Calculating Body Fat with Fat Loss Scales

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Are body fat scales accurate?

Calculating Body Fat with Fat Loss Scales

There are a few things you should consider when using the dreaded scale as a method of determining your weight loss.

  • As you exercise, you will be adding more muscle, which can weigh significantly more than fat.
  • As you continue to work out, your bone density will increase. While this might mean that you will see a few extra pounds on the scale, the added bone density has an important benefit: It may protect you from developing osteoarthritis.

When you want to measure your progress in a fitness and weight loss program, your best bet is to keep track of your body fat percentage. Body fat is lost through diet and aerobic exercise. Losing body fat will not only improve your appearance: It can protect you from health issues such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. Here are the most common methods of measuring body fat.

Body Fat Scales: Some companies, such as the Tanita, manufacture a body fat scale for home use. These scales make use of a method known as bioelectrical impedance to measure your body fat percentage. This method involves a low-level electrical current is passed through your body. Then, the "impedance", or opposition to this current is measured. The result is calculated in conjunction with your weight, height and age to determine your body fat percentage. While this may sound like the easiest way to calculate body fat, there are some caveats. For example, the amount of water in your body, your skin temperature and recent physical activity might influence the results. To ensure accuracy, do not eat or drink for four hours before taking the test, and avoid exercise or 12 hours prior to the test.

   

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