Measuring body fat is like any test that is conducted regularly. To be accurate it needs to standidised and with the same exact parameters each time.
Using scales: Same time of day, morning is best, with the same clothing (suggest none). Ensure your bowel movements, fluid and food intake was the same the previous night. If something changes such as going to the toilet in the middle of the night then you will have account for that. As a persoanl trainer and when a specific fat loss goal has been set, I suggest clients weigh themseleves each morning. At the end of the week we take the average. That is then your weight.
Scales with body fat calculation: We never use them, the measuring of an electrical impedance through a system made up of fluctuating fluids and salts just does not make any sense. Again if you use these type of measuring devices it is important to standise the testing. Remember it is predicting your body fat, I think I can give you a better prediction without even using them.
Calipers: There are a few different calipers available, cheap ones (commonly plastic) or metal ones. The cheaper ones are a bit flimsy for use and can be inaccurate. When I do a skin fold I only ever use the metal type with a dial face (Harpenden Skinfold Caliper) these are not cheap and really only for professional use. You do need someone skilled to take the measurements, you also need to know where to take the measurements and ensure that each and every time the same exact place is measured.
I would ask the question why do you want to know your body fat percentage? Will it make you look or feel any better knowing you have dropped a percent?
A lot of people put too much emphasis on their weight instead of thinking about how they look. Would you prefer saggy arms with no definition or shapely arms and weighing the same?
Changing your body is not easy but it does not have to be hard either.
A personal trainer since 1991. A highly trained specialist Jungle, Desert and Counter Terrorism infantry soldier of 12 years. From combat operations in Iraq to winning extreme multisport races, his experience in pushing the limits of the mind and body puts him ahead of the rest and the best trainer for Forced Results!!!! Cert IV Personal Trainer - Cert III Gym Instructor - Army Physical Training Instructor - Special Forces Combat Conditioning Specialist - Military Unarmed Combat Instructor - National Water Polo Representative - Captain/Coach ADF Water-Polo Team - Winner Border Challenge Extreme Multi Sport Endurance Race - Winner ADF National Triathlon Championship HMAS Penguin - Kellogg’s Nutri-Grain Ironman Series 88-89 - Surf Life Saving Australian Titles Winner Team Member