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Health tech: Consider having a digital body fat scale if you're on a weight loss mission

Body composition is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in your body. ©Shutterstock

Trying to lose weight? Measuring your fat-to-muscle ratio is important. A body fat scale can help you figure out if you have a healthy ratio.

Written by Longjam Dineshwori |Updated : February 24, 2020 7:01 PM IST

When you're on a weight-loss or fitness program, it's important to measure your body composition at the beginning. You should also check it periodically to monitor your progress. This is because knowing your body composition can help you assess your health and fitness level.

What is body composition? It is the proportion of fat and non-fat mass in your body. A healthy body composition is when you have a lower percentage of body fat and a higher percentage of non-fat mass, which includes bone, water, muscle, organs, and tissues. Non-fat mass, also called lean tissue, help burn calories for energy. But body fat does not.

Body fat percent is a measurement of body composition. It tells how much of the weight of your body is fat. Normal ranges for body fat differ for men and women. A regular scale cannot tell your body composition. To know whether your body composition is healthy, you need to step on a body fat scale.

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Body fat scales:How do they work?

This scale measures both your body weight and your estimated fat percentage, using a technique called Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis. Such scales work with the help of sensors that measure the amount of resistance from body fat. The greater the body resistance, the higher is your fat percentage.

Here's the explanation: Fat contains less water than muscle, and so it's denser than muscle. This makes it more difficult for a current to travel through body fat.

This information is then sent to your smartphone or smartwatch, or any fitness apps you might have.

The best thing about using this type of scale is that you can measure your body fat in the comfort of your own home at any time.

Note that body fat scales can provide rough estimates only. Many variables can affect your results. These include gender, age, height, etc. Usually women have more body fat than men. Also, a body fat scale can only tell you the overall percentage. It cannot tell where on the body you're storing potentially dangerous fat.

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