Measuring Body Fat
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What is the best way to check your body fat?
There is a fairly large margin of error in most body fat measuring techniques. In fact, the only sure way to get an accurate body fat percentage is when you’re dead by actually weighing all of the fat they take out of your body. If you’re looking for a method to get a starting reference point, use hydrostatic, BodPod, or DEXA. BIA has a high error rate and skin folds aren’t very accurate unless taken by an experienced person.
With that being said, here is a quick break down of each technique along with a link to a fantastic article about each that lists studies associated with each measuring type.
- Underwater/Hydrostatic - Fairly reliable - http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=162
- BodPod - fine for a one time estimate "Horrible for tracking change over time" - http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=175
- BIA - Often no more accurate than BMI - http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=218
- Skinfold - Use the number in millimeters to track progress, but don’t convert into a percentage. 3-6 months between measurements - http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=250
- DEXA - Fine for an initial, but not good for tracking change over time - http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/?page_id=260