Body fat percentage is the amount of body fat in relation to everything else (muscle, bone, organs, tendons, water - everything). It's pretty hard to calculate. Luckily for you, this article will help you calculate your own body fat percentage.
Method 1 of 2: Calculating body fat at home
Step 1. Determine your Body Mass Index (BMI)
BMI is a measurement based on your weight and height. The easiest way to calculate BMI is with an online calculator. You can simply enter the phrase "body mass index calculation" into a search engine. You will be asked to enter your weight and height into the calculator.
If you want to do the calculation yourself, you can do it! If you are using the metric system, the equation is: weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared. For example, if your height is 175 cm (or 1.75 meters) and you weigh 78 kilograms, your BMI will be 25.5
Step 2. Find your body fat percentage using your BMI
To do this, use the following equation: (1.20 x BMI) + (0.23 x your age) - (10.8 x your gender) - 5, 4. If you are a man, plug in 1. If a woman is 0.
For example, if your BMI is 25.5 and you are a 30-year-old male, your equation would be (1.2 x 25.5) + (0.23 x 30) - (10.8 x 1) -5.4. This equals 30, 6 + 6, 9 - 10, 8 - 5, 4 = 42, 9
Step 3. Calculate your biometric impedance
Fatty tissue does not conduct electricity. By calculating biometric impedance, you are calculating your adipose tissue in relation to other tissues in the body. This method does not require specialized personnel, and the equipment required for this is not so expensive. You have to stand barefoot on a metal plate that sends an electric current through your body. When the experiment is performed correctly and the subject followed certain limits, bioimpedance measurements have a margin of error of 3 percent. Scales that can measure biometric impedance are available for home use and can be purchased online or at a fitness store.
- Before the test, the subjects should not eat or drink 4 hours before the test, do not exercise for 12 hours, do not take alcohol for 2 days, do not use diuretics.
- This method can be performed at fitness clubs, health fairs and schools for free or for a small fee.
Step 4. Measure yourself with a measuring tape
This is not the most accurate method, but you can use it to find out the approximate value of the percentage of fat. The most traditional method is the method used by the US Navy. Find out how to do it here.
Step 5. Find out your body fat percentage with a caliper
It is necessary to pull the fat away from the muscles and clamp it with a caliper. Then take measurements and compare them with the scale on a caliper. A correctly performed test has a 3% margin of error. The margin of error can be larger for very thin and obese people. This test can be performed in schools, fitness clubs, wellness programs, hospitals and laboratories. It is inexpensive, and often completely free.
Method 2 of 2: Calculation of Body Fat Percentage in a Specialized Institution
Step 1. Visit an underwater weighing facility
Underwater weighing is the most accurate way to determine your body fat percentage and calculate the displacement generated by your body. The margin of error is 1.5 percent, provided the test is performed strictly as directed. To find a facility near you, use your favorite search engine and enter the phrase “underwater weighing facility in [your city name]”.
Know that the person being weighed must be able to blow all the air out of the lungs. This is only feasible in research facilities and specialized facilities and can be quite expensive if you are not a research participant
Step 2. Carry out an examination with an infrared spectrometer
This method uses a fiber optic probe (or light absorption instrument) to calculate body composition by calculating the composition (fat and water level) of different parts of the body. It has an error of more than 4 percent, and an even greater error if the subject is unusually thin or overweight. It can be done for a minimal fee in some fitness clubs and weight loss centers.
Step 3. Visit institutions with a Bod Pod
The Bod Pod evaluates body composition by measuring air displacement. This method has a margin of error of 3 percent. It is only available in a few research laboratories and professional athletic establishments. It is a good method for measuring the body composition of children, the elderly, obese and disabled people.
Step 4. Visit an institution that has a Dual Photon X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA) scanner
DEXA is a very accurate method for measuring body composition. It uses a combination of two X-rays to calculate body composition. It is only available at research institutions, and is often free of charge to people participating in research at those institutions.