Weight loss can be measured in a hundred different ways with some ways being more accurate than others. From weight scales to DEXA scans, the goal remains the same: lose fat. Eating right, working out, and everything that goes into losing weight is important, but you also need to track how the weight loss is going. Without tracking it at all, there is no real way to know that you are actually losing weight.
Simple and Easy: Use a Scale and a Mirror
A scale is the oldest and easiest way to track weight loss. It’s easy to use, cheap, and no complications at all. The best way to use a scale is to track your weight throughout the week and then take the average at the end of it. This will give a fairly accurate representation of how your weight loss journey is going. Although it doesn’t tell you whether or not you lost fat or muscle if you are on a high protein diet and losing about .5 up to 1.5 lbs per week, then it is likely just fat with minimal muscle loss. The scale along with how you look and feel is really all you need.
Inaccurate and Pricier: BIA Fat Scanners
Fat scanners that are impedance based, or use a bioelectric scan, to judge body fat percentage are generally going to be inaccurate. They may give you an idea, but they are often not all that accurate. Expensive to buy or use, and they are unable to judge the real amount of fat in your body. If this is how you measure it every single time then it may offer more of an advantage, but they are unable to pick up on the visceral fat (fat that covers and protects organs). This inability will lead to an inaccurate number overall.
Most Accurate and Expensive: DEXA Scan
DEXA scans are currently the gold standard of the fitness industry for measuring body fat percentage. They are anywhere from $35-60 to get but will give you a very accurate representation of where you are at body fat wise. Although they are expensive, if you plan on competing in bodybuilding or genuinely care about your health, they may be worth it. There are tons of testing centers, so shop around, compare prices, and go get it done if you are that curious.
At the end of the day, the most important aspect to consider is whether or not you are happy in your own body.