If you want to know how to check body fat percentage, I’ll share 4 popular options below with you. Most of these can be used at home, while the final option, a Dexa scan, requires that you head out to a facility.
One thing I’ve learned on my journey to get into shape is that body fat percentage is something people easily get tripped up on. In the midst of the pandemic, when I lost 15 pounds, I was fairly obsessed with seeing the numbers change on a daily basis.
People carry fat on their bodies in different places. Because of this, somebody with a body fat percentage of 12% could look quite different than another person.
So, I’ve come to learn that gauging progress in the mirror can actually be a healthier way to measure results because it’s very easy to compare our progress with others, even though those comparisons aren’t really saying all that much.
However, here are some ways on how to check body fat percentage. Some are considered more effective than others. I mainly use a body fat scale to check my own percentage. While I know it’s not 100% accurate, I do gauge progress when I see numbers going steadily down. Let’s get to the options below.
Skinfold calipers are a fairly outdated method, but they are still one of the most popular tools for checking body fat percentage. They’re inexpensive; you can use them at home, and they’re portable.
Calipers are used to measure fat in different parts of your body underneath the skin. They specifically measure the thickness of your subcutaneous fat.
The downside of skinfold calipers is that they require a basic understanding of human anatomy, so it can be a bit of a learning curve to get used to them. Another disadvantage to some is that the calipers do pinch your skin.
I actually own calipers myself, and I’ve felt that I didn’t really know what I was doing when I was checking my own body fat. You can find instructions easily online and most calipers come with written directions on how to use them.
Still, I felt that the process was a bit complicated. So, the skill of the person doing the assessment is critical for getting accurate results. While it felt tedious to me, you may find it to be a simple process.
Body Fat Scale
I attribute my body fat scale to helping me drop the 15 pounds of unwanted fat that wouldn’t leave my body for many years. It came off seamlessly in the midst of the pandemic, and the scale helped keep me on track for a number of reasons.
While I had also started a new workout routine and nutrition plan, the scale helped keep me accountable day after day. The reason for this is that it syncs seamlessly with your phone via Bluetooth. So, simply seeing the numbers change daily was motivating to me.
The scale will measure your body fat percantage. It’s not 100% accurate, and I already knew that going into it. However, seeing the actual body fat percentage numbers go down week after week was very motivating. Not only that, but the scale provides you with 13 measuring functions that I never really paid much attention to. You can see them in the image above.
This little piece of technology by Amazon is actually very cool. The company has made some bold statements regarding the precision of this device for body fat percentage readings.
The Halo claims to give you 2 times more accuracy than a body fat scale does. One feature of the Halo that is pretty amazing is that it will take a scan of your body so you can see what you’d physically look like at different body fat percentages.
You take a photo of yourself at multiple angles, and the Halo does the rest. With these images, Amazon then creates a three-dimensional effect, which calculates your body fat percentage and composition.
If you’re serious about getting the most reliable body fat percentage results, then a Dexa Scan is the way to go. To my understanding, it is the only method that exists that will give you close to 100% accuracy.
A DEXA Scan’s main purpose is to check your overall bone density, which is your strength. It does this through imaging using low-level X-rays, and the scan also provides you with other information, like whether you have any fractures and your likelihood for osteoporosis.
The same test will give your results for your overall body composition, which includes muscle mass and body fat percentage. What’s interesting is that this test not only gives you body fat results, but you’ll also get an understanding of where you carry the most fat.
A DEXA scan takes less than 25 minutes on average. It is a fairly expensive procedure, that costs anywhere from $45 to $350 for a session.
Body Fat Percentage In Summary
These are all popular ways to check body fat percentage. Aside from the DEXA scan, these can all be done at home, and all the devices are portable.
I’ve personally found the body fat scale to be convenient, and I really love the 13 features that it provides, so I get a much better understanding of my overall body composition and health. The Bluetooth compatibility with my phone makes it very easy to see progress over time. Plus, you can add multiple people to the same account.
I am planning to invest in the Amazon Halo as well, not just for the body fat percentage readings, but for its ability to measure our overall mood and sleep patterns as well.
I hope you found this article to be helpful. If you have any questions or comments regarding anything written here, please let me know in the comments and I’ll be more than happy to get back to you as soon as possible. Thanks so much for reading