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There are lots of scales that can measure body composition. I just got this one from Amazon. It tells you how much your skeletal muscle weighs which is what tells you if your actually gaining or losing muscle.
Something like this. But if you just search for "scale body fat" you'll get lots of results. Supposedly, the kind like the one I linked are better than just the floor scale type, because they send a current through the whole body since the hands are involved. YMMV.
Omron body fat composition monitor
This is the one I use. According to reviews, the body fat measurement is not precise, but I go by trends (like how much body fat percentage points I lose vs what percentage I'm actually at).
I have this one:
While I don't put much stock in the face values it gives, other then weight which is consistent with other scales I have access to, the other values it does give like bodyfat%/muscle% are at least relatively consistent. Meaning if it says I'm 28% fat I may be 25% or 30% who knows, but as I lose weight the % is moving with me so it's fun to track for shits and giggles.
Here's another option, like I said, not 100% accurate but seems cheap enough.
i would suggest the omron body scale since it measures both upper and lower body.... as with most things the trend line is more important than individual readings
Omron Body Composition Monitor with Scale - 7 Fitness Indicators & 90-Day Memory [link]
Also sedentary most of the time and I believe my number is somewhat correct. Of course I burn more on my training days, but 1600-1700 number is what my scale suggests. That number could be wrong (I have this scale), but it works for me and my daily calorie count since I don't lose or gain weight. But I admit I could easily be mistaken for cca. 10%, so...
As previous respondent notes, they're fairly flawed, but maybe the best one is this model, which uses handgrips as well as the foot plate to measure a small current running through your body.
Will be more accurate than most. Assume it can be found on Amazon.co.uk as well.
I just bought [link]
Its got the additional points of contact which should increase accuracy significantly. Its actually pretty accurate. Putting me around 22-23%. I've been measuring myself with calipers for months, and I trust this thing more. I've gotten a dexa scan, and been kind of obsessed with tracking my body fat, so I think i'm in a decent posistion to attest to accuracy.
These modern bioimpedence scales are around +-3% which is as good as you can expect to get from ANY at home BF measurement system
until they to the point where i was at i controlled my weigth and body mass with one of those ([link]) and the only way i would loose weigth was eating only lean meats, even one week of lettuce and meat would plateau my fat reduction. I had no energy for anything and lost my job.
Measured with one of these:
It looks like I lost both fat and muscle. If my body fat percentage stayed the same, that means I lost 2 lbs of fat, and 8 lbs of "not fat" which I don't know the composition of.
Yeah, it's probably time to buy a new one then.
I own this scale, I'm pretty happy with it. I'm not certain how accurate it is, but it is consistently precise, and the body fat percentages pretty accurately match what I see online for 'if your body looks like this, you're probably x% body fat'.
I owned two Arias. The first one was broken out of the box, the second one lasted two weeks.
Ive been using this one for three months, and I have found it to be both consistent and accurate. Pricey, yes, but I had a $30 that said I was 11% body fat when I clearly was not.
Yes, I am. I still can't see my abs.
I know that at 12% BF I should be able to, so maybe it's a low-ball estimate, but my Omron Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor consistently reads 11-12% every single morning. I know these things aren't very accurate, but the fact that it's so consistent has almost convinced me. I'll post pics this evening and maybe you can tell me if I'm way off.
Bottom line, I'm sure that I'm only a couple of BF% points from abs, so long story short, I am trying to get leaner.
I picked one up at CVS. I think it cost around $50. You can probably find one online.
Edit: link to a different one with positive reviews
>decrease my BMI (for a more supple frame)
Oh gosh, please don't focus on BMI, it's just a terrible measurement, especially for this population.
BMI only considers body mass (kgs), and conveys nothing about body composition (e.g., % body fat & % lean mass).
As such, the same BMI value can represent many different body shapes, and many different states of metabolic health!
BMI has a place in epidemiology, but body composition is what individuals should focus on, and is easy to track these days. Healthy cis-females on average have significantly more body fat than their healthy cis-male counterparts, and progress in this area for MtF folks won't be reflected well by BMI.
Buy yourself an Omron body fat tester on amazon - https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0020MMCDE/ref=dp_prsubs_1
It's not 100% accurate, but if you control the variables. Like test every morning, fasted, after using the bathroom, around the same levels of water. You'll be able to see if the fat % is going up or down. Generally, if your weight is staying the same or going up... and your fat % is going down, you're doing very very well.
If BF% is important, I would go with something that does hand-to-foot measuring:
Neither has Wi-Fi or bluetooth -- you'll have to manually keep track. I tried finding four-point ones that did have wireless but there seem to be none. The first one above does have a 90 day memory.
I haven't used these.
I've been working again on losing weight for the past few months, so here's what I've found helpful:
Most importantly: you need to really want to lose weight. You need to set a goal, and you need to be motivated to stick to it. Nothing else is going to make it magically happen if you don't want to.
Relatedly, I've been working on being better about keeping my apartment clean. I read a blog post somewhere that talked about how lots of people have a messy house, so whenever they have guests over they'll stress out and frantically try to clean up whatever they can. But the post points out your guests will only be there for a short period of time, whereas you spend most of your life there. Don't you deserve to enjoy a clean home as much as they do? If so, get off your ass and do something about it. You deserve it.
I think the same kind of attitude can be applied here (and elsewhere).
I have the previous generation of the Withings Smart Body Analyzer. It measures weight and body fat and syncs automatically to The Cloud(TM).
As an engineer, I used to be really concerned about making sure my scale's BF% readings were accurate and precise. Accordingly, I was using an Omron Body Composition Monitor scale that's supposed to be more accurate because it can measure bioelectrical impedance across your whole body.
However, I realized that specific BF% numbers don't mean anything to me. E.g., I don't really care if I'm actually 5%, 10%, or 20% body fat. I care more that if my scale two weeks ago said 11% and this week says 10%, then I can feel good that I'm improving. So the simplicity of just stepping on a scale now wins out over having to fiddle with holding and putting away the handbar every morning.
Your weight fluctuates a lot daily. In engineering, the classic solution to interpreting a noisy signal is to look at trend lines instead. (This idea is expanded upon in The Hacker's Diet.)
The Withings and FitBit websites seem to support this, but they're so stupidly slow to load I hate using them. Instead I found trendweight.com is really easy to use. E.g., it puts my data from withings.com automatically, and lets me monitor my progress.
I don't worry too much about day-to-day fluctuations as long as the dots stay near or (preferably) under the trend lines. However, I do try to reflect each day a little on what I did the previous day that might have influenced significant swings.
Calorie tracking sucks. It's a huge pain. You have to make wild guesses and the numbers are going to be way off. But I think it was a really good personal exercise for myself to spend a couple weeks making a serious effort at it.
The long-term effect for me hasn't been about daily tracking my calories, but being more aware of serving sizes and nutrition in the food I eat. For example, I realize now that a serving of peanut butter is way smaller than I'd been assuming, or that I can eat a whole apricot and get less sugar than from a single starburst.
I bought one of these and like it.