Many people aren’t concerned about their weight, per se, but their body fat percentage. It makes sense, after all, since how much you weigh could be related to your muscles, bones, and anything else, but your body fat is just, well, fat. If you want to measure your fitness level, body fat is a much better measurement.
The problem is that unlike weight, body fat is pretty hard to measure accurately, so it’s a much harder measure to work with. However, there are some ways to do it.
At Home Methods
There are many ways you can try to measure your body fat percentage at home. The easiest (and least reliable) is the eyeball method. Look at pictures of different body fat levels, and compare them to what you see in the mirror.
The next way you can measure body fat at home is with the pinch test. Get yourself a pair of calibrated calipers and pinch fat at three different sites. Then plug the numbers into a calculator and you’ve got a number. This is better than eyeballing, but still not hugely accurate.
You can also do a US Navy Circumference test by measuring the circumference (distance around) your waist, wrist, hip, and forearm and plugging it into a calculator along with your weight.
Body fat scales are available for sale, starting at about $75. These send an electric current through your body to test the conductivity. Since fat has different resistance from other tissues, this should give you a measurement of your body fat, but many people say they’re not reliable measures.
If you’re unhappy with the at-home methods, there are plenty of ways to pay for people to measure your body fat. Bod Pods use air displacement to do an overall measurement of your volume and compare it to your weight, which can give you a pretty good number for body fat. But it’s expensive—about $75 per test.
The water displacement test also measures your body volume to estimate your body fat. This can be a little harder to locate (here’s where you can look in Denver), but it’s a little cheaper, too, at about $50 a test.
The DEXA scan uses x-rays to measure the composition of your body. Initially intended to measure bone density, the scan has been adopted by people wanting to measure body fat because it’s the most accurate method available. But it’s also the priciest, at about $100 a scan.
Getting a body fat percentage at the beginning of a weight loss program is a good idea because then you can follow-up at the end to see how dramatically your body has changed.
If you are ready to see a change in your body, please contact Med-Fit Medical Weight Loss Clinic in Denver today.