Wednesday, February 11, 2009

How do you measure body fat?

Four methods are used to measure body fat. These are Navy Method, Home Body Fat Scales, Skinfold Calipers, and Hydrostatic Weighing.

A Home Scale is a biometrical impedance method which measures the fat percentage by a very small electrical current which won't harm you. When the result of this test is compared to the weight, the percentage can be determined. As with all tests, there is a margin of error in that other factors do alter the results, such as water in your body, the skin's temperature and if physical exercise was engaged in. You will not be able to eat for three to four hours before beginning the test and no physical activities for 12 hours prior to testing. This will guarantee you an accurate test, determining your body fat.

Using skin fold calipers, is probably the most preferred due to cost. A professional would be your best bet in conducting this test. If that is not feasible, than a set of "commeasure calipers" can be purchased.

Hydrostatic weighing is done under water and is the most accurate way to calculate the percentage of fat. The hardest part to this testing is to find a hydrostatic water tank to do the weighing. The body density is measured by the amount of water you displace when you immerse yourself in the water and then a formula is used to calculate the body fat based on your body density. IT is the most accurate test to measure the percentage of fat in your body.

By measuring these percentages, you can objectively track the success or lack of success in your weight loss program..

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