The Truth About Body Fat Scales!

New body fat scales claim to measure body fat quickly and conveniently. At first glance they seem to be a great deal – using the “Bioelectrical Impedence” method to calculate your body fat. Unfortunately, these scales are notoriously innaccurate.

To make matters worse – they can only provide you with a limited understanding of your body composition.

All home body fat scales use the Bioelectrical Impedance method to measure your body fat percentage. With this method, a low-level electrical current is passed through your body and the impedance, or opposition to the flow of current, is measured. The result is used in conjunction with your weight and other factors to determine your body fat percentage.

Unfortunately, your body’s impedance level can be altered by many factors besides body fat. These factors include:

  • eating
  • drinking
  • dehydration level
  • exercise
  • menstrual cycles.

This means that you can change your body fat percentage just by drinking a few cups of water! Of course, you aren’t really changing your body fat – but the scale will say you are.

Only by following very strict rules can you hope to get an accurate measurement of your body fat using these scales. These rules include:

  • No eating or drinking within 4 hours of the test
  • No exercise within 12 hours of the test
  • You must urinate within 30 minutes of the test
  • No alcohol consumption within 48 hours of the test
  • No diuretic medications within 7 days of the test
  • Females who perceive they are retaining water should not use this method for body fat measurement during the menstrual cycles.

Obviously following all these rules makes the test very impractical -especially if you want to chart your progress on a daily or weekly basis.

Additionally, some studies have shown variances as high as 8% when using the bioelectrical impedance method even if the rules are precisely followed. This means that a male testing at 16% body fat using these scales could actually have body fat as low as 8% or as high as 24%.

The inaccuracy between these figures would move you from being in peak physical shape to being considered very obese!

Besides being grossly inaccurate – body fat scales only measure body fat percentage, not where your body fat is stored or any of the other valuable information you can gain through is the only program that will give you all the information you need about your current body composition without spending hundreds of dollars on specialized equipment or expensive doctor visits.