If you have been wondering how to identify your body fat percentage, you have come to the right place. Body fat percentage is very important for so many reasons.
If you have high body fat percentage, you aren’t going to see your abs. If you have low body fat percentage but no muscle, you might look super skinny.
In this article, we are going to discuss 3 different ways to measure your body fat percentage.
Before we get started, if you care about your overall health, I recommend downloading our app All Workouts: Personal Trainer (iOS | Google Play). We have multiple FREE workout plans that will get you started on your way.
Now let’s get into our 3 ways to identify your body fat percentage.
Cheapest way to identify your body fat percentage: Body fat calipers
Body fat calipers are the tried and true method for identifying your body fat percentage. And the best part about it is that they are the cheapest form of figuring out your body fat percentage on this list.
When you order a body fat caliper, it is going to come with directions and a chart to help you determine exactly what to do in order to find out how to get your body fat percentage.
It works like this. You pull your skin out in multiple places throughout your body, and squeeze the caliper to a specific point and take a measurement. You then average all of these measurements out using the chart provided and voila, you have your body fat percentage.
Unfortunately, I have found the accuracy on these to be hit or miss because if you are doing them at home, there is a lot of variability in how your body fat is measured. This all depends on how you yourself perform the task.
I will give you a great example. I bought some calipers a few years ago to help me with a cut I was getting ready to start. Since I wanted to get used to the calipers, I went through the process 3 separate times.
Each time I went through the process, I got a different number. Granted, they were all fairly close, but the accuracy wasn’t exactly what I was looking for. If you are just looking for a range, this could be a good option.
Most accurate way: Dexa scan
The DEXA scan is not only the coolest way to get your body fat percentage scanned, but it is also the most accurate.
If you are looking to know exactly what your body fat percentage is, the DEXA scan is the way to go.
DEXA scans were originally designed to determine your bone density. But it turns out that you could also accurately identify body fat percentage with the machine. Over time, these machines became more affordable, and now you can find them in a lot of different places in your city.
I recommend going on Groupon and searching “dexa scan.” I was able to find one in my city for $65. Which brings me to my first downside. The price. At $65 for each visit, you might not have the money for it. Especially since you might want to get one multiple times per year.
The second downside is having to travel to go to the location. The closest DEXA scan location to me is about a 20 minute drive. Not terrible, but also not extremely convenient.
Overall, I think that if you are serious about learning how to identify your body fat percentage, you are going to have to give this a shot.
The DEXA scan is by far the most accurate way of measuring body fat percentage, so be sure to check it out. If you can afford to get it once every 6 months to a year, it might be helpful in guiding your decisions.
Easiest way to figure out your body fat percentage: Handheld body fat device
The Omron Body Fat Analyzer comes in at number 3 for multiple reasons. Sure, it is the easiest to use, but it is also the most expensive. You can get 5 DEXA scans before this thing pays for itself.
But, if you are looking for the easiest way to identify body fat percentage, this might be your best option. Literally all you have to do is grip it for 10 seconds, and it gives you a number. It works by sending micro pulses of electricity through your body and using that feedback to determine your body fat percentage.
Don’t worry though, it is not like you are being shocked. The electricity pulses are not noticeable.
If you aren’t anywhere near a DEXA scan location, and you plan on sticking with fitness for many years, this could be a good purchase for you.
If you do decide to buy this, and you are on a fitness journey, I recommend taking your measurement once per month in order to track your progress. You will be surprised at how much this can improve your motivation.
Main Point: How to identify your body fat percentage
Now you have 3 tools to learn how to identify your body fat percentage. Was this what you thought it would be? This was more of an informative article about the different options that you have when trying to measure your body fat percentage.
It doesn’t matter how you cut it, you are going to need some sort of external device or scan in order to determine your body fat percentage. Whether that is buying a caliper from Amazon, or getting a DEXA scan, that is entirely up to you.
Using skinfold calipers are going to be your cheapest option. So if you plan on being casual about this, go ahead with the calipers.
If you plan on being extremely serious with your fitness journey, the best thing to do would be to schedule a DEXA scan once every 3-6 months. This is going to give you the most accurate measurement of body fat percentage.
Using the handheld body fat percentage device can be an accurate way to determine body fat percentage. But the cost can be prohibitive for some people.
Ultimately, it is up to you to decide what route you are going to take. Remember, whatever measurement device you are starting with, keep using that same method to determine results.
You don’t want different opinions on what your body fat percentage is. You want to see a steady decline in body fat percentage.
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