QUESTION: Can I use a set of electronic scales to measure my weight and body fat percentage or are they inaccurate?
It’s a common question I get. It’s about the accuracy of electronic scales. Do they accurately measure weight and body fat percentage?
Firstly, they DO measure total body weight accurately.
Regarding measuring body fat levels, here’s the answer:
- They are NOT absolutely accurate
- But they ARE relatively accurate
Let me explain…
The most accurate way of measuring body fat levels is with underwater or ‘hydrostatic’ weighing. Naturally, we can’t all have access to this method.
The store-bought electronic scales can be anywhere from 1-5% off from an accurate hydrostatic measurement. BUT importantly, they are CONSISTENT.
What this means is that they can accurately tell you if your body fat percentage is going up or down and by how much. This means that they are RELATIVELY accurate and can tell you what is happening to your body fat percentage week after week.
This is valuable knowledge. You gotta know what’s happening to your body fat, not just your weight, especially when you’re cutting like on my fast fat-loss plan Total Six Pack Abs (These scales on Amazon get a good rating with almost 5000 reviews – and half price right now).
So although a reading of 14% down to 12% does tell you that you are losing body fat, it may in reality be 12% to 10% or 16% to 14%. I still think it’s a good resource to have (perhaps in addition to more accurate caliper readings – get good calipers).
To make it work, make sure you take readings at the same time on the same day each week. I recommend first thing in the morning, every Saturday morning (and wearing only underwear).
If you carb-up, do it in the morning before a carb-up.
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