Body fat is the amount of fat in your body when you compare it to bones, muscles, water, tendons, organs and other body components. To remain healthy and minimize the chances for cardiovascular and other diseases, you should lower your body fat levels to at least the acceptable percentages of 25-31% in women and 18-25% in men. To know when you are healthy it’s recommended that you measure the levels. To help you out, here are some of the ways of doing it:
These units work by requiring you to pinch your fat with your fingers and then measuring the thickness of the pinched area using the fat caliper. Some calipers require you to measure the thickness in one area while others will require you to measure it in different areas. The readings are given in millimeters and you are supposed to compare your readings to a chart (that has your age and gender) in order to find your body fat percentage.
The good side of using the calipers is that they are cheap; therefore, you can buy them and put them in your house. Compared to their cost, they are accurate. To have an easy time using the calipers it’s recommended that you go for the ones that require you to measure only one test area.
Comparing yourself to a chart
This is probably the easiest method of determining your body fat. All you need to do is take a picture and compare it to yourself. If you are keen when doing it you can accurately estimate your body fat percentage. If you are having trouble making an accurate estimation, you should ask a friend to help you out.
Dual Energy X-ray absorptiometry or DEXA as it’s often called is a highly accurate body fat testing method that works by determining how fat is distributed in the various parts of the body. The process requires you to use a body scanner with low dose x-rays; therefore, you don’t have to worry about being exposed to high x-ray levels. In addition to being very accurate, it takes only 10-20 minutes to complete; therefore, you can rush to the hospital, get the test done and go on with your activities.
It’s considered as the gold standard of body fat measurement. For you to determine the figure you need to submerge yourself in a specialized tank of water. Since bones and muscles are denser than water, you will weigh more in water if your body fat percentage is low. Conversely, you will be lighter in water if the percentage is higher. To get more accurate results you should blow all the air out of your lungs before weighing yourself. The test takes only 20-30 minutes to undertake and you can find it in universities, labs, and hospitals.
There are plenty of ways of testing your body fat; therefore, there is no reason to walk around worrying that you might be on the unhealthy side. To have an easy time, choose a method that is affordable and you can easily do at home.