To calculate body fat percentage you have a number of different methods which vary in cost, accuracy and accessibility. So which one should you use?
We know it’s important to measure our body composition and body fat testing helps you get an idea of how much fat vs muscle you’re carrying.
You can also start working towards the desired under 10% body fat which is the when your abs will start to show.
Getting a test done at the start of your diet and then perhaps once every month or two helps you access the two test results side-by-side so you can see if you’re making progress or going backwards.
But how do you know which type of test is right for you? This guide will answer these questions and get you ready to get tested!
What is A Body Composition Test?
Body composition tests are a great way to know how much fat you’re losing compared to muscle. The goal of any diet is to lose fat and maintain muscle; this will give the most dramatic transformation.
Women are usually less concerned with maintaining muscle and they just want to lose weight which is why women who lose weight still complain they don’t look “toned”.
The reason is, if you lose muscle as well as fat you’ll just look like a smaller version of what you look like now. But if you lose fat and maintain as much muscle as possible you’ll look MUCH leaner.
Lose 5 pounds of fat and you’ll have a much more visible transformation compared to 10 pounds of weight where most of it is muscle loss.
For this reason I recommend bodyfat tests as a cheap way to get a progress check. There are many ways to calculate body fat percentage, some accurate some not accurate, some expensive and some not.
Ways of Measuring Body Fat
There are a range of ways to calculate your body fat percentage, such as the common Body Composition Scales you stand on and the old calculate body fat using calipers method.
Then there’s more elaborate methods such as underwater weighing where you submerge yourself in a tank and even full body scans such as DEXA scans.
Here’s a quick table which gives you an overview of the different methods: