You can use several variations of a body calculator for fat from your home to determine if you are underweight, overweight or height-weight proportionate. While all of the body calculators are mathematical equations that will provide general information about your ideal body weight, the different versions of body fat calculators can provide inconsistent results.
The equations used to measure body fat percentage are not exact, but they should come fairly close in determining whether you are below, at or above your ideal body weight. Most of the body calculators you will find either online or in books (that you can use at home) determine your ideal body weight and body fat percentage by measuring your waist, hips and neck. The most accurate body fat calculators use fat caliper measurements.
Body Mass Index Measurement
One type of a body fat calculator is a Body Mass Index (BMI) measurement. Instead of measuring your body fat percentage, this equation can give you an estimate of whether you are underweight, overweight or just right by comparing your height to your weight. Using this method, body mass index is determined by your body weight divided by the square of your height. Results can be inaccurate for some people who are very muscular because muscle is heavier than fat. If you are very muscular, your weight might seem high when compared to your height when using the body mass index (even though you might be very physically fit).
Most people who have a BMI of more than 25 are considered overweight. If your BMI is more than 25, but you are very muscular, you might not really be overweight. Most people who have a BMI of less than 18.5 are underweight.
Another body fat equation is a waist-to-height ratio. Your waist-to-height ratio is determined by dividing your waist circumference by your height. Waist-to-height ratios of 0.5 or more can indicate too much fat around your waist. If you have too much fat around your waist, you will want to ask your health care practitioner about a diet that will reduce your calorie intake and an exercise program that will help you lose weight and shrink your waist.
Skinfold Caliper Instrument and Body Fat Monitor Scale
A more accurate body calculator you can do from home uses a skinfold caliper or a body fat monitor scale with bioelectrical impedance analyses (BIA). You can purchase skinfold caliper instruments and fat monitor scales to help you determine how close you are to your ideal body weight.
Body Fat Results
If the results from the different measurements are inconsistent, it is recommended that you check with your health care provider about your healthy body weight.
If the body fat calculators consistently indicate that you are overweight or underweight, you should ask your health care provider to recommend a good diet and exercise program for you.