If you are interested in fitness, then you already know how important it is to measure your body fat. You cannot know how much fat you have just by looking at yourself. And just because you look thin, that does not mean you have little body fat. Maybe you have a small lean mass, or maybe your muscle mass is to a minimum. But what I know for certain is that looks can be deceiving when it comes to this subject. That is why your best chance at finding out just how much body fat you have is a body fat analyzer.
What is a body fat analyzer?
This is a device that will measure how much fat you have in your body. There are many ways to do that, but the one I am referring to in this piece is a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device. Since technology has advanced quite a bit in the last few years, you can now use such a device in the comfort of your home.
Owning such a product will help you a lot if you are trying to get fit. You will be able to monitor your weight, but not only as an overall aspect, but you will be able to know precisely how much of it is muscle and how much is fat. It is very helpful if you are into serious bodybuilding or body shredding.
How does it work?
The principle is simple enough. Bioelectrical impedance analysis uses two conductors which you have to touch simultaneously. The device sends a very small electrical impulse through your entire body. The resistance between the two conductors will reveal the amount of body fat. I don’t know if you know this, but adipose tissue, muscular tissue, and skeletal tissue have different resistance to electricity.
Body fat (which is anhydrous) is a poor electricity conductor. However, lean tissue is rich in water (about 73%) and electrolytes, which will make the electric impulse travel fast. The idea is simple: the faster the travel speed of the pulse, the more muscle mass you have and less body fat.
These devices can differ shape-wise. Either they are hand-held scales or standing scales. The idea is that the electrical pulse must move from foot to foot, or from hand to hand. Before measuring, the device will ask for some basic information such as height, weight, age, and gender. Each of these details is important since they can influence the results. For example, women are known to have more body fat on the abdomen than men. It’s just something specific to women.
Advantages of BIA
Bioelectrical impedance analysis is one of the fastest methods of measuring body fat. You just have to step on a scale or hold one in your hands, depending on the model. It beats laying in an MRI machine or dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. These two can last at least 20 minutes, and, of course, you cannot do it at home.
Even if electrical impulse comes up a few times, it does not hurt. The pulse is so discreet that you will not even feel a thing. Many people live with this common misconception. As soon as they hear ‘electricity,’ they believe they are going to get massively shocked. They couldn’t be more wrong. The whole process is completely painless.
As I said above, the BIA device is available for home use. It can also be found in labs, doctor’s offices, and sometimes in pharmacies, but nothing compares to using a product in the comfort of your own home. That is the whole beauty of modern-day technology.
It’s completely affordable. One of the biggest advantages of technology advancement is that everything comes at a reasonable price at some point. That is because new things are discovered everyday. It’s nice to know that a simple person with an average income can have one of these BIA devices at home.
The method is impressively accurate. There are tools on the market that have been proven to work very well. It’s not like nobody expected them not to work. That was why they were created, after all. It’s just that their accuracy has been doubted. Fortunately, these machines proved everybody wrong. The BIA device has just a 4% margin of error.
Just like anything else in this world a BIA device comes with a few drawbacks as well. It’s nothing serious, but they cannot be overlooked. For the sake of full disclosure, I will tell you what these advantages are. It is important to know the good and the bad of a particular product, isn’t it?
This kind of body fat monitors is gender biased. It seems that men and women store fat in a different way in the abdomen and thigh area so the result may be less accurate for women than for men.
There is the amount of water variable. The electric impulse I was telling you about before travels through the water you have in your body at the time of the measurement. So, if you are well hydrated before you use the device, the monitor will show that you have less body fat than when you measure it before intense hydration. So, less water means more body fat and the other way around.
Results are affected not only by the quantity of water you drink before the measurement but by skin temperature and food intake as well.
It is recommended that you take the test every day at the same time, preferably before breakfast, before any training, but after hydrating. Otherwise, your results will differ in a way that does not make sense.
Overall, the bioelectrical impedance analysis device is worth having in your home. It is helpful, and if you use the right way, your results will be as accurate as possible.
What is the best body fat analyzer?
The options you have are not few. There are hundreds, if not thousands of products on the market that are meant to measure your body fat and not only that. However, not all of them seem to deliver the results they advertise. Some of them are not accurate, and some of them are made of poor quality parts.
Here are three of them that are pretty impressive.
Greater Goods Balance High Accuracy Digital Body Fat Scale
Now, I don’t know about you, but I always like scales with this design. The smooth glass makes this scale perfect for any bathroom. I am not trying to be shallow here, but I think that design is an important aspect when you buy a product.
As far as measurement goes, this device will not monitor just your body fat, but a total of 6 metrics: overall weight, BMI (body mass index), body fat, muscle mass, hydration level, and bone density. Quite some skills for a simple bathroom scale, am I right? Not to mention that its accuracy looks pretty good. It has a margin of error of only 2 pounds (when it comes to body weight).
The device uses BIA technology to measure all the metrics I numbered above. The surface of the scale is extra large, so you don’t have to worry that your feet will not make proper contact with the conductors. Also, the LCD screen is backlit. You can even weigh yourself in the dark if you like.
The Greater Goods scale calibrates itself, unlike most such products on the market. This usually happens in between uses. You will not even know. All you have to do is just step on it, and the rest is no concern of yours.
In order to power the scale, you need 4 AAA batteries, which are included. Also, the maximum weight the glass can support is 400 pounds. Setting it up is really easy as well. You will receive a video that will teach you how to do it step by step. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Omron Hbf-306C Handheld Body Fat Analyzer
As opposed to the previous device, this one is handheld, just as the title and image suggest. It is believed that this kind of body fat monitor is more accurate, but there is no scientific data tosupport the idea.
Just like almost all body fat analyzers, the Omron uses a small electrical impulse to measure body fat percentage and BMI. However, unlike most devices that do that, this one has two modes instead of one: normal and athletic. This feature is designed for regular people who don’t exercise, but also for individuals who are into fitness and bodybuilding. It is easier to monitor your gym progress if you have such a device at hand.
Omron Body Fat Analyzer has a 9-person memory profile and a guest profile. You can use this together with afew of your gym buddies or with your family. Plus, let’s not forget about curious people who just want to see how this thing works. That’s the purpose of the guest profile. Personal trainers use this on their clients to monitor their product. It comes in handy considering that you measure yourself with the purpose of improving or controlling. So you must have some sort of profile to track your progress or decline. You will receive a measurement log as well.
The one thing you should be careful if you want to purchase this product is that it’s dangerous if you have a pacemaker or other implanted devices. So you would better talk to your physician before using this device. Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
Greater Goods Weight Gurus Bluetooth Smart Connected Body Fat Scale
Greater Goods company comes with another fantastic product that will do its job perfectly. This time the scale is black, and it has a lot of cool features.
Most of the features are identical with the first body fat monitor I reviewed. It measures six metrics (weight, BMI, body fat, lean mass, water weight, and bone mass), the size of the weighing platform is extra large, and it has a backlit LCD screen.
There is also the auto calibration in between uses and the auto-off feature. There is an 8 person profile, the scale will detect 8 different users by their weight. The scale supports a maximum of 400 pounds and works with 4 AAA batteries.
Now the cool part. The device will connect to your phone. That’s right. The time we live in requires it if you think about. In an era when everything is connected to our phones, and we keep almost all the aspects of our life in them, body fat measurements and other metrics make no exception. You don’t even have to hold the phone in your hand while on the scale. The sync will happen whenever the phone is around.
Just so you know, for a more simple way of tracking all of your physical activities and metrics, the data you receive from the body fat analyzer can be synced with Fitbit, Google Fit, Apple Health and other popular apps. Everything you need to know about your body will now be stored in a single smartphone application. How cool is that? Click here to read more reviews and buy on Amazon.
I will go with the obvious choice, the Greater Goods Weight Gurus. It has a lot of impressive features, but the fact that I can connect my bathroom scale with my phone exceeds all possible expectations. That is why I consider this model to be the best body fat analyzer so far. All three of them are great products, but there has to be a favorite.
Measuring your body fat is important in the process of becoming fit. The fact that you can do that at home is a truly amazing thing, an advantage of the days we live in. Sometimes we underestimate technology and take it for granted. A body fat analyzer may not seem impressive to you, but imagine that a few decades ago you couldn’t even dream of it. And now you can do it in your own bathroom. Click here to buy on Amazon
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