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Body Transformation Preliminaries — Measuring Your Body Fat Level

January 20, 2013


Checking Body Fat

One of the habits that people who successfully lose fat and keep it off have in common is that they keep tabs on what their body is doing.  How do they “keep tabs” on their bodies?  They weigh themselves regularly — at least weekly.Taking body weight

As you know, if you’ve read the last blog post or two, weighing yourself is vital to knowing what’s going on with your body when you’re trying to lose weight, and there’s a specific weighing protocol that should be followed.  However, finding out what your body weight is only gives you a partial picture of what your body is doing body composition-wise (body fat and lean body weight-wise).

Checking your body fat is the other piece of the body monitoring puzzle.  If you measure your body fat level you will know if your body fat level is going up, going down, or staying the same.  Think about this — if your body weight goes up, but your body fat level stays the same or goes down, then that means that your weight gain is due to something other than body fat.  It means that the weight gain is not a negative thing because it occurred as a result of muscle gain or water weight gain or a combination of both.  Measuring your body fat level is the only way you can find this information out.  Without measuring your body fat percentage, if you stepped on the scale and your weight had gone up, you would think that you had gained fat.  Knowing your body fat percentage allows you to put the weight gain in the proper context.  So, on your official weigh day, right before or right after weighing yourself, measure your body fat percentage.

You might be wondering HOW to measure your body fat percentage.  The method I use and that I recommend to others is body fat measurement by a device called the Accu-Measure Fitness 3000.  This device is simply a “caliper”, which is a device that’s used to measure the distance between the two sides of an object.  In this case, the object that is measured is the thickness of your skin.  Here’s a picture of the caliper:

Skin Caliper

Accu-Measure Skin Caliper

 

I believe the Accu-Measure caliper is the best device for measuring body fat for most people.  This is because it is affordable, convenient, and accurate.

It is affordable when compared to other accurate body fat measuring methods like hydrostatic weighing and the bod pod, both of which can cost $40 or more per measurement.  For the price of one hydrostatic weighing, you could purchase several Accu-Measure calipers and have the ability to get your body fat measurement a hundred times or more.

It is convenient because you don’t have to travel, strip down to almost naked at some laboratory or other place, or set an appointment like you do with hydrostatic weighing or the Bod Pod.  You simply whip out the caliper, pull your shirt up, and take your measurement.  Some of my co-workers take their body fat measurement in their office at work.  It’s super convenient.

It has been proven to be very accurate, and I’ve personally compared the results I’ve gotten from the Accu-Measure device to hydrostatic weighing, and I got essentially the same results with both.

Try the Accu-Measure calipers out, and regularly measure your body fat percentage as part of your on-going fitness and fat loss program.

 

Darryl

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