How To Measure Body Fat At Home

Learning how to measure body fat at home can give you a very good insight into your overall health. While weight alone can tell you some things, the ratio of body fat to muscle can be very finicky. Subcutaneous body fat is very unhealthy, and knowing your body fat can help you prepare to go on a diet or course of exercise.

You will need:

  • Fat calipers
  • Calculator
  • Measuring tape
  • Scale
  1. Figure out your Body Mass Index (BMI). Your BMI will give you your initial insight into your percentage of body fat. The first thing you need to do is get your weight. Hop on a scale, naked, and record your weight. Then, measure your height. The best way to do this is to have someone help you. Stand with your back up against a wall and have someone mark the top of your head with something flat like a cereal box or book. Then measure that point to the floor. Multiply your weight in pounds. Divide by your height in inches. Then divide again by your height in inches. That is your BMI. While your BMI doesn't tell your your body fat, is a good basis for determining your weight range.
  2. Measure your waist. You can now input your information into these formulas, determined by the navy. If you are a man then plug your numbers into this formula:  (-98.42 + 4.15*waist – .082 * weight) / weight. If you are female, use this one:  (-76.76 + 4.15 * waist – .082 * weight) / weight. Those will give you your body fat percentage.
  3. Measure your fat with the calipers. A chart and instruction guide comes with your calipers. Compare this number to the number you got from the above formula. An average between the two should give you your body fat percentage.

Resources:

Body Fat Calculator

Body Composition Tests

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