measuring body fat

Different ways to measure Body fat

measuring body fat

In today’s world full of ready made meals and fast food more and more people realise the need of leading healthier life.

Apart from getting to eat healthy food and exercise regularly, we need to understand our bodies and in the basics of that understanding lies the body fat measurement.

The commonly known body fat measurement is actually the body’s fat mass measurement to lean tissue.

measuring body fat

That composition is even more accurate when broke down to different body parts and it is absolutely unique for each individual and their body structure.

The importance of knowing and controlling the body fat levels is so important as the body fat has been related to high blood pressure, quite a few heart conditions and diabetes, that is recently known to be the most concerning condition compared even to aids, due to the amount of people suffering and the age range it is spread within.

In result of knowing the importance of body fat measuring, quite a few different methods and techniques have been offered. Some of them quite accurate and others not as much, some of them expensive and others pretty affordable and that is why we have selected the top five methods, providing a detailed explanation of each one, so that you can have a better understanding of the body fat measuring.

Skin Calipers

This is one of the most common methods used to measure body fat.

It is easily accessible in any gym or you can even provide yourself with skin calipers if you are willing to make a small investment.


The essence of this method is to measure the thickness of a skin fold and after putting the results into a formula to determine the level of body fat.

The greatest thing about this method is that you can measure the body fat from different sites, meaning different parts of the body, like arms, chest, abdomen and thighs.

What is also convenient is that the skin calipers are fairly cheap, so you can order ones to keep at home.

The catch here is that it takes some practice to manage to take the test yourself and you have to be quite sure that you are able to use them at the exact same spot as you did at the previous measurement.

If you do not want to risk jeopardising the accuracy of the measurement, you can always visit a qualified technician.


Bioelectrical Impedance – body fat scales

Do not let the name intimidate you, as the bioelectrical impedance is the method that lies in the basis of all scales that are capable of measuring BMI (body mass index) and body fat.


The bioelectrical impedance scales or devices, known as body fat analyzers work as they send tiny electrical impulses through the body and actually measure how quickly the impulses return.

The trick is that the impulse goes quicker through lean tissue and slower through fat mass.

Nowadays the bioelectrical impedance method is incorporated even in the most common body weighing scales that you can keep around the house and in different fitness equipment as well as being offered as a separate device that you can find in quite a few gyms.

This is the most harmless and affordable method, but unfortunately not the most accurate of all methods we are discussing in this post.

However, it will still give you results that will help you determine how are you getting on and if you are progressing in the loss of body fat.

A little hint here is to take the measurements at the same time each day and the most appropriate moment is in the mornings before breakfast as recent meals and workouts can disturb the accuracy of the readings.

We review the best body fat analyzers on this website, have a look to find out the best body fat scale for your budget.


Hydrostatic Weighing


This is the method known as the golden standard when it comes to body weighing. It is extremely accurate as it compares the individual’s body weight measured outside the water and the one measured under water.

Having these two readings and the density of the water, operators can extremely accurately determine the body’s composition. What is odd about this technique is that you have to submerge yourself underwater for a short period of time and you can’t take this test anywhere or quite often as it is usually conducted in laboratory environment. If you still want to have the most accurate reading you can find a place where the test can be made but you have to be prepared to pay anywhere between $40 and $60.


Air-Displacement Plethysmography

This is a body fat measuring method that is basically quite similar to the underwater weighing, but you do not need to get wet.


The individual is placed in a small egg-like machine full of air and by measuring how much air is displaced by the person operators can determine the body density and then the body composition quite accurately. Similarly, same as the underwater weighing the issue is that you can’t find the body pod anywhere and even if you have a place close to you where the air-displacement plethysmography can be made, you have to be prepared to pay up to $60.


DEXA (Dual-Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry)

This is a technique where x-rays beams are used to measure the body composition. During this test the individual lies still on a table while the machine arm passes over their entire body while emitting low and high- energy X-ray beams.

Depending on how the x-ray beams are absorbed in the different body parts, technicians can measure bone mineral, fat mass and lean body mass.

This is really the body fat measuring method that is completely harmless and easy to conduct.

It is also not only one of the most accurate, but most detailed as well, as you are able to break down to body composition to a limb, so that you can get extremely precise reading for each part of your body.


Of course, it takes to find somewhere that the test is being made and make an appointment. The test is also fairly expensive, but if you are really into getting an accurate and detailed results, it is very worth the effort.


After we have discussed the five best ways to measure your body fat and found out that actually only two of them are accessible to be used on a more regular basis at home, let’s have a look at the best bioelectrical impedance scales, as there are quite a few available on the market right now.

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