Your overall body weight is not a good indicator of how effective your fat loss program is. You can easily achieve a “normal” body weight but struggle to lose any of the much-dreaded body fat. How can you know if your fat loss program is working? The answer is quite straightforward. Stop focusing on your overall body weight. And start measuring body fat percentage.
Common Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage
Below are the most common ways to estimate your body fat percentage:
- Body Fat Calipers Using skinfold calipers is one of the simplest and most affordable ways to measure body fat percentage. You will first need to acquire a little anatomy knowledge and skill to be able to use this method. But once you do, you can estimate body fat percentage this way with measurement errors of less than 5%.
- Body Circumferences If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to estimate your body fat percentage, look no further. This method relies on special calculations that take your age, height, and circumferences of certain body areas into account. The only downside of this method, however, is an even bigger room for error than with the skinfold calipers.
- Underwater Weighing Using this method, health professionals perform a special sequence of measurements. First, they weigh you full height under water when you fully exhale all the air out of your lungs. They then measure how much you weigh on land and how much air stays in your lungs after exhaling. Finally, they key all these measurements in the special equations that estimate the density of of your body. Using this data, they then accurately predict your body fat percentage. This method allows for measurement errors of no more than 2%.
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) This method of measuring your body fat percentage relies on special BIA devices, such as body fat scales. First, these BodyFatAnalyzer devices send minor electrical currents through your body. They then interpret the output information. As opposed to muscle, your fat tissue has lower water count, which makes currents travel slower through it. This helps the special equations at the core of BIA devices to estimate your body composition. As a result, this method can measure your body fat percentage with less than 5% room for error.
Advanced Ways to Measure Body Fat Percentage
Feel like walking an extra mile to determine your body fat percentage? There are, of course, very advanced ways to estimate precisely how much fat your body composition consists of. Some of them can include such complex procedures as:
- 3-D Body Scanning.
- Dual-Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).
- Electrical Impedance Myography (EIM).
- Bioimpedance Spectroscopy (BIS).
Beware, however, that these procedures still have their drawbacks. Since they require assistance from a qualified professional and rely on special equipment, they can be very expensive. As a result, you can not rely on them to keep regular track of your fat loss progress.