If you don't have the budget to include the
more sophisticated body fat testers like DEXA and hydrostatic
weighing, you basically have two options to choose from...
body fat scales or body fat calipers. Unless you have a personal
trainer, or know an accredited professional who is able to
use the calipers, body fat scales are your most reliable choice.
They are also more economic than many sets of calipers.
Tanita body fat scales use Bioelectrical Impedance
Analysis (BIA), like all body fat scales. Although it sounds
pretty complicated, it's actually very simple...
A small, but completely harmless, electrical
current is run through your body. The electrical current moves
more quickly through fat free tissue, like muscle, than it
does through fat or bone tissue.
In light of this, the amount of resistance to
the electrical current relates to how much fat free tissue
that a person has. Now here is where the challenge comes in...
Tanita body fat scales determine your body
density instead of your body fat percentage. They use a formula
to predict your body fat percentage based off of your body
density. However, since there are different formulas for different
age groups, there is no guarantee that the results will be
100% accurate. In fact, Tanita body fat scales are only accuarate
to within 5%. This is the case with all methods of body fat
analysis. The only way to be positive of what your "real"
body fat percentage is, is through dissection, which would
be a painful option.
But here's something important to remembers...
Body fat scales don't need to be 100% accurate. As longa sthey
can accurately monitor the changes in your body composition,
over time, that's all that you need. Studies show that results
from Tanita body fat scales are repeatable to a +/- 1% accuracy,
which is better than your average bathroom scale.
Before looking at some Tanita body fat scales,
here are some points that will help to make your results more
reliable and consistent...
1. Make sure that you always drink the
same amount of water before each test, so measure out some
water before you test yourself.
2. Don't test yourself directly after
exercising. You sweat when you exercise, which means that
you lose water. This will affect your hydration levels and
in the end, your results.
3. Measure yourself at the same time
4. Although this can be difficult, try
to test yourself in a similiar room temperature each time.
You skin temperature affects the electircal current that the
5. Clean the footpads thoroughly, preferrably
with alcohol, and then dry them off before each test.
6. If you have the chance, get your
body composition measured by a professional, using skin fold
calipers. This will give you a range as to how accurate your
7. Choose a body fat scale that has
the right profile for you. If you have children that are going
to use it as well, make sure that it can be calibrated for
them. If you're an athlete that does 10+ hours of strenuous
exercise per week, the same thing applies. This is important
and can make a huge difference.
Now let's have a look at some Tanita body fat
Tanita Body Fat Scales
Tanita body fat scales are the top in the industry.
They have an extensive selection, however, many of their models
are designed for commercial and/or professional use. The Tanital
body sclaes, that are designed for home, are availalbe on
line in a variety of prices ranging from about $60.00 to $250.00,
but there really isn't any need to pay more than $140.00.
You can find savings on the majority of Tanita
body fat scales on line. When choosing an on line retailer,
be sure to stick with large, well known, and established companies.
All of the Tanita body fat scales include a 1 year warranty
on parts and labor, but be sure to double check that they
will still honor this warranty if you buy over the Internet.
A highly known and established retailer is
Bodytrends. They stock Tanita body fat sclaes and offer quick,
easy ordering and great customer care!
Now, let's have a look at some Tanita body
Tanita TBF-621 (Adult, Child)
The TBF-621 is one of Tanita's lowest priced models. They
aren't designed for athletes (anyone who exercises 10 hours
or more per week). Overall a good choice if your budget is
Tanita TBF-622 (Adult, Athlete)
The lowest cost model for athletes, which, in Tanita's terms
is anyone that exercises more than 10 hours per week, and
has done so for a long period of time... at least long enough
to have had changing effect on their physique.
TBF-626 (Adult, Child, Athlete)
A family oriented scale, the TBF-626 is greate for families
and for families with active athletes. This model is your
best choice, and priced at under $100.00, it's a great deal
as it also stores data for up to 2 people.
TBF-556 (Adult, Child, Athlete)
This Tanita body scale is suitable for everyone. It's more
expensive, at $130.00, but is one of the more popular units.
This model allows you to store data for up to 4 people and
will calculate the number of calories that you need to consume
to maintain your weight, or to lose it. If you know that your
scale is goingt o get heavy duty use, this scale is definitely
worth the extra $30.00 or so.