How to Determine Your Percentage of Body Fat

I’m going to talk to you about how to determine your percentage of body fat.  Thereare actually several different methods to do this.  What used to be thought of as thegold standard was underwater weighing. However this is a very difficult way to actually measureyour body fat.  Typically what has been done is the person is submerged in a tank of water. They have to blow out all of their air.  As much air as they possibly can. And their weight was taken before they were submerged and their weight is taken as they’re in there. A calculation is done to actually determine their percentage of body fat.

Another method that’s a lot more common is to use skin calipers. This can be fairly accurate if you have a good handler. If the person is very well versed in actually pulling the skin at the proper amount using the caliper to measure how much the indentation is various parts of your body.  Usually they will measure your back, the back of your arm at your triceps, also the back of your calf. They may do some in the front, your lower abdominal area.  Again, they’ll do a calculation that takes into account your age and your weight as well as your gender.  That’s the most common method.  Another method is by electrical impedance.

And this is a method that people can actually do themselves at home.  There are a lot of scales that you can buy on the market these days that have basically metal pads on the scale.  You step on it bare footed and in addition to giving you your body weight, it will also tell you your percentage body fat.  This isn’t a very accurate method. Particularly on the home units. Another newer version is called Dexa. This is a dual electron method.

And it’s basically doing a scan of your entire body.  And it looks like this is going to become the new gold standard.  You actually get a view of your entire body.  You can see your skeletal system, you can see the actually muscle mass and then you can see the lighter parts that are the fat mass.  So again, this is actually becoming the new gold standard.

The most accurate way of determining your body fat.  There’s a couple of estimations that you could also use on line. Something called the Navy Circumference Method.  This is using a tape measure.  You measure in men their abdomen, in women it’s their waist and hips.  Both genders also measure their neck. And you enter it into their actual website.

You also put in your age and then the website actually gives you an approximation of your body fat.  And then another website does a similar thing.  However, besides using your waist and hips they also use your calf and they do not use your neck.  Again, those are approximations just based on your weight, your gender, your age and tape measurements.  But a few different methods for determining your body fat.