How Do You Measure Body Fat Percentage Then?
Since the weighing scale and BMI calculator are out of the question, how are you going to determine if you have a healthy body fat percentage? To have an idea of how much fat you have in your body, you can do the following:
Use a Bioelectrical Impedance or Smart Scales
A bioelectrical impedance or “bioimpedance” scale looks like a typical scale. But it comes with the added feature of providing body composition stats, including body fat percentage. It can do this by sending electrical impulses to the body and measuring how fast these impulses return.
Experts explain that electrical impulses travel faster in parts of the body that are made up mostly of water. In contrast, they don’t travel as quickly through fats and bones.
Although it’s quick and easy, the reliability of bioelectrical impedance scales depends on several factors. For instance, dehydration may lead to the overestimation of body fat. Also, people with pacemakers cannot use this device.
Use a Caliper to Measure Skinfold
Another way to check if you have a healthy body fat percentage is through the use of calipers.
Calipers measure the thickness of the subcutaneous fats in different parts of the body. Subcutaneous fats are the fats beneath the skin. The premise is this: the thicker the subcutaneous fats are, the higher your body fat percentage is.
Typically, you use the caliper in different locations, commonly the chest, abdomen, and thighs. Pull the skinfold at the specific sites and then measure the fold using the caliper. Remember to measure twice and get the average. Once you get the measurements, you can input the numbers in an online calculator to determine your body fat.
The accuracy depends on how reliable your measurements are. Always pull and measure on the same side, preferably on the right side. Over time, you may not need online calculators. Like mentioned, the premise is if the fold is getting thinner, you are most probably losing fat.