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3 Ways To Find Your Body Fat Percentage

Sep 12, 2008
More and more, people have come to realize that their body fat percentage is a key fitness indicator, more important than BMI (body mass index) or the numbers on their scale. But how can you measure your body fat percentage? I mean, it isn't something you see when you step on your typical scale, like your weight. There are actually three good ways to measure the percentage of fat in your body, one of which is ideal for home use. Let's see what they are:

* The Immersion technique
* The Caliper technique
* The Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technique

The Immersion Technique

This is the most accurate approach. It involves submerging a person in a special water tank and determining how much water they displace. This information, along with the person's weight, is used to calculate their density. From that, their body fat percentage can be calculated. A great approach for scientific research, but not so practical for you and me.

The Caliper Technique

This technique uses calipers to measure the amount of skin that can be pinched at one specific spot on the body. This spot has been shown to be representative of overall body fat for most people. With this measurement, plus their age and gender, a person can look up their approximate body fat percentage on a chart. Using calipers is a bit less accurate than immersion, but is far more practical for regular use by regular folks like you and me.

The Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) Technique

In this approach, a small, safe electrical current is passed through your body. Each kind of body tissue (fat, muscle, bone, etc.) has a different resistance to the flow of that current (a different impedance). That impedance, combined with a person's height, weight, age, gender, and general activity level, is used to calculate a body fat percentage.

While BIA isn't as accurate as the immersion technique, it gives pretty good results without the whole underwater scene and without the careful measuring involved in the caliper technique. The BIA equipment can easily be included in a hand-held measuring device, or even a bathroom scale. Once a person enters the basic information about themselves into such a scale or handheld device, measuring their body fat percentage becomes as simple as weighing themselves first thing in the morning.

Scales that measure your body fat percentage as well as your weight are readily available in home goods and department stores for as little as $50US.
About the Author
Now that you know how easy it can be to measure your body fat percentage, it's time to start reducing it. For free reviews of the top fat loss programs, visit http://FatLossAtLast.com/
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