How To Lose Weight

Body Fat Measurement

This article provides in depth information on Body Fat Measurement.

Obesity is on the rise on a global level, and as a result, medical science utilizes various methods of determining acceptable weight ranges to ensure healthy living. Three different ways exist to estimate body fat measurement which would include the home scales, calipers and hydrostatic weighing. Each of these three techniques provides a way to assess the amount of fat present in the body.

Home Weight Scales

Home weighing scales use the principle of Bioelectrical Impedance, whereby low-intensity electric current passes through the body, and the opposition or impedance to the current flow is measured. This resultant measurement is calculated along with other aspects such as weight in order to assess the overall percentage of body fat. This impedance level can be changed through several factors apart from body fat. It could differ based on water retention levels in the body, recent levels of physical activity, as well as skin temperature. Hence, usage of the scales necessitate adherence to strict rules, which would include abstinence from food or drink for four hours preceding a body fat measurement and not exercising at least 12 hours prior to the test.


This is a cost effective method for body fat measurement because sets of calipers used to measure the body fat levels are quite inexpensive. However, the proper and correct use of these calipers is vital to obtaining accurate readings. It is best to seek the supervision of a professional when using calipers to get the readings. Proper instructions for measurement should also be followed diligently. There are also user-friendly, easy to read calipers manufactured that make it possible to test body fat without supervision.

Hydrostatic Weighing

This method of body fat measurement entails measurement underwater. It is an accurate technique which is based on the Archimedes Principle. The examiner begins by measuring body density depending on the water quantity displaced on immersion into the water. Depending on this body density value, a formula is applied to arrive at the percentage of body fat calculation.

Why Measurement is Critical

In order to follow-up a comprehensive weight loss program, or even to chart out an appropriate regimen, body fat measurement is a critical starting point. Compared to muscle, fat requires fewer calories. Hence, the more muscle an individual has facilitates the ability to consume more calories without putting on weight. The usual method of expressing body fat is through body fat percentage. This is the ratio of body fat to the overall body weight, expressed as a percentage, and generally referred to as a Body Mass Index or BMI.

Assessing Health Based on Calculation

It is easy to assess risk factors in a person’s health based on the body fat measurement. For example, if a person has higher fat percentages compared to what is considered as being normal, they are more susceptible to high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, gallstones and certain types of cancers. The higher the percentage of fat in proportion to muscle tissue, the fewer calories will be needed to promote weight gain.

If the body fat measurement is found to be higher than normal, the goal should be to build more lean muscle, reduce fat and eat in small portions. This way, the person can lose weight even at a resting state since a higher muscle mass raises metabolism dramatically.