How to measure your body fat with body composition monitors

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As you go about the process of weight loss, one health gadget that will be an absolute must-have is a body fat monitor. Many people, especially those who are brand new to exercise often use the scale as their only measurement of how far along their progressing and if that scale isn't moving in the direction they had hoped for, they quickly become incredibly disappointed.

The problem with doing this is the fact that scales really only tell you that you're losing weight and not whether you're losing body fat, thus don't give a clear representation of what's going on.

Let's take a closer look into body fat monitors so you can see for yourself just how beneficial these can be to your overall progress.

We have reviewed Six models on this site, you you can jump straight to the reviews if you prefer:

  1. Omron Body Fat Monitor and Scale Review
  2. Tanita BF680W Duo Scale Plus Body Fat Monitor Review
  3. Tanita Ironman BC-350 Review
  4. Tanita BC554 Ironman Glass InnerScan Body Composition Monitor Review
  5. Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor Review
  6. Tanita BC-1000 Ant+ Wireless Body Composition Package Review

What A Body Fat Monitor Is

As mentioned in the introduction, a body fat monitor is a type of body weight scale that will divide the body up into lean body mass and fat body mass. Since on a fat loss diet your goal is to decrease total fat mass and not lean body mass, this type of scale is going to make sure that you are moving in the right direction.

Sadly, many people do begin to lose lean muscle mass when they first start up on a fat loss diet plan, so by using this scale they can help ensure that that doesn't happen.

What Benefits You'll Get From A Body Fat Monitor

The first big benefit that a body fat monitor is going to provide you with is the fact that it's going to provide you with an indication of any body recomposition changes that are currently taking place.

For those who are just starting a workout program, especially one that does include weight lifting in the mix, it's very likely that you could in fact start to gain lean muscle mass while losing body fat.

If you're doing this at the same time then you may actually see the scale increase rather than decrease, but this isn't necessarily going to be a bad thing.

Seeing the scale increase in this instance would represent that you are moving further along the lines to a healthy body weight and getting more fit than ever, so not something to be discouraged about.

If you were just using a bodyweight scale however, you likely would have been very upset to see the scale weight increase.

Another great thing that the body fat monitor will allow you to assess is your diet. Since losing weight does require a calorie deficit while gaining weight requires a calorie surplus, if you do notice that your weight is staying the same but you are seeing a decline in body fat but an increase in lean muscle mass, this could indicate that you're still consuming a few too many calories.

While gaining muscle isn't a bad thing, if you do want to become lighter overall as well, then that indicates to you that you need to cut back on your calorie intake slightly.

How To Use A Body Fat Monitor

To properly use a body fat monitor, you'll use it just like you would a standard scale and should aim to always use it first thing in the morning.

It's important to note that these monitors can be highly swayed by your fluid intake, which is why taking the reading before you've had anything to drink (but after urination in the morning) will be best.

Always also be sure to assess it at the same time during the day as this will make sue that you gain the most accuracy.

Some body fat monitors you will stand on like you would a regular scale while with others, you'll simply hold them with both hands directly in front of the body. Many do also provide you with the body weight recording as well, so you can quickly assess your total body weight as well as how many pounds of actual body fat you are currently carrying.

Making it a goal to lose a certain number of pounds of body fat will be much smarter than setting a goal to lose a certain amount of weight.

So if you are serious about making good progress with your fat loss program, make sure that you invest in a body fat monitor. It really will provide you with a much more complete picture of how you're progressing along.

About Andy

Andy writes for a number of health related sites but has always been fascinated by alternative medicine and home remedies. His deep interests in nature and the body's innate ability to heal itself (given the right condition) have lead him to a pivotal time in his life - and so, Holistic Home Fitness was born. While it's relatively new at the moment, Andy wants to build this site into a huge reference site for a more holistic approach to health and fitness.