Why Your Body Fat Scale Readings Will NOT Add Up To 100%
Body fat scales, such as our Precision Digital Body Check Body Fat Scale or Precision Digital GetFit Body Fat Scale, help you get a more accurate picture of your health than an ordinary scale. A body fat scale gives you the breakdown of your weight, allowing you to see if your pounds are coming from fat, muscle mass or water.
Both of our EatSmart body fat scales provide information on weight, body fat, body water, bone mass and muscle mass. Our Body Check scale also calculates your BMI (Body Mass Index) and calories per/day needed to maintain your current weight. As we age, we tend to lose muscle mass, body water and bone density, so it is a good idea to monitor these important health metrics.
When reading your data, keep in mind our bodies are made up of 50% – 65% water. It’s important to note that all tissue, including bone, contains water. Muscle contains more water than fat does. Muscle contains up to 75% water, bone can contain up to 22% water, and fat tissue contains up to a mere 10% of water. Men have more body water than women, which in part is because they carry more skeletal muscle and less essential fat.
These water percentages are important to note when speaking about body fat scales. Because both fat and muscle contain water, part of their total weight includes water weight. This will cause the overall total to be higher than 100%.
For instance, the following stats come from a 172.8-pound man:
Fat: 20.6 percent
Water: 60.5 percent
Muscle: 46.8 percent
Total percentage: 127.9
The total equals 127.9 because body water is found in both the muscle and fat, which increases the total percentage. His water percentage is pretty much on target and his body fat and muscle mass are both within the healthy range.
Weighing yourself consistently, at the same time and after the same amount of activity, is necessary for an accurate reading. Drinking a lot of water or exercising and sweating profusely can alter your body water and may impact the reading on the scale. Ideally, you should weigh yourself first thing in the morning or at least two hours after a meal.