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Friday, September 6, 2013

Clean Eat Education :: Measure Your Body Fat At Home

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Tracking your body fat is one of the best ways to track your progress and success when you are trying to discern whether a program you are following is yielding results. If you don't know how to do it, it may sound like a daunting task! It's actually pretty easy - and you don't have to go anywhere to have it tested. Just think... no embarrassing caliper tests in the PT's office (save yourself the money too), no cost for underwater measurements (although this is very accurate, it's not necessary unless you are training for something VERY specific, like a competition), and you can track as often as you would like!

MEASURE YOUR BODY FAT AT HOME


Supplies: 
Scale, preferably digital for precise measuring
Pliable Tape Measure in Inches

Step 1: Weigh Yourself. 

Make sure you have a reliable scale for this! You need consistent numbers the entire time you are tracking. Always measure your weight at the exact time of day - ie. when you wake up in the morning. Record the number in lbs.

Remember: Don't pay attention to that number from a loss standpoint, but rather as a piece of the equation. Read this about why you shouldn't rely on the scale.

Step 2: Measure the circumference of your forearm (Women ONLY). 

This may be easier said than done. Recruit a partner to help if need be, but just make sure you relax your arm and get as accurate a measurement as possible.

Step 3: Measure your wrist (Women ONLY).

This number likely won't change over time, especially if you are measuring in the bony part, but make sure you check it each time you measure.

Step 4: Measure your waist/abdomen.

Women - To find where the tape needs to go, bend to the side. This crease should be the smallest portion of your waist. Another method is to wrap the tape around you and shimmy it back and forth until it rests in the smallest portion of your waist. Just ensure that the measurement is taken at the level of your navel.

Men - You are going to do the opposite of the women! You will be measuring your largest part of your abdomen - typically at navel height. If you have a little bit of a gut, make sure you include that too! Do not take an underbelly measurement!

Remember: Don't suck it in or cheat yourself on your measurement! It's important to get an accurate result.

Step 5: Measure your hips (Women ONLY).

Find your widest area, including your behind. Measure the circumference of it.

Step 6: Calculate your lean muscle mass using the following formulas depending on your gender.

Women - Use the following formula:

lean muscle mass = (body weight x 0.732) + (forearm x .434) + (wrist/3.14) - (hips x .0249) - (waist x 0.157) + 8.987

Men - Use the following formula:

lean muscle mass = (body weight x 1.082) - (waist x 4.15) + 94.42

Step 7: Using your calculated lean muscle mass, calculate your body fat percentage.

body fat percentage = ((body weight - lean muscle mass) / weight) x 100

Get to tracking!

Tiffany

Let us be your personal trainers with our detailed 4, 6 and 12 week She Sweats Workout plans! We guide your workout each day, telling you exactly what to do and what intensity to work at. We have everything you need! Find out more!


8 comments:

  1. This says my body fat percentage is 17.5! Is that possible? I was 28% body fat (using a Body Image machine at my gym) in April. If I've gone down that much, that's amazing--but I have been eating clean since February 2013 and I've been ramping up my workouts (weights and bodyweight workouts) for the last couple of months. I've lost 6-7 inches for sure. Tempted to get another Body Image reading to see if 17.5% is accurate!

    Jay H (female)

    ReplyDelete
  2. I'm curious to see what mine is using this method. My scale at home that measures body fat is always much higher than with the calibrated method. Thanks for posting!

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  3. Thanks for the intriguing post. I'm surprised men's body fat can be calculated from weight and waist circumference only. Do you know if there is some theoretical or statistical basis for the fancy coefficients? The formula for women looks like it could have been produced by expert system software trained on a sample of vital statistics. Does anybody know of any scientific papers that underpin this method?

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  4. What an interesting post. I would encourage you not to say "muscle weighs more than fat" as that is an incorrect statement. A pound of muscle and a pound of fat are both a pound. Muscle tissue is much more DENSE than fat(adipose tissue), therefore, if two people weigh the same amount, the person with the higher percentage of muscle mass will be smaller, and more compact due to a higher level of muscle tissue (as in less inches around the waist and other areas). Love your posts, but that is a common error that people often say that you might consider correcting in the future.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think most readers wouldn't take it as literally as you did.

      The phrase is commonly thrown out in the fitness world and most people comprehend it as "a certain unit volume of muscle weighs more than that same unit volume of fat".

      Delete
    2. I think most readers wouldn't take it as literally as you did.

      The phrase is commonly thrown out in the fitness world and most people comprehend it as "a certain unit volume of muscle weighs more than that same unit volume of fat".

      Delete
    3. I think most readers wouldn't take it as literally as you did.

      The phrase is commonly thrown out in the fitness world and most people comprehend it as "a certain unit volume of muscle weighs more than that same unit volume of fat".

      Delete
  5. Sorry but this is not accurate at all.

    ReplyDelete

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