Definition
Body fat % measures the percent of total weight that is body fat. The remaining weight comes from muscles, bones, organs, tissues, etc.
Why it's important
Measuring body fat percentage can ensure weight loss is coming from fat, rather than muscle. Excessive exercise (especially cardio) and low-calorie diets can lead to losing muscle mass rather than losing fat.
How to measure
There are many ways to measure body fat. Here are a few ideas:

  • Skin Fold Measurements with a Caliper. You can do 3, 5, and 7 site measurements at home.
  • Bod Pod. May find one at a doctor's office or University.
  • DEXA Scan. May find one at a doctor's office or Life Time Proactive Care Clinic.
  • Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. You can buy a home body fat scale. Less accurate but at least shows a trend.
  • Body Fat Calculations. Less accurate but at least shows a trend.
How to interpret
Body Fat Rating Scale*

*Applies to adults ages 18 and older. Based on information from the American College of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, Exercise Physiology [fourth Ed] by McArdle, Katch, and Katch, and various scientific and epidemiological studies.