The electronic body fat scale is a great tool to have in your home, no longer must you go to a gym and pay to measure your body fat percentage. The electronic body fat scale measures your body fat percentage by passing a small, harmless current through your body and measuring the resistance. Unfortunately the electronic body fat scale, if not properly used, can give false readings. Let’s look at some of the best practices you should follow to get an accurate and consistent reading every time from your electronic body fat scale.
What factors can influence the reading from an electronic body fat scale?
Since the scale measures density rather than actual fat it’s important to keep in mind that things like perspiration, hydration and recent meals can offset the results significantly.
You’ll want to use the electronic body fat scale at the same time every day. The first thing in the morning is best since your stomach will be empty, make sure you go to the bathroom first too, this will standardize your hydration level as well.
Since the electronic body fat scale uses a current to measure your body density it’s very important that you stand in exactly the same spot every time you use it. Modifying the amount of skin in contact with the scale will have a big influence on the reading. It goes without saying that you must make sure your feet are dry, water is a conductor so even the smallest amount of perspiration on your feet will have a huge effect on the reading. Wipe those feet down first.
Make sure you’re using your own profile on the electronic body fat scale before you take a reading. Many of the better scales allow multiple people to setup a profile with information such as age and sex. Make sure your profile is active when you take a reading.
Some additional considerations when using an electronic body fat scale
Don’t eat or drink before you take a reading, the additional mass from food or the additional water from drink WILL skew the results. Like I said, first thing in the morning on an empty stomach is best.
Make sure the electronic body fat scale is clean before using. Any water or oils on the pads will increase or decrease the delivered current, modifying the results accordingly.
Whatever you do, do NOT exercise before taking a reading. Your hydration level will be off, either from perspiring, or drinking tons of water and your feet will have perspiration of them for some time afterwards. These two things will give you inaccurate results.
With all these limitations and rules you might think that using an electronic body fat scale isn’t the best tool out there for home use. While it might be true that you’ll never get reading as accurate as some of the more traditional (and expensive) ways of measuring body fat this much is true. Used correctly you will be able to see if your trending up or down, in other words, you will be able to tell if your body fat percentage is going up or down, so, in my opinion, an electronic body fat scale is an invaluable tool for somebody dieting to determine if they are truly getting results.
Filed Under: Dieting