Ways to Measure body fat percentage

Tape measure

A basic way to measure body fat percentage is by using a soft tape measure, like the kind you’d use for sewing, to record measurements of different parts of the body. You can also find tape measures specifically marketed as body fat tape measures, like these ones on Amazon. For this method, you’ll also need to know your height in inches.

In men

If you’re a man, measure the circumference of your neck and abdomen. Make sure you measure the largest part of each area. It may be easier to have a friend or family member help.

To calculate body fat percentage, subtract your neck value from your abdomen value to determine your circumference value.

In women

If you’re a woman, you should record a measurement of the circumference of your neck, natural waist, and hips. Remember to measure each area at the widest part. You may want to ask a friend or family member to help.

To calculate body fat percentage, add your waist and hip measurements, and then subtract the neck measurement to determine your circumference value. For example, if your waist is 30, your hips are 36, and your neck is 13, your circumference value would be 53.

Tips

When the tape is placed over the skin, it should make contact but not compress the skin in any way.

Take all measurements twice and average them. Then record to the nearest half inch.

If you can’t find the corresponding chart, you may consider using an online Navy Body Fat Calculator to obtain your estimated body fat percentage.

Accuracy

Taking measurements and plugging numbers into an online calculator is relatively easy, but this method isn’t necessarily the most accurate. There’s a lot of room for error when measuring yourself. Things like clothing, what you’ve eaten, and how tightly you pull the tape measure may also affect results.

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