Lots of people think that just because a person is thin, that they are healthy, this is a completely false assumption. There are many thin people out there who, believe it or not, carry so much body fat in them, that they are what I like to call, fat-skinny people. These unhealthy skinny people carry lots of fat inside of their muscles, though you are not able to see this fat from their outside appearance.
There are also those out there who have a big body type and many people assume that they are overweight just because they are big. If they have a good body fat percentage and are in shape and healthy, they can probably outperform most in athletic competitions if you went up against them. Have you seen some of those football players? They are huge and some look completely overweight but they are full of muscle, have a good body percentage measurement and are really fast runners.
When weighing yourself, the number that comes up will only tells so much of the story of what's going on with your body. Besides just their weight, it is very important for one to get their body fat percentage measured. Your body fat percentage measurement give you a better idea if you are carrying the kind of weight that you want.
If you are a person trying to gain weight, it is extremely important to pay attention to your body fat percentage as you are gaining weight, as you don't want to put on unhealthy and fatty pounds. You are instead, going to want to gain healthy muscle weight.
If you want to measure your body fat percentage, there are various ways that you can do this. Below is a brief explanation of each method.
Calipers can be purchased at health food stores. The price you pay for them will vary based on the quality but you should be able to get calipers for $60 or $70. After purchasing your calipers, you'll have to pinch certain areas of the body and then you will be able to measure your Body fat percentage. Be prepared to need assistance as there may be places on your body that you will not be able to reach to place your calipers.
BIA (Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis) method:
These devices will send a small current through your body and calculate your body ft. Of course, your height and weight are used and how fast the current passes through your body will determine what your BMI is. These devices are of the most accurate readings and give a great estimation of body fat.
BMI (Body Mass Index) method:
This method takes your weight and height into account but does not take your body type into account. The measurements it gives is not 100% accurate but it is widely used because the reading will almost always give a accurate reading (for the everyday normal person) that is close to your percentage of body fat. For people who are really fit and in shape, the BMI method is not very good as in shape people have high masses of muscle and a lower percentage of body fat.
Underwater weighing method:
You have to find a place where they perform this measurement. They immerse you in a tank of water and measure water displacements to calculate your percent of body fat. From all of the methods explained here, the underwater weighing method is probably going to be the most expensive though it is one of the most accurate and precise methods.