- What it is: The last few decades have made weighing yourself something you can do in the privacy of your very own bathroom. Your weight is how much all of you — fat, lean muscle and tissue, bones, that spaghetti you just had for dinner, your jeans, your jewelry — weighs altogether. It’s one of the easiest healthcare analytics to track to know if you’re within the range of being healthy or if you need to make some healthy life changes.
- Why you should care: Research has shown that people who regularly weigh themselves do better when it comes to weight loss progress and success.
- What it is: BMI is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. So yes, it is possible for someone to be outside of a normal BMI and still be healthy and not at risk of developing disease because it doesn’t take into account muscle weight versus fat weight.
- Why you should care: A high BMI can be an indicator of high body fat, which can lead to health problems. Tracking your BMI is an easy way to spot a red flag when it comes to your health — so you can make changes sooner rather than later.
- What it is: Body fat takes into consideration your body size, weight and height. The basic way to find it is to measure your waist, wrist, hip and forearm and enter it into a body fat calculator. Other ways to find body fat include:
- Body Fat Scale – this is similar to a regular scale, but it can also measure body fat. This scale sends a small electrical current into your foot and, because fat is a poor conductor of electricity, your body fat can be measured. Fitbit makes a body fat scale called, Aria, which is integrated with Heads Up Health. If you use Aria, or any Fitbit, just sync it up and add it to your dashboard on Heads Up Health.
- Caliper – using this method, you’ll need the caliper (a device that “pinches” your flesh) and another person to do the test and plug it into one of the various caliper formulas.
- DEXA – considered to the most accurate method, this works by radiation passing through your body, and getting an x-ray that will show what’s fat, what’s lean muscle and what’s bone in your body.
Hydrostatic – a.k.a. “underwater weighing,” this method requires you to get in a big tub of water, and your body density and body fat are measured based on the amount of water you displace.
- Why you should care: Especially if you’re losing weight. Keeping track of this healthcare analytic can help you understand what’s going on if your scale isn’t budging; it’s possible you’re losing fat and gaining muscle, and it’s just not showing on your scale.You can easily keep track of this in Heads Up Health. It’s a straight-forward manual entry based off of any of the methods listed above.
Heads Up Health Recommendations
- Wireless scales: These scales connect to your wifi network at home and can automatically update your weight, body fat and BMI in your Heads Up account without requiring manual entry. We recommend the Fitbit Aria or the Withings Smart Body Analyzer.
- Manual scales: If you have a perfectly good scale at home or prefer to avoid the cost and complexity of wireless models, you can use any old scale you want. Just enter your weight and body fat readings manually into your Heads Up account. We’ve found the Tanita BF679W to be a highly accurate scale for measuring weight and body fat at a very reasonable price.