Body Fat Calculators – Uses and Limitations

November 12, 2012

Body Fat Calculators – Uses and Limitations

The monitoring of the effects of an exercise or diet program can only be carried out if there is the correct biometric data available. Using the body fat calculator method the amount of fat can be measured.

The amount of calories eaten determines the amount of weight lost or the amount of weight gained. Additional calories which are eaten tend to be stored as fat in the body. The amount of excess fat can be determined with the help of the body fat calculator. To maintain a balanced weight the amount of calories in food which is eaten has to be the same as the amount of calories used when exercising. Fewer calories have to be eaten in order to lose weight. Before beginning a diet, speak with your dietician or doctor, especially if taking medication.

Protein is necessary to sustain muscle and is also required in hormone production. EFAs (Essential fatty acids) are required to replicate cells and sustain the nervous system. Reducing calorie intake should be done by limiting the amount of carbohydrates and saturated fats eaten. A healthy, balanced diet should provide adequate amounts of EFAs and protein. The body requires about 15g of essential fatty acids per day. This can be achieved by eating nuts, fish, flaxseed and meat.

How to use the body fat calculator:

  • Height

    – measure height with no shoes

  • Weight – do a weigh-in with no clothes on. And visit a bathroom and do not eat or drink before going on the scales

  • Waist (Men) – keeping level with the naval take the measurement horizontally

  • Waist (Women) – Again, measuring horizontally, take a measurement at the abdomen where there is minimum width

  • Neck

    – take the measurement just below the larynx. Keep the tape in a downward slope position to the front

  • Hips (Women only) – Largest horizontal circumference around the hips

The BMI (body mass index) is the relative amount of your weight to your height squared. This number is achieved by using the body fat calculator and is proportional to the shape of your body. Usually the number is low for thinner people and higher for fatter people. If the body mass index is 25 or more this is considered overweight. The body mass index does not consider the ratio of muscle/fat of a person with a healthy, muscular body. They may show a small amount of body fat and could possibly be considered as obese using the body mass index formula. This is a known, common flaw with measuring BMI. Should your body mass index be 25 or higher and the waist to height ratio is less than 0.5 and the body fat which is measured is either in the athlete category or fitness category you are more than like to be muscular rather than fat.

The waist to height ratio is measured by dividing the circumference of the weight by the height. And if this figure is higher than 0.5 it is an indication of intra-abdominal fat for men and women, which means there is a higher chance of cardiovascular disease developing.

Men and women don’t use the same method with the body fat calculator. This is because men tend to gather fat in the area of the abdomen, sometimes called the beer belly or the apple body shape. Women are more than likely to gather fat in the hips and abdomen, known as the pear body shape.

To enjoy a healthier lifestyle, do exercise on a regular basis and eat the right foods.


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