Many people have come to realize that their body fat percentage is an essential fitness indicator, more important than BMI (body mass index) or the numbers on their scale. But how can you measure your body fat percentage? I mean, it isn’t something you see when you step on your standard scale, like your weight. More and more people are nowadays trooping to the gym and other fitness facilities in a bid to lose any unwanted excess weight. Although some people are satisfied with whatever method they might be using to shed this weight others complain that they can hardly tell the difference. However, no one can afford to take this issue lightly since according to most health experts these fats are extremely harmful to the body.
Though one might desperately want to keep their fat within the desirable limits the question still lingers; how does one know their fat measurement? To determine this one can carry out simple tests at home that can inform accurately on their body fat content. There are three good ways to measure the percentage of fat in your body, one of which is ideal for home use. Let’s see what they are:
1. The Immersion Technique
It is the most accurate approach. It involves submerging a person in a particular water tank and determining how much water they displace. This information, along with the individual’s weight, is used to calculate their density. From that, their body fat percentage can be calculated. An excellent approach to scientific research, but not so practical for you and me.
2. The Caliper Technique
This technique uses calipers to measure the amount of skin that can be pinched at one particular spot on the body. This place has been shown to be representative of overall body fat for most people. With this measurement, plus their age and gender, a person can look up their relative body fat percentage on a chart. Using calipers is a bit less accurate than immersion, but is far more practical for regular use by regular folks like you and me.
3. The Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Technique
In this approach, a small, safe electrical current is passed through your body. Each kind of body tissue (fat, muscle, bone, etc.) has a different resistance to the flow of that current (a different impedance). That impedance, combined with a person’s height, weight, age, gender, and general activity level, is used to calculate a body fat percentage.
While BIA isn’t as accurate as the immersion technique, it gives pretty good results without the whole underwater scene and the careful measuring involved in the caliper method. The BIA equipment can easily be included in a hand-held measuring device or even a bathroom scale. Once a person enters the necessary information about themselves into such a level or handheld device, measuring their body fat percentage becomes as simple as weighing themselves first thing in the morning.