What’s your current body fat %?
Have you had your body fat % tested? It can be a great statistic to follow to help you stay on track and reach your goals. While BMI and over-all weight are generally a pretty good indicator of one’s physical state, body fat % is the most reflective of your body’s total composition. This means it can be one of the greatest predictors in your current state of health!
There are a few different ways to determine your body fat %. Below you’ll find these methods in order of most -> least accurate.
This is the most accurate method for determining your body composition. DEXA scans (also known as Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) are performed in a medical setting by a radiographer (the same individuals who perform MRIs and X-Rays). After a few moments you’ll receive a report with your total muscle mass, bone density, body fat percentage, as well as the DEXA image. (See above for more information)
There may be some sports clinics, or physicians who offer DEXA scanning as an optional service usually ranging from $100-$200.
This is the gold standard device used for measuring body composition in a medical setting. The BOD POD is an Air Displacement Plethysmograph (ADP) that uses whole body densitometry to determine body composition (fat vs. lean). Similar in principle to underwater weighing, the BOD POD measures body mass (weight) using a very precise scale, and volume by sitting inside the BOD POD.
You can usually get a BOD POD test at a local sports clinics and services range from $75-$150.
Also known as Hydrodensitometry or underwater weighing, is a classic measure of body composition. The aim of underwater weighing is to measure the density of the body, and from that figure calculate percentage body fat. This may be an uncomfortable form of measurement for some individuals as it requires full-body submersion for a brief period of time.
Again, this service is generally offered in a clinical setting and ranges around $100.
Using calipers to perform a skinfold measurements is a common method for determining body fat composition. Accurate measurement technique is important and therefore there is a higher risk of error when performing an at-home caliper test. In general, a 4-point test is performed where the skin is pinched and measured with a caliper. Stay tuned for a blog post on how to use calipers in the future.
While calipers are generally cheap to purchase they are difficult to perform on one’s self and may have a higher risk of error.
Bio-electrical Impedance Analysis or Bioimpedance Analysis (BIA) is a method of assessing your body composition, the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass. It works by holding or standing on a BIA device and measuring the resistance of a small, water-conducted electrical signal that is sent through the body. Most new scales incorporate BIA technology.
While this is the most convenient method of measuring body fat it is highly inaccurate as results can change depending on hydration levels, time of day, and more.
You may be able to estimate your current body fat % by comparing an image of yourself to common images found online. This is obviously the most inaccurate method for determining body fat %, however, may be helpful for individuals who would like a ball-park idea of their current measurement.
That’s it! Simple!
I hope to have provided you all the info you need to determine your body fat percentage. Stay tuned for more health and fitness posts in the future! 🙂