Recently I went for a fitness test and was tested with 28.4% body fat.

I am 29 years old. I am 5 feet and 4 inches tall and weigh 107 pounds, in general, my built is small. I exercise for an hour every day, usually aerobic and a little weight lifting. Recently, I went for a fitness test and was tested with 28.4% body fat at. This is surprising as I don’t look overweight. The fitness instructor advised that I lose 10 pounds of weight and reduce my body fat percentage to less than 20%. I eat moderately and I avoid dairy products, fast foods, and fat. I am very careful about food and never drink alcohol or smoke. I am not a meat eater and I eat a lot of fruits, vegetables, and rice. I think I lack protein in my diet and I have just started eating egg whites. The test results have really surprised me. Where am I going wrong and how can I correct this?

First, I would question the results of the body fat test you had. Body fat can be assessed with calipers, electrical impedance or underwater weighing. All have inherent errors.

Accurate use of calipers takes training and many repeated tries to reach an accurate measurement. Also, several sites on the body should be tested and those body sites vary between sexes.

Electrical impedance testing uses a small electrical current passed from one electrode on your foot and the other on your hand. The accuracy of this test is dependent on hydration since muscle contains 70% water and fat contains about 15% water. So if you were dehydrated, the reading would be higher. Other factors that produce inaccurate readings are alcohol intake within 24 hours (dehydration again), menstruation, etc.

Underwater weighing measures a person’s weight while under water. However, the person must be in a temperature controlled testing pool, wear a special suit and be able to exhale all the air in their lungs while underwater and sitting on a special scale. The basis of this test is that muscle sinks and fat floats.

For you to lose 10 pounds, you would have to lose more weight than would be healthy. At your height, your healthy body weight is 120 to 132 pounds. At 107, you are a bit underweight as it is. Considering your weight, exercise and lifting weights, I would say the results of your test were way off. Talk to an exercise physiologist who is educated and trained to perform all the above body fat tests.

Your diet is lacking in legumes, beans, and peas.
Soybeans and tofu are complete sources of protein and should be added to your meals.
If you eat egg whites, be sure to cook them as avidin in the whites destroys biotin also present until cooking the egg inactivates the avidin.