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The Best Body Composition Smart Scales 2017

Updated on May 4, 2017

The Best Body Composition Scales

The best body composition scales assess a variety of metrics and give you the information you want about the fat, muscle, and water present in your body. Not all body composition scales are the same, however -- some are more reliable than others, and some have features that you may decide you really don't need. You don't want to pay for those features that don't much matter to you, and you really don't want to pay for a scale that is inaccurate or breaks easily. This review draws together the best and best-reviewed body composition scales on the market, so you can make an informed choice when you decide to take the next step forward in your fitness program. Getting lean is not easy, and you need the best, most advanced gear you can get.

What is a Body Composition Scale?

Also known as "smart scales," these scales measure the amount of fat, muscle, bone and water in your body. They send a very low electrical charge through your body from one foot to the other; since fat is relatively low in water compared to muscle, the scale can calculate the amount of fat you're carrying. Most of these scales are automatic, meaning you simply step on and in a few seconds your metrics are displayed on a digital read-out.

Looking lean and being truly healthy is about much more than just "losing weight." It's really about losing fat and keeping muscle. You need information about the composition of your body so you can make decisions about what to eat, how to work out, and how much progress you can expect. Here's an example: Let's say you wake up and get on a regular scale and see that you've lost two pounds since your last weigh-in. Awesome! You're closer to your goal, and your hard work is paying off. But did you actually lose two pounds of fat? What if you are actually losing muscle? You don't want to do that! Or maybe those two pounds are actually water loss, and you're in danger of getting dehydrated. You don't want that either. It's also possible that those two pounds are a mix of water, muscle and fat. But how much of each?

A good body composition or smart scale measures your fat, water and other important metrics so you know exactly how all of your hard work is paying off. Knowledge is power. If your goal is too look sleek, sexy, and toned, you need to know your body composition.

The Best Body Composition Scales

There are many body fat scales on the market. Many are quite effective, but many are not at well well-rated. When looking for a good body composition scale, it's wise to pay attention to user reviews. Almost all body fat scales have somewhat mixed reviews, perhaps because people fail to follow some of the recommendations that are included with the scale. One of the best-reviewed of the mid-priced body fat scales is this Yunmai HQ Smart Scale with a custom fitness APP. This model tells you exactly how much fat you're losing, so you know the difference between water weight loss and real weight loss. Losing fat means you're lean and sleek; losing water means you may be getting dehydrated, and likely starting to get bloated as your body struggles to regain its balance.

My Fight to Lose Fat and Keep Muscle

When I began trying to lose fat and get in shape about 5 years ago, all I knew was that I wanted to lose weight. I began cutting calories and working out, and I was amazed when my weight dropped quickly. Success! I was sure that I was shedding the nasty fat around my middle (I’m one of those people who tend to gain fat in my midsection). But then my weight loss slowed down and stopped. I was still dieting, watching what I eat, and working out, but I was no longer losing two or three pounds a week. More importantly, I really didn’t look that much different. I didn’t understand what was happening – if I was losing weight, shouldn’t I look and feel way better?

What I didn’t know was that I was losing mostly water weight. My diet flushed water out of my system, giving me a false sense of success. The fat that I really wanted to lose was mostly still there, sitting on my love handles and in my belly. It took a lot of reading and learning before I understood what really mattered in my weight loss plan.

Calories and Weight Loss

A calorie is a measure of energy. We eat food, which contains energy, and we burn that food to get the energy it contains. That energy, those calories, is the fuel that makes our bodies move and our minds think. The average person needs a little less than 2000 calories a day to keep up with the fuel demands of their body. If you eat more calories than that, your body stores it up for later use. The storage method your body uses to save your extra calories for later is your fat cells. So if you eat more than your body needs to move and think, you will slowly add fat. Look around you – there are many people in this world who are eating more than they burn, and their body is storing all that extra energy for later in the form of fat.

On the other hand, if you eat less than your body needs to move and think, you will slowly lose your fat storage and get thinner. This is the goal of millions and millions of people – to look lean, strong, slim, and toned. The reason that there are way more fat people than lean people is simple: eating less than you burn is hard. You don’t get to eat everything you want. You have to count your calories. You have to move and exercise. And not just for a week or a month – you have to so this forever. It’s way of life, a way of living, and it’s hard. If it were easy, everyone around you would look amazing. Instead of fat.

Another Highly Rated Body Fat Scale

My own experience with body composition scales has led me to see what features are important and which ones aren't. For example, some models come with a weight loss or diet program designed to "work with the scale." I consider this to be borderline useless, since I really don't need a scale company telling me what my diet should look like. Others claim to be able to handle weights that are hundreds of pounds more than I weigh, so I don't need that feature. For a good, mid-range scale with useful features, I like this Weight Gurus Bluetooth body composition scale. This is the number one smart scale brand in the US, and their products are time-tested user favorites. You can sync your data with FitBit, Google Fit, Apple Health, and other popular fitness apps, but you don't need a smart phone to get all the benefits of the scale. This company is also known for its customer service.

Fat By the Numbers

Here are some numbers that show you why so many people are storing fat instead of burning it. There are 3,500 calories in a pound of fat. That’s right – you have to burn 3,500 EXTRA calories to get rid of a pound of fat. Doing a little math, it’s quickly evident that if your goal is to lose a pound of fat a week, every day you need to eat 500 fewer calories than you burn. Since you probably burn a little less than 2000 calories a day, this means consuming a fourth fewer calories than you burn through exercise and daily activity. The upshot: you’re going to be hungry. You’re going to go to bed hungry. Your body is going to be telling you to eat, to eat to survive.

Good Informational Video About Fat and Muscle

Your Inner Cavemen is Fat

Ever since our ancestors came down from the trees, and probably even before that, we have had to deal with the constant threat of starvation. Our ancient ancestors spent virtually all of their time looking for food, and when they found it, they didn’t stop to consider how many calories it had – they ate it. In those days, excessive calorie consumption was the Holy Grail, because it meant you might live through the next famine on the strength of your fat cells. Show me a fat caveman, and I’ll show you an ALIVE caveman.

Now, of course, the pressure to survive by storing fat is gone, but our hunger for rich and plentiful food is not. We have figured out how to provide ourselves with all of that rich and plentiful food regardless of whether or not we still need it. Well, we don’t, and eating like a caveman in fear of a swarm of locusts eating all of our food has turned us into walking, talking bags of excess calories

Know Your Body Composition

With a body composition scale, you can see exactly what’s happening with your efforts to lose fat and keep muscle. Let’s say you’re actually losing weight – but do you know whether you’re actually losing fat? It’s possible that your body has chosen to burn muscle instead of fat, and you’re headed towards being “fat-skinny,” a condition that arises when you fail to lift weights and give your body a reason to keep muscle. When you’re skinny-fat, you have the same amount of fat on your frame, even though your weight is going down. With a regular scale you wouldn’t know it! This is why a body composition scale is so useful for those of us trying to lose fat.

The Tanita Ironman -- Sleek Looks and Top Features

While many body fat scales tend to look the same, those made by Tanita stand out for their cool glass and steel design. A Tanita scale fits beautifully with a modern bath design, and the company is known for product service. The Tanita Ironman smart scale is a popular model with some very good user reviews. This is a high-end body fat scale, though, and the price reflects that. While this model is for those of us shopping on the high end price-wise, Tanita does make an entire line of similarly sleek and good-looking smart scales that will work with almost anyone's budget.

The Ironman employs "exclusive FDA cleared bioelectric impedance," which is another way of naming a weak electric current that passes through the user's body to measure resistance and analyze composition. This scale also has four separate memory locations, so all you do is step on the scale and is "recognizes" you within seconds. This means there are no buttons to push, and it's totally hands-free.

Learn Your Body Composition, and Find Your Beach!

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