Physical fitness has become a major concern, especially because the percentage of obese people in the United States is at an all-time high. That is why people have become more and more interested in physical activities. But did you know that not all pounds are the same?
That may seem a silly statement, but it’s true. Let me give you an example. Lisa is 140 pounds. Doesn’t go to the gym and she looks a little overweight. Dana, on the other hand, is a bodybuilder who weighs 140 pounds as well. However, Dana looks slim and fit. Do you know why that is? Because the two characters have a different body mass index. Lisa has more pounds of fat than Dana. So, how can you tell how much fat you have in your body? Simple. You use a body fat scale.
What is a body fat scale?
A body fat scale is pretty much like a regular scale that measures certain values, among which is the body density. It’s a common misconception that such a scale measures the percentage of fat you have in your body. Instead, it measures the density and then does some calculations to establish how much fat you have. All you have to do is to step on it and place your feet in the designated areas.
All the information above is collected using BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis). That is a very small, harmless electrical impulse that crosses your body. Don’t worry; you are not going to get electrocuted. Chances are you are not even going to feel it. So, the time that it takes the impulse to go trough your body will determine your body mass index (BMI). The principle applied here is that electricity goes through fat tissue a lot slower than it goes through fat-free tissue, like muscles. The secret lies in the resistance. The higher the resistance, the more fat you have.
Keep in mind, though, that the value you get from the scale is not 100% accurate. You will receive an estimation. There are some scales that are close to that accuracy, but not a single one will give you the exact body mass index.
Tips on how to use a body fat scale
- Always use it to measure your progress, and that’s it. If you are following a weight loss program, then the scale will help, but if you use it to compare yourself with other people’s BMI, or some tables you find online, you are going to have a hard time. Everyone is different. Keep in mind that bone density is also a factor, so if you weigh as much as another person, and your bodies look pretty much the same, that doesn’t mean you must have the same amount of body fat. So, measuring progress is good, but comparisons are wrong.
- Choose the body fat scale that is right for you. It’s all about calibration. Some models can be calibrated for children, for obese people, or for athletes. So make sure not to overlook that detail when you want to make a purchase.
- Measure your body fat at the same moment of the day. Always. It differs in the morning, the afternoon, or in the evening. It’s all related to the level of hydration. Water is a perfect electricity conductor, and it will have a say in the time it takes that electrical impulse to go through your body.
- Always drink the same amount of water an hour before stepping on the scale. As I said, hydration is a very important part of the process. So if today you drink more water than you did yesterday, the scale may show that you suffered a decrease in body fat. But that is not true. You are just more hydrated than the day before. Simple as that.
- Make sure that the temperature of the room you take the measurement in is always the same. Temperature, just like water, has an impact on the values shown by the scale.
- Don’t step on the scale after an exercise session. During those sessions, you sweat a lot. That means a part of the water in your body is gone. You are dehydrated, sothe scale will make errors in its calculations. It will show that you have more body fat than you actually
- Make sure to clean the foot pads on the scale. Use alcohol and let them dry before you step on it. If the pads are greasy or dirty, its ability to be as accurate as possible is compromised.
- I know it doesn’t sound very nice, but go for the most expensive body fat scale you can afford. Unfortunately, accuracy increases with price. In fact, we all know that a higher price almost always means better
- If you ever have the chance, go to a professional to measure your body fat. There is more than one way to do it, but he can use skin fold calipers. That way you can learn just how accurate your body fat scale at home is. The values may be the same, but it cannot hurt, can it?
How to choose the best body fat scale?
There isn’t a precise formula. But as I said before, go for the best one you can afford. Not only will it be more accurate than the cheaper versions, but it will last you longer.
Take versatility into consideration. Most products can do a lot more than showing your body mass index. Some show you your overall weight, bone density, muscle mass, hydration, and many other things that may interest you. Some even have a mobile app that can monitor your progress.
Battery life is also important. A body fat scale that must have its batteries changed too often canbe annoying. So make sure to take that into consideration when you make a purchase.
Design is also an aspect that shouldn’t be overlooked. Maybe you prefer glass-made scales or the plastic ones. Or maybe you just want it to blend in with your bathroom. Either way, it’s your call.
What are the best body fat scales?
Truth be told, there are a lot of models than can be classified as the best BMI scales. But if you are feeling confused, here are a few suggestions that may be of help.
Greater Goods Balance High Accuracy Body Fat Scale
The manufacturer is well aware of the fact that a regular scale cannot provide all the metrics you need in order to monitor your physical fitness. That is why this product was released. It will give you all the information you need to keep score on your improvement.
The Greater Goods body fat scale will measure your weight, your body mass index, muscle mass, hydration level, and bone density. It is an all-in-one product that will give you everything you need on your way to a fit body. Using this will help you achieve all your goals.
The scale uses BIA technology and is one of the most accurate products in its category and price range. The size is satisfactory; it has a backlit LCD screen. You don’t have to bother calibrating the scale because it will do it itself in between uses. You only have to step on it to activate it. The auto-detect feature can support up to 8 users, which makes it ideal for families who like to keep track of fitness metrics. The four sensors have an accuracy of +/- 0.2 lbs.
The scale is made of sturdy temperedglass, and it can support people who weigh up to 400 pounds. It has a non-slip feature and is scratch resistant. The power comes from 3 AAA batteries, but they will last a relatively long time. The auto-off feature will make sure of that.
The only warning the manufacturer has is that people who have a pacemaker or another electrical implant should not use this scale. Otherwise, the electrical impulse may affect the devices which can lead to dangerous consequences. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
GoWISE USA Body Fat Scale
The GoWISE USA scale uses advances BIA technology to measure your body fat, bone mass, hydration level, muscle mass, and your overall body weight. It comes with an athlete mode, which is ideal for people who are into fitness and bodybuilding, and it can store up to 8 user profiles. It will recognize a user the moment he or she steps on.
The scale activates the moment you step on it and doesn’t need calibration. That will happen in between uses, so you don’t even have to think about it. The LCD with LED blue backlight will show you your measurements in a way that is easy to read and understand. There is no learning curve, so even elderly people can use it as well. The power comes from two CR2032 lithium batteries that will last long enough. You don’t have to worry that you let the device on and it will run out of energy because it will automatically turn off.
The design is sleek and sturdy. The black version looks pretty good and blends in perfectly in any bathroom. The scale is made of sturdy tempered glass that can support people who weigh up to 400 pounds. The metrics can be displayed both in pounds and kilograms, whichever you prefer.
If you want to obtain the most accurate measurements, the manufacturer recommends placing the scale ona perfectly flat and steady floor. Otherwise, it will not calibrate as it’s supposed to. Also, like most body fat scales, people who have an internal pacemaker or other electrical implants should not use this. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
EatSmart Digital Body Fat Scale
This product will accurately measure your body fat, total body water, muscle mass, bone mass, and overall weight. The sensors are highlyaccurate. It can store up to 8 profile users and will recognize the user immediately. What you will love about this scale is that it gives you the opportunity to choose the users. Let me explain. Let’s say that you and your sister are pretty much the same, the difference between you too is minimal. If one of you steps on the scale, the sensors will allow you to choose which one of you is on it. You can do it with your toes. That way it can make no mistakes.
The blue LCD screen is pretty big; it measures 3.5 inches. It’s backlit, so you have no issues in the dark or dimmer lighting. It has a self-calibration feature, Auto-on feature, and autooff. The scale runs on 4 AAA batteries that will last for months.
The scale is super slim and is made of high-quality tempered glass that can hold a weight up to 400 pounds. The touch screen interface is easy to use by anyone, even older people. People with pacemakers and other electrical implants should not use this product. As a matter of fact, such people cannot use any scale that uses BIA technology, not only this one or the other two I talked about. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
It’s difficult to make a choice among three excellent products but in my opinion, the Greater Goods is one of the best body fat scales on the market. Not only that it has the best design, but it provides more measurements. If you check the specifications, you will see that the other two scales don’t display body mass index.
A few years back you had to go to a doctor’s office to check your body fat percentage, or you had to use one of those super expensive machines you found in pharmacies, but nowadays you can do it in the comfort of your own home. Technology keeps on surprising us. Click here to buy on Amazon
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