Knowing your body fat percentage is important in determining whether your exercise routine is producing positive results. There are many ways you can measure your body fat but only two that are practical enough to be used at home.
Body Fat Caliper
You can use a body fat caliper which is a tool that pinches and measures the layer of fat directly beneath the skin. Using a few formulas or a calculator, you can then determine your body fat percentage. Results will vary depending on who is doing the assessment.
You can have two different people take the measurements at the same time and come up with different results. If you’re going to use this method, try finding someone that can do it for you every time. Avoid getting measured by one person this week and a different person next week.
Bathroom Scale/Hand Held Device
An easier option is to buy a scale that has a built in body fat measurement function. It works by sending a small electrical impulse up the leg or hand and measuring the amount of time it takes for it to get back. Different forms of tissue (muscle versus fat) conduct electricity at different speeds.
The amount of time it takes for the electrical current to get through your body determines your body fat percentage. These scales, while not error free, eliminate the variability that body fat calipers have. You can take the test back to back and you’ll get the same result.