Why is it important to check your body fat? Relying on a scale alone to measure your weight, Won’t give you a complete picture of your body. Sometimes you’ll gain muscle while losing fat and the scale won’t show you the difference.
During P90X, I gained weight in the first two weeks. Since I was checking my body fat each week, I was able to see that I was actually losing fat even though the scale is going up because of the muscle gain. There are several ways to check it. These are electrical impedance scales and they are horribly inaccurate. They always overestimate and I’m sure you don’t have a water submersion tank in your backyard so I’m gonna show you two methods for checking your body fat today
One is simple, you can do it by yourself. The other one is very simple but you need someone to help you. Here’s what you’ll need. You need a fat caliper and some body fat. We’ve all got it so let’s take a look at the fat caliper. This fat caliper, it’s cost $6, I bought it in amazon.com. It’s the Accu-Measure but you can find it in any different medical supply stores, health stores.
In your hand it feels cheap, it’s plastic but it gets the job done and it’s accurate.
How to Measure Body fat
When you hold it in one hand and pinch a skin fold, it will actually make a little click. Then what you do is you look at the the measurement here, you’ll see it in inches or millimeters and then when you’re done, you got to move the lever back to the right side, pinch it again, take the reading.
Let’s get started, we’re going to start with the simple method and this is just checking one location on my body. It’s the suprailiac location which is near the side. Here my wife is taking a diagonal skin fold, it’s about one inch, one to two inches above my hip and then you just pinch it the caliper and then do the reading.
Here’s a little bit of a closer look. You want to make sure the caliper is halfway between the edge of the skin flap and the body so here we’ll move it over a little bit. That’s about right and then you take the measurement in millimeters at the bottom and then you plug it in to this chart on the left hand side is your age and across the top the millimeters.
This chart comes with the fat caliper or you can pause the video to look at it. Let’s move on to the comprehensive method. In this method, there is four locations. We look at the abdominal, the suprailiac, the arm and the thigh. The first location is the abdominal, it’s right next to the navel about an inch over.
Again, pinch the skinfold, take the measurement and once you’re done, it’s really important to push the lover back to the right side, take the next measurement. Here we’re looking at the suprailiac again, this is the same location that we measured during the simple method so if you’ve already got the reading from that spot, you can skip this one but again, just taking a closer look at taking the reading with the caliper.
The next location is the arm. Here, I was initially flexing. You want to make sure you’re not flexing your arm and take it just behind or down below the triceps muscle. It gets pretty difficult to pinch skin when your body fat gets low but you should be able to get some. The last location is the thigh. This is halfway between the knee and the hip.
This can be difficult to squeeze because the skin gets pretty thick but you might have to pinched it tightly. Once you have your four measurements, we’re going to enter them into a free online calculator on a website called Linear online. I’ll go ahead and put a link to this in the video description but what I like about this one is it also takes into account your age and your weight in the top left and then you enter your figures in millimeters in the middle then you hit calculate
Scroll down a little bit and then you’ll see the outcome of your results which is your body fat percentage here on the left as well as the category that you fit into. Let’s recap the four steps. Number one, take your measurements in millimeters. Number two, enter them to the calculator along with your age and weight and then make sure you use the right calculator for men and women because they do have one for both.
Let’s talk about some tips for taking accurate measurements. I recommend taking them one time a week on the same day, same time. For me that’s Saturday mornings but for you find when that time is. Always take the right side of the body and take your measurements two or three times until you get a consistent reading.
If you have any questions, go ahead and leave a comment on the video. For more fitness and nutrition videos, subscribe to our YouTube channel David & Kate Ingram – Symbiotic Fitness.