Before you step into the gym, consider asking yourself what goals you have in mind. Is it your weight? Eating habit? Overall fitness? If so, you should consider looking more at your body fat percentage over your weight. Your body fat plays a lot more into your body image and has a lot do to with your eating habits and your fitness level. It's a measurement of your fat mass to your non-fat mass (muscles, bones, organs, etc.). Losing the weight doesn't always reflect what's going on inside.
So how do you measure your body fat? You may have used one of these back in school, but body fat scales have transformed in recent years from the hand-held gadget your teacher used. Newer models measure your weight, body fat, lean mass, BMI, water weight, and bone mass. But which is going to be best for you? Listed below are criteria to consider as well as 5 of the top body fat scales and their pros and cons. If you want the full list, you can see the best body fat scales here. They all gather your weight and body fat, but some have additional features that may come in handy:
What To Look For
Digital or analogue? Analogue scales provide the most consistency. They rely on technology referred to as bioelectrical impedance that measures the resistance of electrical waves which gauge a person's body fat. Water intake, menstrual cycles, and time of day are all factors that can sway the readings.
Connectivity & User Interface
The more a scale can do, the better. Unfortunately, the more functions can mean difficulty of use. Does the device transmit data through wi-fi or Bluetooth? Does the device connect to your phone, are functions accessible, and can they sync to your devices?
With all things, how much are you willing to spend? You don't need to break the bank to achieve adequate results, but you shouldn't go the cheap route just to save a buck or two. Purchase within reason.
Durability & Weight
What is the scale's weight capacity? What is it made from? Make sure to read reviews in order to prevent purchasing a scale which will fall apart after consistent use.
Weight Gurus Digital BF Scale
A 400lbs limit, the best accuracy, and great on price (listed on Amazon for $49.85) the Weight Guru has great consistent reviews, with many complimenting its ease of use and applicability with other apps. Unfortunately, those with pacemakers, electronic implants, and the pregnant, are not recommended to use.
Tanita BC554 Ironman Monitor
Additional to being able to measure your weight and body fat the Ironman can calculate "body age". The calculation refers to the age of your body based on body fat and BMI. Despite other scales lacking a "body age" calculator, the usefulness of it is next to zero. It's user-friendly, trusted, lightweight, but only holds up to 330lbs. (Costs sit around $150).
A trusted scale that provides extra details on stomach fat, skeletal muscle, and resting metabolism. The Omron calculates body fat using bioelectrical impedance. With great additives, some of which are not useful (stomach fat calculation), the Omron doesn't hold up as much, with a weight maximum of 330lbs. (Affordable at $68.50).
The Aria is one of the most recognizable brands in the market. It connects well to wi-fi and uses the popular Fitbit application. Yet, it only tracks weight and body fat, while all other features are only accessible through the application. With an "athlete mode," the Aria is more for active users but doesn't discriminate as it can hold up to 350lbs. Drawback? Its steep, costing $128.
EatSmart Precision GetFit Digital Scale
Listed as one of the highest rated scales. The EatSmart holds up to 400lbs, is accurate as the Ironman, has a backlit display, and is user-friendly. Unfortunately, it lacks connectivity to smartphones, may not be used with thick moisture in the air. Regardless, it has proven to be satisfactory to most of its users, largely due to its costs - $59.99.
Whichever scale you choose to step up on, remember that exercise is critical in seeing change. Know where you're at, decide whether you're happy with the numbers, and implement change. The scales aren't going to change the number for you without active effort. Stay Fit!