Body composition refers to the amounts of fat, water, and lean mass that make up your total body weight. Since you probably want to lose body fat and keep the rest, it helps to know how much of you is made up of fat and how much is lean.
How do you keep track of the changes in your body composition at home when you're on a diet? You can use one or more of these methods: a scale, body mass index, body fat percentage, and a tape measure.
Weighing Yourself on a Scale
Using a scale is one of the most common ways to track changes in your body composition. A bathroom scale will let you track your weight at home, or you can step on a scale at the local health club. Using a scale is easy. As you lose weight
, the numbers go down and as you gain weight, the numbers go up. Learn how to use a bathroom scale
Body Mass Index
Getty Images/Steven Puetzer
Body Mass Index (BMI) helps to determine if you are at a normal weight, underweight, overweight or obese so it's often used as an indicator of health and as a risk factor for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and some forms of cancer. You can do the math yourself or you can use an online calculator. Then you can recalculate your BMI as your weight changes. Learn more about your Body Mass Index
Body Fat Percentage
Your body fat percentage is a measurement that tells you how much of your body is made up of fat. You need some fat, but too much will raise your risk of certain diseases. You can measure it with special bathroom scales or with hand-held body fat measurement devices. Learn more about body fat percentage
Using a Tape Measure
Most methods of body composition measurement involve your total weight, but sometimes it's helpful to measure your body with a tape measure. Your waist measurement may help to predict your risk of cardiovascular disease. You can also use the tape measure to determine your clothing size. Learn how to use a measuring tape