how to measure body fat

How to Measure Body Fat

Determining your body fat isn’t as complicated as it may seem so follow along as we walk through an example and show you how to measure body fat. In order to figure out your body fat you will need to know a few metrics including your weight, height, and skin-fold thickness in various locations. Once you have those numbers you can input them into our Body Fat Calculator to see your body fat statistics.

Tools to Measure Your Body Fat

First, let’s make sure you have the necessary tools to measure your body fat:

  • Use a simple bathroom scale for weight measurement. If you don’t already have one you can order from Amazon here*.
  • Use a tape measure for your height measurement (if needed you can order from Amazon here*).
  • A Skinfold caliper is needed for assessing your skinfold thickness (available on Amazon here*).

*As a side note, all three of the above tools to measure your body fat can be found in our shop as well. Also, clicking on the above amazon product links will securely open a new tab for that product in the Amazon store.

How to Measure Body Fat

Now that you have the necessary body fat devices you can begin taking your measurements.

  1. Step on the scale and note your weight.
  2. Next, use the tape measure to determine your height either by doing it yourself or having a friend help.
  3. Finally, use the skinfold caliper to take note of your skinfold thickness numbers from the following locations:
    • Halfway between nipple and armpit
    • 1 inch from belly button
    • Halfway between knee cap and leg crease

Here is a demonstration of how I enter the body measurement details into the body fat calculator. For this example I will be using the figure of a 30 year old male that is 175 pounds, 6 feet tall, and skinfold measurements of 15mm, 15mm, and 15mm.

  1. Select gender (Male)
  2. Enter age (30)
  3. Weight (175 pounds)
  4. Height (72 inches): this number is attained by multiplying feet by 12; 6 * 12 = 72.
  5. Skinfold thickness (15mm, 15mm, 15mm)

how to calculate body fat

After you have entered your data then it is time to interpret your results.

body fat results

  • Body fat percentage: Your body fat percentage is pretty much the amount of fat in your body in comparison to everything else. Or more technically, it is your total mass of fat divided by your total body mass. Checkout our body fat chart to get an idea of body fat classifications and where you stand.
  • Lean Body Mass: This is the amount of non-fat body weight.
  • Body Fat: This is the amount of body weight that is fat.
  • Fat Free Mass Index (FFMI): This is the fat free mass. Under 17 is considered low muscle mass/skinny and 20-23 is noticeably muscular.

That’s all there is to it. We have just covered how to calculate body fat and hopefully we cleared up any confusion you might have on this topic.

If you are interested in more body measurements please take a look at our Fitness Calculators and more articles on properly tracking your results.

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