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Best Body Fat Scales, Fitness Testing Kids, Activity Guidelines & Decolonize Your Diet

Updated: Jan 15, 2023


Below is a quick summary of the podcast. If you want to embrace the chaos that is 'Chat Sh*t Get Fit' we'd highly recommend listening above!

Best Body Fat Scales On The Market (According To Science)

The number you see on a traditional scale can sometimes be a bit misleading when you are on a weight/fat loss journey because many things can influence the number. Water being the most disruptive culprit for most.

Here's where body fat percentage scales come in. If the devices in question are accurate, they can be a valuable metric to add to your "tracking arsenal."

Recently a new scientific paper was published: Assessing the Reliability and Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Validity of 15 Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis Devices. [1]

They tested 14 at-home body fat scales , alongside one laboratory-grade body fat scale using the same general technology (bioelectrical impedance analysis) and their gold-standard method (the four-compartment model).

A 'gold-standard method' separates the body into four compartments: fat, water, bone, and "everything else" (protein, minerals, and stored carbohydrates).

A normal body fat scale uses a two-compartment model, which means all of your body weight is divided into fat mass and fat-free mass. As a result, you can calculate your body fat percentage (the percentage of your weight that's fat).

Here are the scales they tested

The top 3 products were the Omron HBF-516 ($170), Tanita BC-568 InnerScan ($200) , and Tanita UM-081($65

There is enough error in all body fat scales, even the best ones. Therefore, you should still be careful when interpreting the results of a single test and over time.

Therefore, if you're using a body fat scale, consider it alongside other metrics (like body weight, waist circumference, exercise performance, and mood). Multiple metrics can help you figure out what's really going on with your body over time.

Best Body Fat Scales On The Market
Best Body Fat Scales On The Market

Activity Guidelines

A HUGE paper has just come out Adherence to aerobic and muscle-strengthening activities guidelines: a systematic review and meta-analysis of 3.3 million participants across 31 countries [2]

NOTE: Important No studies reported data for children aged 5–11 years.

Let's quickly recap the current guidelines as recommended by WHO. (world health organisation)

Children and adolescents aged 5-17 years

  • should do at least an average of 60 minutes per day of moderate-to-vigorous intensity, mostly aerobic, physical activity, across the week.

  • should incorporate vigorous-intensity aerobic activities, as well as those that strengthen muscle and bone, at least 3 days a week.

  • should limit the amount of time spent being sedentary, particularly the amount of recreational screen time.

Adults aged 18–64 years

  • should do at least 150–300 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity;

  • or at least 75–150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week

  • should also do muscle-strengthening activities at moderate or greater intensity that involve all major muscle groups on 2 or more days a week, as these provide additional health benefits.

  • may increase moderate-intensity aerobic physical activity to more than 300 minutes; or do more than 150 minutes of vigorous-intensity aerobic physical activity; or an equivalent combination of moderate- and vigorous-intensity activity throughout the week for additional health benefits.

  • should limit the amount of time spent being sedentary. Replacing sedentary time with physical activity of any intensity (including light intensity) provides health benefits, and

  • to help reduce the detrimental effects of high levels of sedentary behaviour on health, all adults and older adults should aim to do more than the recommended levels of moderate- to vigorous-intensity physical activity

Activity Guidelines 2023
Activity Guidelines 2023

Here's what the paper found:

Overall adherence to the aerobic and MSA guidelines In those 18 and older was 17.15%
Among adolescents aged 12–17 years, adherence to both guidelines was 19.45%
Women, older age, low/medium education levels, underweight or obesity, and poor and moderate self-rated health were associated with lower adherence to the physical activity guidelines (p<0.001) among adults, although the prevalence remained very low in all cases.
Only one out of five adolescents and adults met the recommended combined aerobic and MSA guidelines.

Accessibility and adherence are some of the biggest hurdles people face. Accessing the right tools, information, and adhering to them.

Beliefs also play a big role. That's why we don't like exercise shaming where certain influencers pick an exercise just so they can create content and then say, "You shouldn't be doing that or this is perfect. Why do people do this?"

We've talked about how people get shamed for just walking on the treadmill at the gym. You don't have to worry about that. Okay, they could walk in the street/park but if they don't want to, that's their choice.

They could prefer the gym because it's a safe environment. It's warm and it's got WiFi, which means they can watch Netflix on the treadmill while they move. If that keeps them motivated, then good for them.

Daily Activity
Daily Activity

Furthermore, anecdotally from Tom:

When I've had new clients come to me for training, it's usually women as well. I've asked them, what's the main reason that you kind of come to me for? They tell me I don't want to get injured, I don't want to do the exercises wrong.
Basically, as long as you're not going crazy with what you're doing, it's safe to move with or without a PT. We all have beliefs, whether it's our own or things we hear from articles or PTs, or how society treats certain subjects, whether it's exercise or nutrition.
There's a lot of misinformation out there that puts people off. There are times when ignorance is the cause, and nobody's fault, but just not knowing what else is out there.

Essentially we need to create a barrier free environment that allows people to get out and move and hopefully help us reverse these worrying activity statistics.

We recently did a few podcasts on this topic with one being 'So, You Want To Start The Gym?' so if you want some easy digestible advice on starting the gym give it a listen!

Exercise Class
Exercise Class

Decolonize Your Diet

A newly published article: Decolonizing Your Diet. It has a bunch of amazing benefits, apparently. Our first impression was that it was basically a paleo diet for Americans.

On Instagram, there are now more than 15,000 posts carrying the hashtag Decolonize Your Diet. And I quote,

Removing colonial influence from your diet is not just about putting down pizza and pasta. It's important to acknowledge the history of Indigenous people in North America,

Exactly what this diet requires isn't clear. It's pretty clear what the requirements are for diets like the vegan diet and the carnivore diet. Here are some signs you're on it:

  • Removing Western European influence entirely.

  • Often include fruits, vegetables, and herbs from one region.

  • It can include supporting local farms to shopping for traditional ingredients.

  • Learning how to connect with the land, find native ingredients, and prepare ancestral dishes.

There's just one problem: it can be very divisive. Decolonize your diet? It's divisive.

It can also be confusing. It's clear from this article that they're talking about Native Americans. However, you've got to be careful of articles like this because they'll just tell you to decolonize your diet. Ok, are we talking about native Americans only, or are we talking about the Mazi tribe from Africa, or are we talking about natives or aboriginals? I mean, who are we talking about? Decolonization is subjective to where you are if you're going to do it.

Additionally, are you basically saying that someone who isn't following a decolonized diet is pro-colonization? Pro-empire? Pro-slavery? Can you see how this can spiral and create division in a community?

There can be activism around food. I mentioned earlier in the podcast that food can be politically charged. However, when it's used to shame people, there's nothing wrong with saying, yeah, try and add some of these things and take some of these things out, but try and have more of this and less of that. I'm fine with that, but I don't think it has to be inherently tainted with guilt.

Decolonize Your Diet
Decolonize Your Diet

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