Body Fat Monitor
Why You Need to Use a Body Fat Analyzer
When you use a body fat monitor or analyzer to measure your body fat you will be able to optimize your work outs and diet to burn fat and build muscle. This allows you to fine tune your weight loss. Increasing muscle and decreasing fat will also allow you to eat more and lose weight. Since muscle weighs more than fat, trying to lose weight with an exercise program often seems frustrating, since you may gain weight. Measure body fat and you will be more motivated to use a healthy diet and proper exercise since you can see the results. A body fat monitor will also help you measure visceral (abdominal) fat, which some scientists believe can lead to high cholesterol, diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
If you read the information on heart rate monitors you will learn that in order to lose body fat you must have your heart rate in the proper zone during exercise, otherwise, you will not lose fat as fast or as easily. The main goal of any exercise program is to improve the efficiency of your metabolism (your resting heart rate is the key measure of this). Dieting alone will often cause you to lose skeletal muscle. If you don't maintain or increase your skeletal muscle you will find it harder to lose weight and stay fit. Dieting is often associated with decreased energy. If you maintain or increase muscle you will have increased energy while losing weight. Energy and muscle loss are possible culprits in diet failure.
Of course, just measuring your heart rate or body fat won't make you healthy. It's important to develop a program involving diet, cardiovascular, and strength training exercises. You might even want to find a body shaping program to help you achieve your targets for body fat and heart rate.
There are three major types of body fat monitors; Bioelectrical impedance, skin fold calipers, and density monitors:
Bioelectrical impedance devices measure how quickly a small electrical current passes through your body. Remember that water is an excellent conductor, so it transmits current faster then fat (this is also why you will get different results with this type of device depending on how hydrated your body is). The two main devices that use impedance measurement are body or bathroom scales and handheld devices. Both types use the impedance or "resistance" encountered to measure body fat. The devices can report body fat or body mass index (BMI). This can depend on you sex, age, weight, fitness and other factors. The more factors used, the better the calculation should be, though each manufacturer uses their own proprietary calculation. While BMI is not exactly the same as body fat there is a close correlation between the two measurements and you can use it to track your progress.
Calipers are the cheapest body fat analyzers. However, you must take several measurements - often you need someone else to assist you with this. Accuracy is about 3.5% with these type of devices and you are measuring true body fat.
The most accurate body fat analyser is hydrostatic weighing. This method involves immersing your body underwater and using Archimedes's Principle (density of the body determines how much fat you have) figures your body fat. It is also the most expensive and troublesome method to measure body fat. Either a large health club, a medical university or some Doctors may be able to do this type of measurement. It can be a useful tool to compare to your skin fold test or impedance device to determine how close they are. It can be challenging to find a location that performs this body fat analyzer test.
The BodPod is an Air Displacement Plethysmograph which measures your whole body density to determine fat and fat-free body mass. It is similar to hydrostatic weighing and is usually done at a clinic, gym or doctors office. You can find out more about a BodPod Center here. The NFL combine uses the BodPod.
Body Fat Analyzers
From Scales to Calipers
Body Fat Monitor Brands
Learn whether you should by a scale, a hand held device or use calipers
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