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Guide to Buying Bioelectrical Impedance Body Fat Monitors

When it comes to weight, body composition and your health, using just scales don't tell you the whole picture. Actually, your weight is less important than your percentage of body fat when it comes to appearance, fitness, and health. Fortunately, there are body-fat monitors which can help. Tracking your percentage of body-fat with body-fat monitors does a better job of showing how you are doing with diet and exercise, compared to measuring weight on its own.

There are several ways you can measure your body fat percentage at home. You can use one of the bioelectrical impedance devices. It is as easy as using your bathroom scale - in fact, many models do come with the bioelectrical impedance analyzer integrated into bathroom scales. Alternatively you can learn to use body fat calipers, which can be trickier to get a consistent reading but are a more direct measure of your body fat.

Using bioelectrical impedance devices

When using a bioelectrical impedance device, a tiny electrical charge is sent through your hands and/or feet, and the data is used to determine what percentage of you is fat. To do the calculation, the unit also uses details of your gender, age and weight. These units should not be used by anybody with a pacemaker, but tend to be safe enough for most others to use.

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When buying body fat monitors like this, you should chose one that has a memory feature, so you don't have to put in your basic data each time. If it can store the details of more than one person, that may be handy if you share the device with others in your household. If you are an athlete with low body fat/high muscle mass you should get a unit with an athlete setting to get a more accurate measurement. A unit that simultaneously acts as a scale is also convenient.

To get an accurate reading with these monitors you must not be dehydrated. This means you should not do the test first thing in the morning or immediately after a workout or after consuming alcohol. It is best to use it three hours after a meal and after voiding your bladder. It is also recommended to always weigh yourself without clothes.

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