I am a big nerd and love learning about the human body. Even more exciting for me, is learning about my body and what it is currently doing and where are areas that I can improve upon. I was curious about my current body fat percentage and asked to have my measurements taken by a local personal trainer at my gym.
When we met I gave him my stats: height, weight, current health issues and more. The trainer said that he would be able to administer three different type of tests to measure my body fat. They each had a margin of error, but it would be a good baseline to recognize where I currently am with my health and fitness goals.
Your body fat percentage is a measure of how much fat you have on your body compared to lean mass in form of muscle, bone, organs, etc. For example, if you weigh 200 pounds at 10% body fat, you are carrying 20 pounds of fat on you. The more muscle you have… the better!
The three different methods my body fat was measured:
Handheld device. This was by far the simplest way I had my body fat percentage measured. I simply gave the trainer my height, weight and age. He pressed a button and I held on to the handheld with my arms extended. My trainer told me that the results yielded a 3-5% margin of error.
Calipers hurt. Kidding. Well, it does pinch. My trainer and I met in his office of some sort of privacy. There he measured 7 points to pinch my skin/fat to measure my body fat percentage with this technique. My trainer told me that this yielded a 1-3% margin of error. The more points of origin you measure the lower error rate. Coincidently enough this method gave me the highest percentage of body fat.
Hydrostatic Body Fat Testing . This method is claimed to have a 1% margin of error. It is supposed to be the most accurate for recording body fat percentage.I was super jazzed to find out that my local gym has this underwater weighing scale available to use. I had my fee waved ($50) with a promise to share my experience with you.
This was super exciting for me because I have read and seen on television people doing this test. I have always been curious and was jazzed to try it. I had to come back the following morning after fasting for 12 hours. When I returned the following morning, I simply had to hop in the warm tub and exhale all my air to get my measurement.
I am not going to sugar coat this test, it was challenging… mentally and physically. There I was lying face down in a warm tub… exhaling all my air out of my body and holding it under water for as long as possible. It was a hard thing to get used to. I had to make sure my body was completely submerged as well as all the air was out of my system. It took a few tries to get an average result.
My results to the three different methods were pretty close in number to each other. It didn’t tell me anything new regarding my body fat percentage. I know that I need to focus more on portion control and really really need to add in strength training.
In order for me (or you if you are wanting to have a similar goal) to lower body fat percentage, it would be wise to pay close attention to your nutrition, make movement a priority during your day (sweat!) and add strength training to your daily routine.
10 Ways To Reduce Body Fat
Reduce sugar and processed foods
Consume healthy fats
No white stuff
Drink 2-3 liters of water a day
Manage your stress & get your sleep!
Eat your green vegetables
Eat lean protein
MOVE your body
Drink fresh lemon in room temperature water
Love the body you have while you are working for the body you want!
Here are some amazing fitness articles on the topic that I have found across the web and found super useful.
Fun workouts to add strength training to your fitness routine:
I love learning about my body and how it works. I found it super fascinating (and humbling) to hear my body fat percentage. I am learning the many different ways that I can (and need to) lower that number.