Want to get a better picture of your overall health and know how much weight you need to lose to achieve your perfect body?
It’s time to measure your body fat.
Measuring the amount of fat you have can be a disillusioning experience, to some extent. Don’t get down if the number is up. It’s all part of the necessary evil that is required to lose fat and look your absolute best.
You’re a scientist, in search of a cure and the best way to find a cure is to obsessively record and pour over analytical data. Knowing the exact amount of body fat you have will go a long way in helping you to achieve a lean, fit body, decorated with impressive cuts and striations.
Should You Measure Body Fat?
Before embarking down the road of body fat analysis, you should decide if you’re fit enough to care. Don’t get us wrong – everyone should care about how much fat they carry, but measuring body fat is probably best reserved for those who are who are closing in on being lean or trying to get extremely lean.
It’s the difference in needing to lose several pounds vs. a few pounds.
With a substantial amount of fat, you’re going to be able to lose fat at a much greater rate than lean individuals. The scale is still the best tool for fat loss when individuals are obese. It’s also a more difficult task to measure body fat when an individual is in the obese range.
Once an individual gets under 20% body fat, skin folds become much easier to track and getting lean is near. It’s time to start measuring. Forget the metabolic advantage of losing fat. This is straight-forward scientific observation.
The Best Way to Measure Body Fat
There’s two superb ways to measure your body fat and neither will cost more than a few dollars up-front investment.
#1 – Buy a cheap pair of fat calipers. You can get them at Amazon for less than $10.
Don’t let the 4/5 stars dissuade you. These work great – you just have to keep using them to learn to use them well.
If you’ve never used fat calipers before, you’ll likely be discouraged the first few days – and maybe even the first few weeks. After a solid month of measuring body fat every day, you’ll learn to apply the same amount of pressure and you’ll learn to measure the exact same place every time. Your readings will be perfect from that point forward. Seeing concrete results when dropping from 12-11% body fat is a pretty exciting time in life.
#2 – Take pictures every day. There’s no better way to judge the loss of body fat than taking daily photographs. Upload them to a private photo account (Flickr allows a ridiculous amount of free photos) and go check out the photos when you feel like you’ve been stuck for a while. You might just be surprised.
Photos provide a journal of evidence that no numbers will ever be able to provide. Even when you feel that you haven’t made progress, going back to view photos from two months prior will show you achievements you never knew you made.
Compare your results to the following image and you’ll have a very good idea of your exact body fat percentage.
There are certainly other methods of measuring body fat, such as Bioelectric Impedance Analysis, Hydrostatic weighing, and DEXA Scan – to name a few. But there’s rarely a need to deviate from calipers and photographs – if you’re doing them faithfully.
Learning to measure your body fat accurately at home will certainly assist you in the quest for getting as lean as you want to be.