Published: 28th September 2009
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"Do I really need weight loss?" is the question you need to ask yourself before you plan a weight loss program through a diet or an exercise schedule. Although weight loss might make you feel better and healthier but it might not be necessary. When you are on a weight loss program, it is necessary to measure your progress on a regular basis. There are various methods to keep a check of your body fat. , Some of them are popular such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and underwater weighing while others including total body electrical conductivity, skin fold measurement, and bioelectrical impedance are not so popular.

• Total Body Electrical Conductivity:

This method makes use of electromagnetic pulse to measure your body fat. You can also quantify the effectiveness of your weight loss program by this method. In this method, a mild electro-magnetic pulse is sent through your body. This electro-magnetic pulse reacts with the water in your body. The muscle tissue especially the lean muscles are a good conductor of electricity and react to the electro-magnetic pulse that the machines sent. Body fat does not react to the electro-magnetic pulse like the muscle tissues. This method measures the percentage of body fat based onthe water content in your body.

• Skinfold Measurement :

The devices that are used to measure the percentage of body fat are semi-electrical or even manually available. The instrument is known as Calipers and is used to measure the fat in several skin folds. The body fat is determined by putting the measurement of the skin folds into a specific equation.

The use of this method is so simple that you can do it yourself at your own convenience. This method of measuring body fat is one of the cheapest option to keep a check on your fat. The advantage of this method is that it is very convenient and consistent in its results. You can usually depend on its readings and modify your weight loss program if you find the need.

Like other methods, this method also has a limitation. You can get accurate results only if the calipers are used at appropriate areas of the body. If you use the instrument elsewhere, the results may be misleading which can disrupt your routines.

• Bioelectrical Impedence:

This is yet another electrical method to measure the composition of your body to aid your weight loss program. The Bioelectrical Impedance Technique is an analysis of the proportions of fat, bones, muscles, and tissues present in the body. Like the Total Body Electrical Conductivity method, a mild electrical pulse is passed into the body. The impedance to electrical current is noted down of the various body tissues that have different reactivity to electrical current. An analysis of these readings is carried out and the percentage of body fat is hence derived.

A number of factors like age, gender, weight, and height are taken into account to derive the body fat percentage.

Various methods available to measure the percentage of body fat allow you to check the success of your weight loss program.

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