Hopping on your scale will not tell you the whole story of what is happening with your body as you are attempting to lose weight and become more fit and healthy. A more accurate way to assess what changes are really taking place within your body is a set of fat calipers. The number you see on your scale will not tell you if the weight you have lost is from the elimination of stored excess fat from your body or if it is instead a result of losing muscle mass. Alternatively, an increase in your weight as displayed on your scale will not tell you if this is because you have added more mass to your muscles or because you have instead added more fat to the stores of fat that you are trying to shrink.
Doctors, professional athletes, and fitness trainers use fat calipers to measure body fat and now these are available for the general public to measure their body fat in the privacy of their own homes. There are manual fat calipers and there are digital fat calipers. The advantage of a digital fat caliper over a manual caliper is that measurements are recorded and the calculation to determine your percentage of body fat is done digitally. Digital fat calipers also sound an alert to let you know that you have positioned the caliper correctly for the most accurate measurements. Whereas with the manual fat caliper you will need to write down the measurement you obtain from various measuring points, and then do a little math to get your percentage of body fat.
Typically measurements are taken from three areas of the body with a fat caliper to assess body fat. The skin is gently pinched or folded together on the lower, abdominal, and upper areas of the body and the fat caliper measures the thickness of the skin in these areas. Using a fat caliper to measure the thickness of the skin in these areas is one of the most accurate ways to discover your percentage of body fat when beginning a fitness routine and to track your progress as you become more fit. Taking regular measurements with your fat caliper will tell you better than a scale ever will how well your present fitness routine is working to help you lose unwanted fat. Knowing that your body fat percentage is progressively getting lower gives you the motivation to continue moving forward towards better fitness and overall health.
When we are trying to lose weight and become fitter and healthier we want to see positive results from our efforts. Many of us have become discouraged from continuing with fitness routines because of our home scales. We hop on our scales after a few weeks of working out expecting to have lost a lot of weight. How dismaying it can be to have lost less weight than you were certain you would have lost with regular workouts. Even worse is gaining a pound or two without realizing this is not a bad sign, it actually means we have added to our muscle mass. Instead of having a front row seat as the tool for determining if we are becoming slimmer and healthier, the scale should take a back row seat to the fat caliper. However, do not throw your scale out. You should still weigh yourself regularly as a huge weight gain could mean you are consuming more calories than you are burning off. Significant weight gains and losses can also be indications of medical and emotional conditions that should be addressed with your doctor when noted.
Don’t look at the number on your scale to tell you if you are losing fat and gaining lean muscle mass, the two components that compromise true fitness and health. Instead rely upon the accuracy of a fat caliper to measure your percentage of body fat, which will tell you if you are losing the fat you do not want and not the muscle mass that you do want. The Fat Track II is an excellent digital fat caliper for use at home, the gym, and travel.