Body Monitoring...
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Ideal IMG calculation in pictures

Sure, it's not super reliable, but it's an easy way to evaluate yourself at a glance.

Take a look at this chart to get an idea of your current body fat percentage:

calculate its img

Conclusion on the IMG calculation

The interpretation of the fat mass index like the BMI can be used to know where you are in your overweight or slimming. This is one of the useful steps before starting a low-calorie diet.

These calculation methods have the merit of being part of the slimming tools to help you determine what steps to take for your health. However, you should not get fixated on simple numbers, but remember that the most important aspects are your health and well-being.

Remember, the main thing on a daily basis is still to eat healthy and nutritious foods, stay hydrated, exercise regularly and have good relationships with the people who matter to you 😉

So, who of you is ready to calculate your IMG? Leave a comment below if this article has inspired you.

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Last updated on 2022-03-03 / Affiliate links / Some images are sourced from the Amazon Product Advertising API

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