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Weight loss is a lucrative industry that churns out trends at such a rapid rate that some people have difficulty catching up with the latest methods for shedding excess pounds.

From weight-loss reality shows to your favorite influencer’s fitness feeds, body fat scales seem to be showing up everywhere on the internet. They have become the go-to purchase for those who want to monitor their health and fitness goals conveniently. You can link them to your other smart gadgets, too, like your phones and wristwatches.

Not to mention, they should work with most of the fitness apps you’re already using.

So, why not get them? The Word is that these trendy devices might not be as effective at measuring your overall health as their manufacturers claim, especially when compared to other methods. Though if you’re itching to shop on Medictronics.com, don’t let this stop you. We’re merely trying to shed light on the real score of these tools’ fat-measuring abilities.

Read on to be enlightened!

So, What Do the Experts Say?

When it comes to measuring body fat, there are definitely other machines that do a better job than body fat scales.

One such tool makes use of air displacement. The individual is required to enter a chamber, and the displaced air inside measures his or her muscle, water, bone, and fat composition.

The thing is, these pieces of equipment are hard to come by. You hardly find them in clinics or gyms, let alone in stores. If you do manage to find a seller, you have to be ready to shell out a considerable amount of money, free up a large space in your home, and consult specialists to interpret results every time you weigh yourself.

That seems like a lot of trouble to endure for simply monitoring one’s weight when there are more accessible tools on the market.

A machine you should find more often in clinics is an MRI. However, it should also come attached to a hefty price tag and is impractical for home use. The same goes for state-of-the-art machines that emit radiation, which may pose a health risk to children and pregnant women.

Unlike the portable body fat scale, none of these options are do-it-yourself. The traditional fat calipers are worth a try, but they lack precision. Plus, you will need to use them on several areas of the body, which increases the chances of error.

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The Body Fat Scale

One way to keep track of your weight loss journey is to use a body fat scale. There are different methods available, but this is likely the fastest and most convenient way to determine if your efforts to shave off those pounds are going anywhere.

If your goal isn’t to lose weight, a body fat scale can still be useful. It can help you find out if your body’s fat-to-muscle ratio is healthy.

By no means are these scales foolproof. They’re just one of the numerous options for monitoring body fat between your personal trainer’s and doctor’s physical assessments.

How Do Body Fat Scales Work?

Body fat scales are quite straightforward to use. You simply position yourself on the scale’s platform — which is literally right there — and wait for the tool to measure both your body’s weight and approximate percentage of body fat.

Upon stepping on the scale, sensors from underneath your feel send up small electrical currents that run through your thighs all the way to your pelvis. These currents measure the level of resistance from fat in the different areas of your body.

The amount of resistance is then scaled as the current makes its way through the other leg.

Depending on your scale, results can be linked directly to a smart gadget or any fitness app you may already be using.

As a general rule, higher resistance means a higher percentage of body fat. That’s because fat holds more muscle than water, making it difficult for currents to run through it.

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How Accurate Are Body Fat Scales?

The best that any body fat scale can give you is a rough estimate. You should encounter very little trouble when using it, either. Still, it’s important to pay attention to the following factors that can influence the results:

● Gender: Naturally, men have less fat than women.

● Where fat is stored in your body

● Pregnancy

● Age

● Height and stature

● How often do you train

Which Should You Trust More: BMI or Body Fat?

Compared to a body fat scale, BMI could be a more reliable way to determine the state of your overall health. While the method does not take body fat into account, it does paint a clearer picture of whether or not an individual is in the right weight category for his age and height.

Still, the inability to measure body fat can be a downside. This can make BMI figures misleading in the case of muscular individuals, women, older adults, or people of Asian heritage.

Takeaway

While body fat scales provide a good estimate of your body’s fat percentage, they only tell part of the story and not the whole thing. For a more accurate representation of the state of your overall health, use these scales in tandem with other tools and methods for measuring body composition, such as those that monitor the fat-to-muscle ratio.