If you’re trying to lose weight or get in the best shape possible, let me suggest you consider not only adding a scale to your weight loss scheme if you haven’t already, but a scale that can also invisibly and automagically calculate your body fat percentage while it weights you. Tanita have invented a wide variety of scales with body fat monitoring built into the device.

What Is Body Fat?
Lean body tissue (fat-free mass like muscle) is made of 75% water while fat tissue is made up of 15% water. The more lean tissue you have, the more water your body can hold. Discovering the amount of fatty tissue in your body will help determine your weight loss needs.

Body fat is the hard to pin down entity that makes you flabby if you have too much of it in your body. But how do you know if your body fat is too much? A scale alone can’t tell you the percentage of fat in your body, it can only give you an overall picture of your entire body weight. The answer is getting a body fat monitor that can look beyond your skin to evaluate your health and percentage of body fat.

Big Boned
If you’ve been using the “I’m not fat, I’m big boned” excuse to rationalize your over-average weight for your height, let me propose you consider getting a body fat monitor to reveal the truth of your state of health. Big boned won’t matter with a body fat monitor. Body fat percentages don’t lie against revealing your ultimate health and once-and-for-all you’ll know precisely what’s happening inside your body when it comes to getting as fit as possible.

The TBF-612
The Tanita TBF-612 body fat monitor helps unwrap the mysteries within you by using bioelectrical impedance to determine the amount of body fat you’re carrying. Tanita uses a “leg to leg” bioimpedance analysis of your body fat in the privacy of your own home.

You simply turn on and then step on the scale you see at the left after you’ve programmed in your gender, height and current exercise lifestyle (normal or athlete).

The TBF-612 then weighs you, and sends a safe, low level electrical signal thorough the metal foot plates to measure your body fat. The entire process takes less than 30 seconds.

If you have a pacemaker of if you’re pregnant or have some other physical anomaly that might not take well to an electrical measurement, you should not use this method of body fat measurement. Calipers or water immersion might be better solutions for you.

So once you get your weight range, what percentage of body fat is considered safe and normal? Tanita uses the following chart as a general guideline:

Tanita’s Healthy Body Fat Range
Under 30 Years Old Over 30 Years Old
Males 14% to 20% 17% to 23%
Females 17% to 24% 20% to 27%

Lose Fat, Not Muscle
A common occurrence when you’re dieting is to lose muscle mass instead of body fat. Since muscle weighs more than fat, large weight loss over a short period of time can be dangerous if you’re losing muscle instead of fat. This can happen when you start to eat less but fail to exercise and get the appropriate proteins and nutrition your body demands. Instead of burning up the excess fat, your body turns on itself and begins to chew away at your muscle. So while you may weigh less, you’re actually fatter than you were when you began your new diet!

You can see how this sort of weight loss scheme can quickly become a mobius strip of a diet nightmare and you’d certainly be blind to its ultimate effects without a way to measure your body fat. With Tanita on your side, you can weight yourself each day AND get a report on your body fat percentage as well! Never again will you have to wonder if those last five pounds lost were muscle or fat.

Now if you’re overweight by a lot, please know that losing some muscle may help re-shape your body in a positive way! Carrying extra weight around makes your legs thicker and stronger (in addition to any extra fat you may have put on) so losing some muscle in your legs isn’t a bad thing because your lower body can become thinner and less thick because they don’t have to carry so much weight.

Personal Results
In the two months I’ve had my TBF-612, I’ve dropped 20 pounds and lost three body fat percentage points! This strict, daily, monitoring has helped focus my goals. If a week passes by and I lose three pounds but lose no body fat, I bulk up on the protein and push a few more exercises into my daily routine to build muscle mass back and burn off true fat.

Tanita claims two new AA batteries will last 365 weight and body fat measurements: That’s an entire year of monitoring on one set of batteries! Impressive.

Quality of Use
The Tanita TBF-612 is heavy. The metal bottom is strong and extremely stable. The top is sleekly designed plastic (except for the metal foot pads) and the entire unit is easy to clean and operate. The large LCD readout can be easily seen from any angle.

My biggest complaint with the TBF-612 model is that is only built for one person. In order for my wife to use it as well, we have to re-program the unit each time she uses it and each time I use it. While re-programming isn’t a terribly difficult task, it is a niggly detail that makes for a less than ideal mode of operation. I understand Tanita makes “family models” of body fat monitors that don’t require re-programming for use by more than one person.

The Tanita TBF-612 body fat monitor and scale is a lovely addition to your weight loss program and it will cost you around $100.00 on the street. To visit the Tanita website directly, please touch here now. I give the Tanita TBF-612 body fat monitor three out of five Go Inside Review Lights.