I’ve been doing pretty well with my weight loss and am now starting to focus on reducing body fat rather than focusing on the number on the scales. It gets a bit frustrating when you don’t see the number going down anymore, or when like me, you don’t want it to go down anymore and are more interested in adding weight, providing that weight is muscle and not fat!
A great way to measure body fat is using a set of calipers and doing the numbers and that’s best done by a PT who is trained to use them properly. Another option is to purchase body fat scales that measure body fat percent. These scales use Biometric Impedance Analysis which passes a tiny harmless electrical current through your body in order to measure resistance. The current will travel slowly through fat and quicker through muscle and the scales measure the body density and calculate the measurements to provide an estimated body fat percentage. Notice I said ‘estimated’ – tests done on all brands of scales have found that they do not give a completely accurate measurement of body fat. There are many different variables that can affect body fat measurement but the scales are useful in providing an estimated measurement at a point in time which you can then use as a baseline going forward to track your progress.
There are many competing body fat scale brands in the market place and its hard to know where to start. I did some research and found you can pay anyway for $30 to a few hundred dollars depending on what you want the scales to do. I looked at the top products and read reviews and ended up deciding on the Aria Fitbit scales. The drawcard for me was that they wirelessly send your measurements to the FitBit servers so I can easily track my measurements online and on the FitBit smartphone app.
The setup process was fairly straight forward. You create a FitBit account if you don’t already have one and then select the option to add the FitBit Aria device to your account by entering a unique ID for your scales. At this point the Aria syncs with your online account and then its good to go.
I saw online that many people had issues getting their Aria to sync with their account. This appears to be because they were using a smartphone instead of a PC. Using a laptop made the exercise much easier so do use a PC or laptop if possible.
As part of the account creation process, I entered my weight, height and initials and then I stepped on the scales to see if they recognized me. The first time it didn’t, presumably because it needed to sync with my FitBit account again. The 2nd time I stepped on the scales though it popped up with my weight, fat percentage and then ‘JH’ – my initials!
I was pleased with my fat percentage of 16.3%. My hard work has been paying off! And now I have a good goal in that I can work on reducing the fat % rather than my weight. This is important to know as I want to add muscle which weights more than fat, but I want my fat percentage to keep dropping. How else will I ever see my abs?!
So I’ve been using the scales for about 2 weeks now and am really happy with them. Occasionally when I step on them they weight heavy but the second time they weight as expected. I’ve noticed that many scales do this for some reason. Perhaps they need to warm up first! I usually take 3 measurements and discard any erroneous measurement and then keep one of the measurements if the other 2 are close. I’m seeing some gradual reductions in fat loss percentage, now down to 15.7%. I’ve also downloaded the Fitbit app to my iPhone and love it – my measurements are available on my phone right after the scales have synched with my FitBit account (which is after every weigh-in). i can easily delete any incorrect measurements from the app and can see my progress over time by viewing a graph. I can also add FitBit user friends so that we can keep each other honest. Another feature I love is that FitBit syncs with MyFitnessPal. Normally i have to enter my weight manually into MyFitnessPal but now it picks up the weight from FitBit.
So in summary, I think the FitBit Aria is a great body fat scale and I am happy to recommend it. While it has a couple of annoying features like occasional measurements that are a bit out, it works as advertised and I’m enjoying using them. Along with the FitBit app and integration FitBit offer, I would rate them an 8 out of 10.