How To Lose Weight

Body Fat Monitor

This article provides in depth information on Body Fat Monitor.

While most people consider weight scales as the definitive guide to measuring weight, the fact is the body fat monitor provides the truest picture of weight levels. Whether it is in relation to health, fitness or appearance, it is the ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass which is pertinent to the need for embarking on a weight loss and exercise routine.

BIA or At Home Measurement

The BIA stands for Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis and in this technique utilized by a device which transmits a low-intensity electric charge through the body in order to calculates the percentage of body that is water and that which is fat. Since lean tissues and muscles are comprised mainly of water, this form of measurement is a true indicator of fat levels in the body. In order to perform the calculation, the BIA body fat monitor needs to ascertain the age, gender and weight of the individual. If a person has a pacemaker, they should not use such units.

Salient Features

The BIA body fat monitor comes with various features and accessories. However, when buying one, it is best to pick a monitor which has built-in memory features. This prevents the need to key in basic data at every stage of use. This is especially important if other people are going to use the unit. Some units even have the capability of ‘remembering’ data from multiple users. For athletes, special units are available with proprietary athletic settings to provide clear and accurate measurements. Some units include special settings that enable the device to be used to measure body fat in children as well.

How to Receive Accurate Readings

The first thing to be aware of is that it is imperative not to be dehydrated when using the body fat monitor. Therefore, it is best to avoid using the unit the very first thing morning, after having alcohol or after a workout, as all these three activities dehydrate the body. The ideal time to use the unit would be three hours after meals and after ablutions and emptying the bladder. Some women might have a tendency toward water retention and this can fluctuate, especially in women who use diuretics. In such cases, it is common to see incorrect readings. Measurements should also be taken without clothing on.

Caliper Technique

In the caliper technique, body fat is measured by taking ‘skin pinches’ at three different body points and then calculating fat percentages based on these readings. The newer varieties of calipers can even sense the appropriate pressure and will perform calculations automatically, as well as having the ability to store data should it be necessary to accommodate multiple users.

What to Look For

The best feature to look for in a prospective body fat monitor is one which has readings on body fat as well as BMI. When using a body fat monitor, it is essential to strictly adhere to a schedule for measurement. This means it is important to pick a day of the week and time of day to regularly take readings. Doing so ensures consistency and currently, most units provide a high degree of accuracy down to the last inch of height keyed in. Before performing calculations, the unit would require data input pertaining to gender, age and height, as well as whether the user is an athlete, child or average individual.

It is easy to use a body fat monitor, especially the newer versions, as all instructions are given clearly. Once the data is input correctly, the readings are displayed with accuracy so that individuals will have a realistic picture of their body fat to lean mass ratio.