body fat calculator

How to Measure Body Fat With a Body Composition Monitor

Most body composition monitors use a process called bioelectrical impedance. BI is a common abbreviation for bioelectrical impedance. Also many experts consider it a very accessible and highly accurate method for screening body fat. Many body tissues have high levels of water content, and they can conduct electricity with ease. They include bones, blood vessels, and muscles. On the other hand, body fat is physical tissue without much electric conductivity. A body composition monitor sends out a very weak current of electricity, typically 0.5mA, through a person’s body. This is done to determine the present amounts of fatty tissue. It is a perfectly safe process. You’re not going to feel the electrical current during the operation of a body fat calculator. This is a very weak current. Electrical resistance, height, age, gender, and weight are five factors which involves in the body fat percentage calculation formula.

Best time to use Body Fat Calculator

The ideal time for you to measure yourself is early in the morning. Do it before you shower, drink, eat, or even exercise. That gives you the chance to chart trends with robust daily comparisons. Please keep in mind that water levels usually decrease as the day goes on. That can have an effect on different methods of measurement. For instance, the hand-to-hand method will provide fattier results as the day wears on.

Visceral Fat

Visceral fat is among the most crucial things calculated by a body fat monitor. That’s the fat which surrounds internal organs. Many doctors believe that excessive amounts of visceral fat have a relation to higher levels of bloodstream fat levels. Also that leads to common ailments such as diabetes and hyperlipidemia. Reducing visceral fat levels to acceptable levels can often prevent common diseases or at least improve conditions. Individuals with high levels of visceral fat often have a large stomach. That’s not always true, though, and high levels of visceral fat can cause a person to be metabolically obese. Someone who is metabolically obese is of normal weight but with visceral obesity. That means their weight is either below or at their height standard. But their fat levels are certainly higher than standard.

Body Mass Index (BMI)

A body fat calculator can also calculate your BMI, or body mass index. That’s a measurement assessing the body weight of a person. Overweight and obese individuals are a growing problem around the world. Also many in the medical community use BMI to illustrate the potential risks. On the other hand, BMI measurements are just a rough guide which many dispute. This is because of the fact BMI measurements don’t take body build or composition into account.

Who should not use?

Some individuals already wear electronic medical implants or devices, such as electrocardiograms and cardiac pacemakers. Such devices provide current that can trigger a malfunction. Such individuals should not use body fat calculator. Most of the body composition monitors works on bio-impedance analysis. As said earlier, the BIA principle relies on a weak current of electricity travelling through the body. A person can not sense this current. But if a cardiac pacemaker picks up on that signal, it could wind up becoming unpredictable.

Can it be used by Body builders?

Body-builders should avoid using a body composition monitor. Many such devices use estimation formulas from large study groups of ‘normal’ subjects. Body-builders did not see inclusion in the validation studies. Given that body-builders have very different compositions to their bodies, their fat percentage indications are not likely to be trustworthy.

Body fat calculator make their body fat percentage estimation based on several parameters. This includes electrical impedance, gender, age, height, and weight. Body-builders that measure their fat percentage through a BIA methodology are going to get low and even unstable results. This is because of higher volumes of muscle mass that don’t have much water content. The number is also going to alter by the fact that body-builders tend to weight more than normal people. This is because of their additional muscle mass.

Can it be used by pregnant women?

Body composition monitors are useful only for weight tracking during pregnancy. However, the other calculations are not accurate. This is because of the high volumes of fluids a pregnant woman carries, given the conductivity of such fluids. Also, a pregnant woman has a higher weight than normal, so that impacts the fat percentage calculation as well.

Now that you have read this article, you have learned a few things about body composition monitors. These devices are useful in some cases in calculating a body fat percentage. As discussed earlier, some individuals should not use them. Some should avoid them given the lack of accurate results. Also those with medical implants or technology might find the electrical current dangerous. For normal people this weak current doesn’t make any impact.

Published by

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Dr. Aleksandar Grbovic

Hi! My name is Aleksandar Grbovic. I’m a radiology resident with five years of experience in General Medicine. As a medical writer, I have only one goal in my mind - to bridge the gap between doctors and patients point of view by breaking down complex medical topics and presenting them in lay people language. Knowing that my writing might help someone out there connect the dots is what keeps me motivated.

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