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Is a Body Fat Calculator Accurate?

Jun 24, 2008
Last week we were trying to find a small rug for the bathroom when we walked by the bathroom scales at the local Wal-Mart. My eye quickly noticed that this new-fangled scale had a body fat calculator just like mine, but was much newer! These high tech things seem to get outdated as soon as you walk out the store.

The main problem I have with mine, and maybe you've found this, too, is that the body fat calculator reads differently throughout the day. I pondered if the new-fangled one I just saw was more accurate and had more features. Later I learned the reason for the descrepancies had nothing to do with the electronics.

No time to read a manual, I just wanted to load the batteries up and kick the on switch - wait for the familiar beeps and peek through my fingers at the final reading. Isn't that what you do? Still, I wanted to know why the unit had different readings at different times of the day. So I found out.

I know I needed to get rid of fat, and through my studies I have found that is the best way to lose weight and regain health. We all need some fat - but that magic number is lower than what I was carrying around. I needed to concentrate on losing and tracking my daily results.

Everytime I put the bathroom scale body fat calculator up against any other method of determining body fat, the scale read higher. I used the tape measure method and the caliper method, and yes, there was a noticable difference. From my research I found that the time of day that I was taking the measurement greatly affected the accuracy of the unit.

These units use a small amount of current, dispensed by the metallic foot pads, and measure the amount of resistance. Since by nature lean tissue is a better transmitter of electricity than fat, the device can measure the amount of current flowing through and make a pretty good estimate of the percentage of body fat. So why does it ever differ - sometimes greatly?

There are certain parameters (that they talk about in that booklet that comes with the unit that no one reads) that have to be figured in like - time of day, how much fluid you drink, your body temperature, if you just worked out - all which affect that current flow I mentioned. Those factors skew the results of the body fat calculator.

So are they accurate? Yes, if they are used mainly at the same time each day. You can see if you are losing or gaining body fat. Caliper and tape measure calculations are almost the same as far as their accuracy. The main thing is that losing excess body fat is probably the best way you can regain your health. With these new gadgets it's even easier to lose weight and maintain your health than 10 years ago. Use a good body fat calculator everyday, and keep a journal of your victories!
About the Author
There's much more about quickly losing fat and keeping it off. Dave Jackson reveals fat loss program reviews right now at http://www.thethreebest.com/fatloss/ Get back in shape NOW!
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