Weight Loss Support - What's your BODY FAT Percentage? Have you checked it lately?




bambifox
03-27-2008, 02:32 PM
I start this thread after watching a wonderful Tyra Banks episode today. She spoke about how obsessed woman have become with the scale. She had 3 woman on the panel whom the audience had to "guess their weight". Turns out, they all weighed the same...155lbs! They were all the same height, but were extremely different looking in appearance and composition. This started the question in my mind, "What's my bodyfat percentage?...and Should I pay more attention to scale or BF?" So, I did a brief body fat check and found out mine was only 16% BF! 16%!!! Here, I find myself among the ranks of many other woman obsessed with the scale and I have a BF of 16! Crazy..just crazy! So, I decided to start this thread to encourage other woman to check their bodyfat...and FOCUS NOT JUST ON LOSING WEIGHT, BUT LOSING FAT!:carrot:


BlzMaxGnrCCJkMly
03-27-2008, 02:41 PM
how do you check bf%?

LisaD219
03-27-2008, 02:42 PM
When I went to the gym for my assessment, mine was 42%!!! Hopefully that number will go down... Yikes! :^:


bambifox
03-27-2008, 02:44 PM
The best way to check BF% is through the use of a caliper. Professional calipers (like the one's used in Gyms') are really expensive...like $1500! You can order one from accu-measure.com and it's about $20. You can also use it yourself without the help of others.

*EDIT* Therein lies the true measure of progress...BF...not the scale (necessarily)! IMO, I'd monitor BF% on a weekly basis...to track progress. You can safely lose up to 2lbs (for most people) of Body Fat per week. Using a caliper is a great way to monitor if the diet plan you are following is working. Joyce

jasmine987
03-30-2008, 01:22 PM
how accurate do you think the home scales are that show body fat?

Daffy29
03-30-2008, 02:38 PM
I have a Tanita scale that measures body fat %...it is the same brand used by my doc at the weight management clinic at the hospital here...though not the same model, for sure.

With any equipment for measuring, there is a margin of error. The best way to use the home version of the BF% scales, apparently, is to always check at the same time of day under essentially the same conditions (in terms of hydration and not too close to exercising or eating) and to rely on them mostly for tracking the difference in your BF%.

For example, when I started managing my eating and working at losing weight, my BF% was 49.5. With 17 lbs lost, my BF% is now down to 45.5. The 4% lost is likely to be more accurate than the actual BF% itself.

Bambifox: 16% BF is awfully low for a woman...you might want to have a pro check if you really want to have an accurate assessment. Most fitness facilities can point you to someone who does fitness testing, and these days, that should always include BF%

BlueToBlue
03-30-2008, 02:47 PM
There are several websites that will calculate your body fat % using your weight and body measurements. Try BBLex (http://www.bblex.de/en/calc/navy.php) and Freedieting.com (http://www.freedieting.com/tools/weight_loss_tools.htm). The results that I get from these websites and pretty close to what my trainer calculates using the caliper method.

My understanding is that the caliper method is only accurate if the person doing the measuring really knows what he/she is doing. I'm not sure it's something you can pick up on your own and be sure of it's accuracy.

I'm 5' 4", I weigh about 115, and my body fat % is around 22%. At this point I am trying to build muscle and lose body fat without losing any more weight.

ennay
03-30-2008, 02:55 PM
There are several websites that will calculate your body fat % using your weight and body measurements. Try BBLex (http://www.bblex.de/en/calc/navy.php) and Freedieting.com (http://www.freedieting.com/tools/weight_loss_tools.htm). The results that I get from these websites and pretty close to what my trainer calculates using the caliper method.

My understanding is that the caliper method is only accurate if the person doing the measuring really knows what he/she is doing. I'm not sure it's something you can pick up on your own and be sure of it's accuracy.

I'm 5' 4", I weigh about 115, and my body fat % is around 22%. At this point I am trying to build muscle and lose body fat without losing any more weight.

This is a good example (sorry Barbara!) I'm 5'3.75 and my body fat is ~22% just like Barbara, but I weigh ~133

For me the navy circumference has tracked well with the trainers.

My at home scale was the worst...while professsional measurements showed me going from ~45% to 22% the at home scale went from 42 to 33% and stays at ~33%
and calipers without proper training are only of limited accuracy and repeatability

Lyria
03-30-2008, 05:29 PM
I've been using BF% as a measure as opposed to the scale for awhile - mind you I still get a little obsessive with those scale numbers from time to time!

I'm about 21% BF at 138 pounds and 5'6 (up a little thank you Easter lol)

I really had it brought home the other day when a girl and I at work were chatting about weight and it turned out that we're the same height (5'6) - I'm about an Aussie 8-10 (US 4-6) while she is an Aussie 12-14 (US8-10).

I'm only about 2 or 3 pounds lighter than she is! Same with another friend a couple nights ago. Turns out we are nearly the same weight but I am several sizes smaller.

It really made me step back and focus less on what that scale keeps telling me and concentrate more on just keeping my body strong and healthy!

bambifox
03-30-2008, 06:01 PM
Wow! Thank you all for your input. It's really interesting to see how 2 people same height/same weight can be soooo far apart in body fat %!!! That should be motivation for us all to (symbolicly) chuck our scales out the window!

One thing that I've noticed in my adult years (and what I didn't know growing up) was the obvious yet significant body weight differences in different races of people! Growing up I found myself constantly feeling "fat" because all of my white friends were so much lighter than me! True story! It wasn't until I was in my late 20's that I discovered that certain different ethnic groups have higher/lower bone densities to begin with. African American people have a higher bone density than other races. As a result of that, we have a higher percentage of muscle naturally which equals much higher numbers on the scale than that b*llsh*t the FDA or "whatever agency" purports as a measure of what your weight should be at your height! It's not specific not only for African Americans but also for bodybuilders as well. That really p*ssed me off when I found this out! I guess what I'm saying is (whatever your genetic/ethnic group), LET THE MIRROR BE YOUR GUIDE! It never lies! Unfortunately...sometimes!

I think I'm going to call around town here and see if I can find a place that takes your bodyfat % while under water. That's supposed to be the most accurate measure. Anyways...I don't suppose it matters too much how accurate your home test is as long as you use the same test every time and those numbers GO DOWN!!! Thanks again folks. Joyce

murphmitch
03-30-2008, 06:55 PM
Here's another formula that I found. I think I got it from Covert Bailey's "Fit or Fat" book.

Under 30: Hips (in inches) + (.80 x thigh) - (2 x calf) - wrist = Body fat %.
Over 30: Hips + thigh - (2 x calf) - wrist = Body fat %.

This comes out to 23% for me. Pretty close to what I get with Bio-impedence testing done at my healthscreen assessment at work every year.

By the way, I have a Taylor scale with a body fat monitor. I never use that function because it always shows me around 30% no matter what I weigh and I don't believe it.

:goodscale

JayEll
03-30-2008, 07:32 PM
I have only had the electrical resistance method. My body fat % measured by that method dropped from 44% to 33% when I lost weight. My Tanita scale gives me values that vary by 3% to 4% just depending on the time of day--so it's just a variable as my weight.

If I use the waist measurement method, I get a high percentage, 39%, because most of my fat is on my midsection. If I use the measurements method just above, I get 28%.

So... Maybe one of these days I'll manage to get the water displacement test done--but that's not something I could pay for every week or every month.

I'm just happy that it's in the "healthy range" according to the book that came with my Tanita scale.

Bambifox, at 16%, you'd be underfat according to this source. So... gosh! Why is it you want to lose more weight? You don't seem to have any more fat to lose... :chin:

Jay

LondonAngel
03-30-2008, 09:33 PM
Mine is 34%

Do you know what is a healthy one? I've heard that 24, but I'm not quite sure

momof4girls
03-30-2008, 09:59 PM
I have a tanita scale that measures BF% I started at 51% :shock: and am now at 44%.

junebug41
03-30-2008, 10:17 PM
I have a Tanita scale that measures body fat %...it is the same brand used by my doc at the weight management clinic at the hospital here...though not the same model, for sure.

With any equipment for measuring, there is a margin of error. The best way to use the home version of the BF% scales, apparently, is to always check at the same time of day under essentially the same conditions (in terms of hydration and not too close to exercising or eating) and to rely on them mostly for tracking the difference in your BF%.

For example, when I started managing my eating and working at losing weight, my BF% was 49.5. With 17 lbs lost, my BF% is now down to 45.5. The 4% lost is likely to be more accurate than the actual BF% itself.

Bambifox: 16% BF is awfully low for a woman...you might want to have a pro check if you really want to have an accurate assessment. Most fitness facilities can point you to someone who does fitness testing, and these days, that should always include BF%

16% is perfectly healthy for a woman's bodyfat. In fact, it's in the "athlete's" range. It is not recommended that women fall below 12%. Mine is usually around 17% and is done by a trainer friend of mine who is nothing short of a guru. I think he does a 7 point test?

BTW, Bambifox- you look HOT!

SouthLake
03-30-2008, 11:34 PM
Ugh. I just had mine tested at work for a fitness challenge. 41%. But, as logn as it's a starting point I'm fine. I know that when I was younger, I was 16% at 135.

dandk0204
03-31-2008, 12:42 AM
When I was at 280 it was around 51-52% now I'm at 48-49% according to my scale.

ImpalaHoarder
03-31-2008, 01:51 AM
I tried to use the calculators that were posted, but I got values ranging from 17% body fat to 23% body fat, which seem slightly suspect to me given that I'm about thirty pounds overweight and clearly have at least a bit of extra fat to lose. On the low end in terms of body fat? I don't think so.

I guess I'll inquire about it the next time I'm at the doctor.

BlueToBlue
03-31-2008, 03:46 AM
Wow! Thank you all for your input. It's really interesting to see how 2 people same height/same weight can be soooo far apart in body fat %!!! That should be motivation for us all to (symbolicly) chuck our scales out the window!

My sister started exercising about a year ago without changing her diet. During that year, she has dropped from a size 10 to a size 4, but did not lose one single lb. Her weight is exactly the same as when she started, but she looks fantastic and is wearing a much smaller size. So clearly she's lost a lot of body fat and replaced it with muscle. It's amazing what losing a little body fat and gaining a little muscle will do for you.


Do you know what is a healthy one? I've heard that 24, but I'm not quite sure.

"Understanding Your Body Fat Percentage (http://www.healthchecksystems.com/bodyfat.htm)" is an article that provides a good explanation of body fat, what is considered healthy, and how you can use it to determine if your weight loss goal is realistic.

Hat Trick
03-31-2008, 11:34 AM
There are several websites that will calculate your body fat % using your weight and body measurements. Try BBLex (http://www.bblex.de/en/calc/navy.php) and Freedieting.com (http://www.freedieting.com/tools/weight_loss_tools.htm). The results that I get from these websites and pretty close to what my trainer calculates using the caliper method.

B2B -- when you use these two websites do you get close to the same numbers w/each one? I just used these and got 36.6% on the freedieting one and 40% on the navy one. Using the forumula provided by murphmitch I got 28%. Hmmm. (I laughed out loud at the 28% -- for me? Um, too low I think!)

murphmitch
03-31-2008, 11:52 AM
Funny, I get 23% with the Fit or Fat one I listed. I also get 23% with the BBLex one. But with the Freedieting.com one I get 17.3%. I like that one. :D Makes you wonder how you can estimate body fat from measuring body parts without actually pinching the subcutaneous fat under it. I have always heard that the underwater method is the gold standard, but that calipers are the next best way, and that it takes an experienced user to do it right. I think my gym offers the skin calipers. I may ask them to measure me. Either way, I definitely think the body fat estimator on my Taylor scale is terribly inaccurate.

I think the most important thing is to consistently use the same method over time to track yourself as you lose weight.

jasmine987
04-05-2008, 04:45 PM
When I bought my scale I was 308lbs. It registered my body fat at 65% ...I was shocked but I guess at 308 it is what it is.

Now my body fat ranges between 54% and 59% really it changes daily so I just enjoy seeing it not in the 60s...