Product Review: Escali Body Fat/Body Water Analyzing Scale

I like using a scale as a check-in to see what my weight is. I’m insanely curious about numbers when they’re associated with health. Scales intrigue me. I’ve never owned one myself, however; the scale that I usually weigh myself on is the dog scale at the vet clinic I work at (seriously). So I was very excited when CSN Stores sent me one of their Escali scales to review!

This scale, the Escali Body Fat/Body Water Bathroom Scale, is interesting because not only does it measure weight, it also measures body fat and body water percentages based on Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). BIA is when “a safe, low-level electrical signal is passed through the body. The scale measures the speed of the current which is affected by water, muscle, bone, and fat”, or so the user guide tells me.

Body fat percentage is useful for knowing how much of the body is made up of fat and how much is lean muscle mass etc. Once you know what your body fat percentage is, you can figure out from there if you are carrying around excess fat or if you have the right amount. Remember, fat is important and necessary to being alive! We need fat; if we didn’t have some amount of fat on our bodies, we would die. The percentage of our bodies that should be fat is different between men and women, as well as our age groups. Women need much more essential fat to survive; similarly, the older we get, the higher our body fat percentage can be to be considered healthy.

With this scale, you input your height, gender, and age. Once you step on it (you have to be bare foot), it measures your weight, body fat percentage, and body water percentage. You can have up to ten users (height, gender, and age) stored in the scale at the same time. It’s a beautiful glass scale and it’s incredibly user-friendly.

Although I’m not entirely sure I believe the actual body fat percentage- I’ve heard that BIA can be as much as 4% off- I think that this is a wonderful tool for monitoring progress. For example, my body fat percentage shows me at 17.3%, but according to the user guide, “healthy” is between 22-33% for my gender and age group*: however, I know that my body fat is healthy for me. I can continue weighing myself once every day or every few days and see if, over time, I reduce my body fat or increase it, regardless of whether this scale is accurate or not.**

I was quite surprised at my body water percentage results. Mine shows me at being 59.8%, but the normal range is between 47-57% for my age and gender group, according to the scale user guide. I’m not entirely sure why my body water percentage is high (maybe because I drink a lot of water and tea and water-dense foods?), and I also don’t know exactly what it means. It doesn’t really say in the user guide what “body water percentage” means, and I can’t find very much information on the Internet, either. I don’t know if I should be concerned that it’s in the high range.

Scales like this one are very sensitive, so it’s important to weigh yourself at the same time every morning. Even things like going to the bathroom or weighing yourself after exercising can alter the measurements by 1-2%.

I really like this scale. It looks gorgeous and I love how easy it is to use and add other people to the memory. As I said above, scales are a great way to monitor progress. Scales like this one are especially good because when we can see our body fat percentage changing, we know how much muscle we have and if a gain/loss in weight is related to muscle or fat.

Has anyone tried this scale or a scale similar to it? Do any of the science types or fitness trainers out there know if BIA is at all accurate? Does anyone know what “body water percentage” really means? How do you like to monitor your progress?

*Another source tells me that for my gender and age group, 10-12% body fat is in the “essential fat” range, 14-20% is in the “athletic” range, 21-24% is in the “fitness” range, and 25-31% is in the “acceptable” range, so this source might make somewhat more sense than what the user guide tells me. In which case, hurray! I’m an “athlete”! ;)

**Interestingly, when I input my data to this Home Body Fat Test, I got the same results (17% body fat).

Day 16 of the 200 Reps Challenge

We’re halfway along! Woohoo!

20 Side Bends (targets the obliques)

20 Side Lunges (targets lower body and particularly the inner thigh)

Perform this set ten times for a total of 200 Side Bends and 200 Side Lunges!

For the Side Bends:

1. Hold two dumbbells at your sides. Stand with your back straight, abs engaged, and feet hip width apart. Bend your knees slightly.

2. Bend your torso to the right so that your dumbbell comes down to about level with your knee; feel this in your abs, not your hips. Cinch at the waist and slowly reverse the position. Do the same movement on the left side. This is one rep.

TIP: Keep your upper body tight and stable the entire time; don’t allow it to arch or bend but instead move in a straight line from side to side.

For the Side Lunges:

1. Stand with your feet wide apart, a foot or two beyond shoulder width. Position your right foot so that it is perpendicular to your left foot; your right toe should point towards your right hand side, and your left toe should point forwards. Shift your torso so that you are facing your right side as well (looking the same way as your right toe). Hold a dumbbell in each hand, down at your sides with one arm behind your body and one arm in front.

2. Bend your right knee until your right thigh is parallel with the floor; your left leg should be straight.

3. Reverse the position by pushing through your right heel and return to standing position. This is one rep. Repeat all reps on this side before switching and doing all reps on the other side.

TIP: Keep your back straight, your abs engaged, and keep your shoulders over your hips the entire time. Do not allow your knee to go past your toe because this is very hard on your knees. Rather than moving forward, envision dropping your entire body down towards the ground.

15 Comments

  1. That’s all pretty interesting, Sagan! I’ve never used a scale like that, although I can relate to the doggy scale :-)

    Your statement about your water percentage made me think of the novel. “Dune,” and how the visitors to the planet were waterfat!

    As a clinician, I don’t get too hung up on what various tables say we are supposed to be, and also, sometimes these devices are a bit off on their calibrations.

    Thanks for the review!

  2. My scale does body fat (same time of thing as yours I think), can’t remember whether is is supposed to measure water percentage. Honestly, after the first few times I just started using the basic weight function. For me, that is enough of an indicator. The idea is neat though.

  3. Your ‘second source’ sounds more accurate to other estimates I’ve heard about body fat percentages.

    I thought you hated numbers? :P

    Also, Katelyn showed me some FANTASTIC swimmer’s core exercises that we just absolutely MUST do.

  4. Dr. J- I’ve heard so much about Dune and STILL haven’t read it. I really have to get around to that…

    Cammy- Abs exercises=love :)

    JavaChick- There’s a gadget for just about everything these days!

    Diane- I can hope, anyway… who knows how much the scale might be off by, hehe.

    Westwood- Yay I can’t wait to try it! And yeah, I hate numbers, unless they’re related to health. Then I’m all over them ;)

  5. This post has me itching to do some side bends and lunges. Never thought I’d hear those words come out of my mouth! Maybe it’s because I’ve been traveling for a week and the physical activity has been pretty sparse. Don’t think I’ll start with 200 of ‘em, though. :) As far as scale goes, this is something I intend to get educated about but can’t offer any words of wisdom right now. Sorry….

  6. I’m not one to measure my body fat, or my weight, as I simply like to go by how things fit and how I feel. I think it’s good to measure fat percentage every once in a while, but I have problems with some of the machines sold out there, as I don’t think they are accurate. This one sounds intriguing, but still, it makes me nervous. I think 17% is a perfect fat percentage. I would never recommend lower than 16 or 15%, as that seems to be the average of the recs. I’ve seen. So keep up the good work! Body water percentage is the percentage of your body that is water, I guess, which is how the machine works really. If you have more muscle, I think your total body water is higher. Yikes, I could be wrong about that….Wikepedia could maybe help!

  7. Wow, that sounds like an interesting scale! Having a ballpark on the body composition puts the scale numbers in perspective, too. I wish that doctors’ offices would have body comp measurements, along with scale measurements. I’ve maintained my weight over the past year, but I’m wondering how much, if any, my body comp has changed, since I’ve become more active.

  8. Haha, that’s really interesting. It’d be cool to know the percentage of your body fat and stuff, whether it’s accurate or not. But personally, I try to stay away from such info, because I have a history of ED and I don’t want to allow any sort of trigger, you know? Also, I’m weary about the implication that there is a “perfect” fat percentage. I think some people just naturally store more fat, while others are leaner.

    That said, sounds like you’ve got a good amount of fat percentage. :-)

  9. Marsha- I definitely appreciate exercise more when I’ve been on the road and away from it, too.

    Gina- I like going by how things fit as well; it definitely is the best indicator because clothes can’t lie!

    Pubsgal- That would be so neat if doctors had this in their offices! Or another way to measure body fat. It really makes me wonder how much my body has changed over the past few years, since I started eating better and increasing my levels of exercise… I bet there would be quite a big difference if we documented it over a period of time.

    Sophia- I completely understand about the trigger- when I was struggling with disordered eating, the scale didn’t have as big of an affect on me so I haven’t had to worry about it, but there are other triggers I’ve dealt with so I know the power of them. And I think you’re right: some people naturally store more fat, others are naturally a little leaner. We can only really compare ourselves against ourselves, rather than against other people.

  10. I don’t weigh any more, but I used to use a bodyfat scale–whatever the brand is that was the most popular a few years ago, I’ve forgotten now.

    It seemed to overestimate bodyfat, so was kind of discouraging. And it didn’t have a separate measure for water, and so my bodyfat percentage would fluctuate wildly based on whether I was retaining water or not.

    Sounds like this one is much better than the kind I used!

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