Welcome to another episode of FABulously Fit Friday, and =today we're going to be talking about body fat percentage scales.
Now, = hopefully you've seen these scales eitherin the drugstore, you may have = one at home.
These are the scales that show your weight in pounds or in =kilograms and it also shows your body fat percentage.
It's based on some = numbers that you put into it about your height,and your age, and your = activity level and then it measures some otherthings as well when you = step on that scale.
I hear from a whole bunch of you asking the =question: are these body fat percentage scales actually accurate and =should you use them to measure your progress when you're on your weight =loss journey?So what I did for this FABulously Fit Friday is I went =ahead and went out and bought one of my own because I didn't have it.
= These things are kind of cool when you firstlook at it.
Are they = convenient?Well, yeah.
But are they accurate?Let's find out.
If you've = been following me for any time at all youknow how important it is to = measure your body fat percentage wheneveryou start on a weight = training, clean-eating lifestyle.
That's because oftentimes when we = first start, especially that first few weeksand months, we're gaining = muscle because as women we tend to not havea whole bunch of muscle mass = underneath our fat tissue and at the sametime we're losing fat.
But = because muscle is denser than fat a poundof muscle is small in volume = than a pound of fat.
Muscle actually is about 18 percent denser than =fat.
That's a lot.
So if you've lost five pounds of fat and you gained =five pounds of muscle that volume difference can be pretty significant.
= As we're gaining muscle and losing fat, oftentimesthe scale isn't = changing that much but our fat percentageis actually dropping.
Our = clothes fit better.
We feel better, but then we look at = the scale and we see that it's not changinga whole bunch, and we get = really discouraged because a whole bunch ofus women, we grew up = thinking that the weight on the scale actuallymeasures our progress and = that is simply not exactly true.
So I'm a huge proponent of measuring = fat loss percentage.
On a side note, another cool thing about gaining =muscle mass -- and us women, we really need to do so -- is that muscle =burns more calories than fat.
So that means as I gain muscle, I actually =get to eat more to sustain it.
So, first, how do these = scales actually work.
When you step on the scale there's two metal =plates.
The scale actually sends an electrical current from one foot, =through your body, to the other foot, and then measures the speed of =that electrical current.
And, yes, there is a warning on the label for =anyone that has pacemakers.
They recommend not to use the body fat = percentage scale.
It's a little scary.
But for the rest of us, it's a = really low current passing through our bodies.
We don't feel it, and = supposedly it's not harmful.
The slower the = current passes through your body the moreresistance it has and when = that calculation of the speed of that currentis put into the formula it = spits out a higher fat percentage.
The faster the current travels = through your body, the lower your fat percentage,and that's because, as = I stated before, muscle is denser than fat.
Electricity passes through = muscle faster than it does through fat.
As a matter of fact, fat is = actually considered a non-conductor of electricity.
So that's how this = device actually works.
But one of the biggest challenges with this =device in particular, for somebody like me where I carry most of my fat =in my lower body because I'm a pear shape as we all know, well, this =device is likely to show that my body fat percentage is much higher than =it really is because of that fact.
Now, there are other devices out = there that are handheld devices.
You might've seen them at the gym, so = you place your palms on the device itselfand then it passes that = electrical current through your upper body.
Well, in that case, if = you're an individual who's a broccoli or maybean apple, well, then that = device might also show a higher percentagethan is reality for you.
And = for somebody like me who's pear-shaped a devicelike that is actually = going to show a body fat percentage that'smuch lower than it really is.
= So just your shape alone with these devicesmay result in huge = inaccuracies.
And that handheld device brings up some interesting =questions.
I wonder how implants impact that?They interfere with = electrical current and if they're larger doesthat make it slower?Okay.
= I think I'm getting a little off-topic.
Some other challenges that = interfere with these fat percentage scales,it actually comes down to = hydration levels.
The more hydrated you are, the quicker that current is =going to pass through your body.
And even things like whether or not you = have dry feet can interfere with that electricalcurrent.
More = callouses, drier feet, more resistance, goingto pop a higher percentage = level.
What also can interfere with an electrical current is whether or =not you peed or even pooped.
And even your bone density can make = your measurements turn out differently thansomebody else with the same = exact fat percentage.
So these fat scales, they're convenient, sure, but =inaccurate?Yes.
So inaccurate that Consumer Reports doesn't even test =these puppies anymore.
When they tested them years ago they found that =all of them were grossly inaccurate so they stopped testing them =altogether.
But I will have to say, one thing that these fat percentage =scales could be good for is measuring changes in your fat percentage.
So = while the level itself may be inaccurate,the changes in your body fat = percentage actually might be accurate whenyou use scales like this.
= But, again, it kind of depends on your shape.
So for somebody like me, = who I'm a pair shape, well, it may actuallyover exaggerate the changes = that are made because, again, I carry mostof my fat on my lower body = and that's where the current's going through.
And for somebody who's, = say, a broccoli shape or an apple shape, well,then it may underestimate = the changes that are taking place becauseyou're going to see most of = your gains and losses in your upper body.
But if you're somebody who = carries your fat pretty evenly distributedthroughout your body, then = these fat percentage scales actually may bepretty good for you.
So if = you do use these fat percentage scales totrack changes in your fat = percentage, make sure you take them prettyconsistently, meaning at the = same time every week with the same conditions,meaning maybe when you = just get out of bed you go ahead and you goto the bathroom and then you = take your measurements.
Consistency is key.
So an alternative to these = fat percentage scales are the skin fold caliperswhich I am a huge = proponent of these things.
I recommend them to everybody going through =FAB University.
You know, once you learn how to use these and you do so =consistently on a week in, week out basis, well, they're actually pretty =darn accurate.
And I think there's also something really special when =you take that tactile measurement each week when you're pinching your =skin and you see that that pinch is getting smaller and smaller, I think =there's something really powerful there psychologically.
So I'm a huge = proponent of the skin fold calipers.
So my recommendation for these = scales?So that wraps up another episode of FABulously Fit Friday.
I = sure hoped you enjoyed this episode today,and if you did go ahead and = hit that "Like" button below because thattells other people that this = episode is really valuable.
And if you want more information on how to =get into crazy, sexy, awesome shape head on over to FigureAndBikini.
org =where we share all of our secrets.
I'm Kristin Shaffer, founder of FAB = University and FigureAndBikini.
org, and Ihope to see you at the next = FABulously Fit Friday.
=20[Makes popping noise].
So my recommendation for these scales?Is that = good?=20Thank you.
I love you.
Shooting when the batteries are running low.
Oh!Are = you okay?He's bleeding.
Oh, my gosh.
Call a paramedic.
So an = alternative to the fat percentage scales,like I said before, these skin = fold calipers.
Ah, there it is.