Updated: Nov 3, 2020
Ready to stop looking at your weight and start looking at your body fat? Yes? Awesome. Step one is getting rid of that out dated scale that only measures your weight. The next task is to get a scale that uses bioelectrical impedance. Before I give you my recommendations on scales, let's talk about the different ways we can measure body fat.
The two most popular and inexpensive routes are through skin calipers and bioelectrical impedance. Skin calipers look like a set of pinchers. For women, I pull the subcutaneous fat (fat directly under the skin) away from the muscle tissue on the backs of the arms, top of the iliac crest (upper hip bone) and middle of the thigh. I squeeze this fat with the calipers to determine it's size and using your height and weight, compare these measurements to determine your body fat percentage. Click here to schedule your skin caliper assessment with me.
The second way to test body fat easily is through bioelectrical impedance. This process sends an undetectable electrical pulse through your body. Based on how quickly or slowly that pulse returns to the machine, is how it determines your body fat percentage.
While both of these strategies to testing body fat are cheap and easy, they also have a high percent error, meaning that the reading could be inaccurate. Now don't freak out yet. Yes, the true body fat percentage may be not 100% accurate but the change in your body fat percentage is correct. Let me give you an example: Say you step on a bioelectrical impedance scale for the first time and it gives you a body fat percentage of 34.6% and maybe your true body fat percentage is 33.1%. You step on the scale in one week and you get a reading of 34.4%. The loss in 0.2% body fat is correct and does not have any error associated with it.
There are other methods to testing body fat percentage as well. One of them being a bodpod and you’ll need to make an appointment with a lab. Through this process, you are completely submerged in water and float inside of it. This bodpod technique is 100% accurate at calculating body fat percentage but it is not readily available for most people and can be very expensive (around $75/test). Also, I'm going to assume most of you don't want to complete this process once a week.
Below are my three recommendations for bioelectrical impedance scales. I have provided you with three different options: tech savvy, more accurate and most cost effective.
Click on the pictures to get a link to purchase
If you are looking for your scale to pair with your seamlessly with your phone and look beautiful in your bathroom, this is my choice for you. This scale has wifi capabilities to interact with other apps on your phone and will give you some more detailed information about your stats over time. Basically, if you don't want to do any work logging your data and you want a sleek look, get this one.
This scale offers the highest level of accuracy because it has more measure points. The bioelectrical impedance will be sent through both your feet and hands. Having the four contact points allows the machine to run the test better through your body. IIt has a 90 day memory but I will still ask you to log results since you will probably want to see your fat loss over a longer period of time. t's not as attractive as the Nokia but it will offer a more accurate measure of your body fat percentage.
EDIT 11/2/2020 (this scale is now the most expensive on Amazon due to the pandemic. It was priced more in the $25-30 range pre-COVID. I still recommend this option and it may decrease in price soon)
My last scale recommendation is for those who already have a weight scale and do not want to spend a lot on a bioeletrical impedance model. I've always believed that you do not need to break the bank to see results. You will input your information into the machine (weight, height, age and gender). The other two scales store this information so you do not need to input every time. However, it doesn't take more than 30 seconds to complete. You will also need to have a normal weight scale so that you can put in your current weight into the machine. You will wrap your hands around the silver portions on this machine and hold your arms straight out to measure your body fat. As with the first scale, there are only two contact points therefore reducing accuracy.
Hope this helps you make a body fat measurement purchase! Thank you for reading!
Let me know if you have any questions!