Online body fat calculators allow everyone access to the information that previously required a fitness professional or physician to provide. Understanding your BMI (body mass index) can help you build a fitness program, check up on your fitness program or adjust your diet accordingly. Ideally, when beginning any new fitness or diet regimen, you want to check your body mass index. Then periodically recheck it every 30 to 45 days in order to properly maintain your regimen.
How to Use Online Body Fat Calculators
Each online site is different, but essentially the information they are looking for requires a little or a lot of work on your part. For example, most online body fat calculators require you to enter you age, your weight and your height as well as your gender. These four pieces of data can then be correlated to the average data on similar people of your height, weight, age and gender.
The more specific online calculators will ask you to take a tape measure and measure the following areas:
- Upper Arms
These areas of the body all have varying amounts of fat deposits. Extremely disproportional measurements can indicate higher body fat content. According to the National Center for Health Statistics, the average 5.3 foot woman who weighs 163 pounds will have a waist measurement of 36.5 inches. So if a woman who weighs 163 pounds and stands 5.1 has a waist measurement of 40 inches, then the calculator uses formulas to determine the percentage that is body fat. The latter's body mass index will be higher than the former's.
Tracking Body Mass Index
When you work out at home, there are a handful of ways to measure your progress depending on your fitness goal. The first, and most popular, is the use of a scale. The scale will give you information on your body's weight. But weight alone is not a measurement of physical fitness, primarily because muscle weighs more than fat. A 165 pound woman may be perfectly fit and possess a reasonable body mass index because she is well muscled and cut.
Using online calculators to track body fat is a useful way to promote better fitness tracking and maintenance. Weight loss efforts are supported by good tools. Weight loss occurs when you combine increased calorie burn with decreased calorie intake. When you combine proper diet and exercise with the right tools, you get success. Using the online calculators, you can track your progress monthly to bi-monthly. It's not advisable to do it week by week, because your body mass should shift gradually. Just as when you monitor your weight on the scale, you don't want to weigh yourself day by day, but rather every 2 weeks or so. The average person can burn 1 pound for every 3500 "extra" calories burned. One pound may not change your body mass index significantly enough, but if you lose 5 pounds, you will begin to see a change.
Where to Find Online Calculators
The following online calculators offer a varying amount of results based on the information gathered:
- Bodytracker - This online body fat calculator includes a great deal of information on how to use caliper measurements and more to calculate body fat index.
- Home Body Fat Test - This is a unique home body fat test that walks the user through a series of questions in order to determine body fat index.
- Body Fat Calculator - This is an online body fat calculator that bases the responses on the average input to result in the average answer.
- BMI Calculator - Input basic data to calculate your body mass index.