Body Fat – Is It Accurate?
If you want to lose 10 pounds this year, you may be considering a body fat scale to measure your progress. But do body fat scales work? Are they accurate? I bought the Yunmai premium smart scale to measure body fat from Amazon five years ago and use it almost weekly. Over this time period, I’ve lost fat (thanks to diet and exercise) and have gained muscle (thank you Pure Barre!).
Overall, I give the Yunmai scale two thumbs up. Is it as accurate as an expensive $100+ body fat test administered by a health professional? No, but it’s pretty darn good.
I’m lucky in that my work had folks from the Body Fat Test come to our work gym to do an underwater (hydrostatic weighing) body fat test. This allows me to compare the “gold standard” for body weight results to the Yunmai scale.
Continue reading to see how accurate the Yunmai scale is at measuring the three most important measurements: body fat, weight, and skeletal muscle.
Side note – more measurements: If you want to learn how accurate the Yunmai scale is for tracking water percentage, protein percentage, visceral fat, bone mass, BMR, and body age, subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll be writing another article about that soon!
Is the Yunmai Scale for Body Fat Accurate? See How the Yunmai Scale Compares to a Hydrostatic Test for Body Fat Percentage, Body Fat, and Weight
Yunmai Scale vs. Hydrostatic Weighing: I took a professional body fat test underwater using hydrostatic weighing for a work-sponsored weight loss challenge. I took the test in February, April, and October. This allows me to provide a detailed review of the Yunmai scale’s accuracy versus a professional body fat test.
Body Fat Percentage Accuracy of the Yunmai Scale. Review = 7 out of 10.
The Yunmai Scale may be 1-2 percentage points off for body fat, but that’s still a pretty good for a $50 scale. So if your body fat is 24%, the Yunmai scale may say 22% or 26%.
I found this to be the case for me. See below for my body composition analysis from hydrostatic body fat testing versus the body fat results of my Yunmai scale (week average, as I find day-to-day fluctuations with my scale).
|Body Fat Percentage||Date||Hydrostatic Body Fat Test||Yunmai Scale|
As you can see, the Yunmai scale is pretty good at measuring body fat percentage. It was only 0.4 to 1.6 percentage points off.
However, the Yunmai scale is not the best. If you want to keep detailed track of your body fat percentage, it can be misleading.
For example, I’ve lost lots of weight (and body fat) from 2017 to the present (2020). Yet Yunmai scale says that my average body fat has actually increased from 21.8% to 23.4%. I know that this is definitely not true, as I can pinch less fat on my thighs, arms, and stomach. But, if I give the Yunmai scale a margin of error and assume it is two percentage points off, then this means my body fat could actually be closer to 21.4% (23.4% subtract two percentage points). This likely IS accurate, as I have an athlete/fitness body type.
Are Body Fat Pounds Accurate on the Yunmai Scale? Yes. 8 out of 10.
It’s also important to look at actual body fat. In some weight loss journeys, you may be losing actual pounds of fat while your body fat percentage increases. This is because many women (and men!) lose muscle when they lose pounds of fat and weight.
How to Lose Weight While Retaining Muscle Tip: Have protein after working out, so that you can replenish your muscles and prevent your body from using muscles as its energy source vs. carbohydrates and fat.
|Body Fat Pounds||Date||Hydrostatic Body Fat Test
Body Fat Pounds
(Body Fat Pounds = Weight X Body Fat %)
|February 3||36.05||150.5 x 22.7% = 34.16|
|April 24||33.15||149.4 x 21.6% = 32.27|
|October 4||32.85||151.3 x 22.0% = 33.29|
As you can see, the Yunmai scale is pretty good at measuring actual pounds of body fat, if you go the extra step of doing the math. In this case, the Yunmai scale was off 0.44 to 1.89 pounds.
Math tip: The Yunmai body scale doesn’t show pounds of fat, so you need to multiply your current weight by the body fat percentage to get a number. For example, if your weight is 150 pounds and the Yunmai scale shows your body fat percentage is 25%, you need to multiply 150 x 0.25 to get 37.5 pounds of fat.
Is Weight Accurate on the Yunmai Scale? Yes. Rating = 9 out of 10.
Ignoring body fat percentages and body fat, everyone likes to see the total number on the scale go down over time.
|Weight||Date||Hydrostatic Body Fat Test||Yunmai Scale|
|April 24||148.2 (yes – not a typo)||149.4|
As you can see, I actually gained weight from February to October according to both the hydrostatic body fat test and my Yunmai scale.
This is due to the fact that I gained significant muscle during this time. I didn’t weigh myself on the Yunmai scale right before the hydrostatic body fat test, so it isn’t really fair to compare these numbers as daily weight fluctuations can easily be 2-5 pounds.
Tracking Weight over Time with the Yunmai Scale
One of the things that I love MOST about the Yunmai scale is that is tracks your measurements day over day, week over week, month over month, and year over year. I find it very motivating to see that my total weight has decreased from 151.8 pounds in 2017 to 150.0 pounds in 2018 134.9 pounds today. If you are sick of tracking your body weight manually or via an excel spreadsheet, the Yunmai scale app has amazing tracking graphs.
Takeaway – The Yunmai Scale is DEFINITELY Accurate and Worth It
In summary, I love my little Yunmai scale. It’s pretty darn accurate, and for only $50-$70 on Amazon it’s worth the price to quickly and easily track your body fat, body fat percentage, and weight over time.
More Reasons to Love the Yunmai Scale
- Bluetooth friendly. The Yunmai scale connects to your phone (iPhone or Android) via Bluetooth, and it connects VERY quickly. It’s easy to setup and quick to connect.
- Battery life. I think I’ve only replaced my batteries once over the period of three years. That’s pretty good!
- Simple app. The app is simple to read and use. No unnecessary information, ads, or distractions.
- Free app. The Yunmai app on your phone is free. They don’t try to sell you yearly subscriptions or anything like that.
- For $50-$70 you can’t go wrong. Most scales cost $20-35 anyway, so why not pay an extra $30 for something that tracks body fat and more?
Let me know if you have any questions by leaving a comment below.
Good luck in your weight loss goals this year!
Chrissy from the Jeans Fit (offering weight loss advice and fitness tips for women)
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