Deciding which method of assessing body fat percentage is best for you isn’t easy.
Here are several questions that may help you decide:
  • What’s the purpose of assessing your body fat percentage?
  • How important is high accuracy?
  • How often do you want to test your body fat percentage?
  • Do you want a method you can perform at home?
  • How important is price?
Some methods, such as skinfold measurements, circumference calculations and portable BIA devices, are inexpensive and allow you to be measured in your own home as frequently as you like. The devices can also be purchased online easily, such as on Amazon.
Even though these methods don’t have the highest accuracy, they may be the best choice for you.
Most of the methods with highest accuracies are not available to use in your own home. What’s more, when they are available at a testing facility, they may be expensive.
If you want a more accurate assessment and are willing to pay for it, you could pursue a method with good accuracy like hydrostatic weighing, ADP or DXA.
Whichever method you use, it’s important to use the same method consistently.
For almost all methods, it’s best to perform your measurements in the morning after an overnight fast, after you go to the bathroom and before you eat anything or begin your daily activities.
Ideally, you should do the test before you have anything to drink, especially for methods that rely on electrical signals like BIA, BIS and EIM.
Assessing yourself the same way each time will reduce error rates and make it easier to tell if you are making progress.
However, you should always interpret your results from any method with caution. Even the best methods are not perfect and only give you an estimate of your true body fat.