Before you begin a new diet or exercise program, you should measure your body fat. Then you again need to measure body fat in set intervals to see if your new diet or exercise program is working. However, you may be wondering how to measure your body fat.
There are many ways in which you can do this. One person may tell you that one way is the best way. Then another person will tell you that another way is the best way.
Ideally, there is no real best way to measure body fat. Each person may find their own pros and cons with each method. Here are five different ways in which you could measure your body fat. Hopefully, one will satisfy you.
Weighing yourself via a scale:
This is the normal way many people still measures their body fat through their weight in pounds. Once the weight begins to go down, they figure they have lost body fat.
This is an easy method.
However, this method doesn’t take in account for such factors as water weight.
Measuring your Body Mass Index
This is a calculation based on a ratio between your height and weight. This is easy to figure, especially if you use a BMI calculator.
However, the downside of this method is that it can not tell the difference between lean muscle fat and body fat. For this reason, it tends to overestimate the amount of fat a person may have.
Measuring your waist circumference
This is a simple method in which you use a tape measure to measure the actual size of your waist. You just wrap the tape measure along your waist snugly around your waist above your hipbone.
This is may be one of the better methods to actually gain a real sense of how much weight you have around your waist, which is an area of the body in which many experts will tell that you need to have less weight. Carrying excess weight around your abdomen can lead to many health conditions.
However, this is the method that most people will choose not to use and is a method your doctor will usually not use in his/her office.
These scans are extremely accurate. They are generally used to screen for loss of bone density in patients with osteoporosis. However, they can also scan to see how much fat and the different types of fat a person has, too.
Of course, the downside of this scan is that it is extremely expensive and is not covered by insurance for the sole purpose of measuring the amount of fat a person has.
Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
These analysis machines can be found in some heath clubs. Electrodes are attached to one’s hands and feet while they are standing on an electrode pad. Then small electrical signal is sent through the body. This signal can measure the amount of body fat in one’s body.
The downside is that the BIA is not always accurate depending on how good the technician is and even the hydration levels of the body. However, they are less expensive that a DEXA scan.
What is the best way for you to measure your body fat? Probably the one that makes you feel the most comfortable and the one that you feel is the most reliable.