Calculate Body Fat - Which is Your Best Option?

When you calculate body fat, you are doing something good for yourself and your future! Obesity statistics claim that the majority of the world’s population is overweight, and that is especially true in the United States. When you calculate your body fat, you are getting a realistic idea of how much weight you need to lose. Knowing that number is the first step toward making the lifestyle changes that will get you off that list of obesity statistics and get you on the right track for health!

Have you ever looked at a height-weight table? These usually give you a number that is supposed to be your ideal body weight. However, these are very misleading, as they don’t take into account your activity level or other aspects of your body. They don’t give you any idea of what your body fat really is!

Determining your Body Mass Index is a bit more accurate, but still lacks in some essential areas. Your body mass index aims to calculate body fat by using a formula based on your weight and height. However, this doesn’t take into account the differences in our bodies! An athlete, for instance, would not have an accurate BMI by using this formula. The same holds true for growing teenagers and older adults who live a sedentary lifestyle.

Measuring your body fat by measuring girth is also misleading, and for the same reasons listed above. Using a simple tape measure might seem like a good idea, but it doesn’t take into account your body frame, or your lifestyle. So how can you calculate your body fat and know it’s accurate?

Body fat calipers will help you calculate body fat and determine how much weight you need to lose to meet your target goals. They work by the same old “pinch an inch” method - you pinch your skin fold on certain body parts and use the calipers to measure it. The key lies in knowing where to measure, but you can figure that out quite easily with some patience and good instruction!

There are now body fat scales on the market that claim to calculate body fat percentages. And they do, but only to a point. The key is choosing a scale that uses an equation appropriate for your body. It can be done, however! And once you do find a scale for you, testing yourself will be easier than you ever dreamed.

If you want the absolute gold standard to calculate body fat, the “water test” is your best bet. Hydrostatic or underwater weighing is offered at some universities and high-end fitness centers. In this method, you will be weighed while in water, which means only your body fat composition affects the result of the test. It is highly accurate!

Whichever choice you make to calculate body fat, keep in mind that staying healthy is the most important thing. Eating healthy, exercising regularly and paying attention to what your body is trying to tell you are the best ways to beat those obesity statistics and come out on top of the weight loss game!


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