100 lb. Club - Body fat test!

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07-14-2009, 05:58 PM
So I did a very basic body fat test by entering my weight and measuring certain parts of my body( calf, waist, hips, etc.). According to this, my body fat percentage is 28-29%(NOT obese!) and I have about 60-70 lbs to lose of body fat. I have 170 lbs of muscle, bone, water, etc. So I have decided to change my weight loss goal to 175 and not pay so much attention to the BMI factor. Depending on how much muscle I want to build, I will modify my goal as I see fit.

This is such a relief to me. It is literally 50 lbs off my shoulders! I will still frequent the 100 lb club because I love all the ladies here :), but I just wanted to mention how much more accurate body fat percentage is over BMI! This test was very eye-opening and made me realize that my goal of 140 lbs will not be attainable unless I lose bone density.

07-14-2009, 07:20 PM
what site was this??? Because when I did it (I'm the same height as you but weigh 3 pounds more) I got WAY more than 29%. Honestly... at 5 feet 4 inches and 241 lbs you are obese. There is no way to get around that. There is also no way that your %tage is just 28-29. I sense something really funny with that calculator.

Now I could be wrong... and please prove me so but it does seem very fishy to me.

07-14-2009, 07:32 PM
NOT to rain on your parade, but...
if I were you, I'd get a body immersion test done to accurately measure my body fat. Because it just doesn't seem right that you could be 170lbs of lean body mass. And if you WERE, you'd have to keep more than 5 lbs of body fat on you to be healthy, or else your % of body fat would be ridiculously low.

I see that you are in college in Indiana? Maybe there is a college-related fitness facility or faculty that has one of the submersion testers available. I think a double check would be well. worth. your time...and let us know what happens!



Thighs Be Gone
07-14-2009, 07:40 PM
Agreed with the other ladies. I was obese when I began at 215 @ 5'7".5.

07-14-2009, 08:30 PM
I agree that body fat percent is a better guide to fitness than BMI. But unfortunately, a tape measure is considered to be an unreliable way of measuring body fat percentage. Bummer because it's easy!

Think about it -- a tape measure has no way of determining whether it's measuring inches of fat or lean body mass. Let's say your calf is 20 inches ... how would a tape measure know if it's 20 inches of fat and flab or 20 inches of rock hard muscle? A tape measure lays on top of the surface in order to measure surface area and can't tell you about the composition of what's underneath the surface. You could be measuring inches of cotton candy or inches of lead and a tape measure couldn't tell the difference.

A dunk tank is considered to be the gold standard for body fat testing. If that's not available, a nine-site caliper test in the hands of an experienced tester is considered the next reliable. Then comes a three or four-site test caliper test on the reliability scale and after that comes the various bioelectrical impedance devices like Omron handhelds and Tanita scales.

I don't think it makes sense to try to set a goal weight now based on body fat percentage, even if you knew what it was. BF % will change as your lose weight. No one loses 100% fat -- it's inevitable that some lean body mass gets lost along with the fat, especially when we get down to the last 10 - 20 pounds. Don't forget that LBM is much more than muscle. It's blood, hair, bones, teeth as well -- and water, lots and lots of water because 60% of your body weight is water. A lighter body doesn't need all the fluids to support it that a heavy body did. So your BF % is going to be changing all the time. Better to pick a goal weight when you start to get within 10 - 20 pounds of where you think you want to end up.

So long as you're doing strength training exercise to maintain your muscle mass, your LBM should be fine during your weight loss. It's a good idea to monitor body fat % while you losing to be sure that you're not losing too much LBM, but do it in order to track trends over time rather than worrying about absolute numbers. A Tanita scale is fine for showing changes even if it's not 100% accurate about the numbers you get. At least it's consistent so you can see trends over time and it's easy to use at home. :)

07-14-2009, 08:36 PM
We all hold our weight very differently and everyone is different, but I have to agree with the other gals. Don't put much into website calculations for these kind of things. Have it done professionally if you really want to figure it out. I'm about 5'8" with a large build and I am currently about 155 pounds of lean mass. My current goal of 190 will put me about 22% BF...but I won't know until I'm there if it's my real goal or not.

The numbers are fun, but the important thing is to keep on going and see how you feel as the numbers get smaller!


07-14-2009, 08:37 PM
Meg and I were posting at the same time. Of course she said it all much better! ;)

07-14-2009, 08:58 PM
Oh, I am not putting TOO much stock on it. My doctor recommended it to me because when I went in for my checkup, she said that yes, I am overweight, but not to the extent of what my weight shows and that I should get a body fat test done. I am going to see a fitness trainer at my gym to give me a more accurate reading. I think I tend to get a little overexcited about things sometimes...:shrug: But I still do believe that BMI is not a very reliable method and when I see that trainer, she says she has the little pincer things.

07-14-2009, 09:01 PM
P.S. I changed my goal not based on the test, but on what my doc told me I shoot for and she said to re-evaluate that goal when I got closer to that goal.

07-14-2009, 09:04 PM
Awesome! Let us know how it goes, cause it'll be interesting to see what the fat calipers have to say, in comparison with the online test!



07-14-2009, 09:15 PM
Yeah, I think re-evaluating your goal as you approach it is the way to go. I'm willing to bet your body will give you all sorts of signs as you approach it anyway. :)

07-14-2009, 11:38 PM
fat calipers

Those are the scariest words I've encountered all week. Maybe all month!

Out of curiosity, since your BMI says one thing and your online fat analysis says another, what's your belly/hip/height ratio say?

I think BMI is a good starting tool, for me at least it gives me a concrete number to look towards. I wouldn't put toooo much stock in it though, as others have said, everyone carries their weight differently.

I also wouldn't put much stock in an online calculator that's supposed to be able to determine your amount of body fat.

07-15-2009, 01:32 AM
Just got back from the gym and the meeting with the trainer lady! The fat caliper test was NOT very much fun lol. She gave me a range of about 4% and said that my body fat is from 32%-34% range, which isn't super good. She recommended I lose about 60-70 lbs and then like my doctor, see where I should go from there. Apparently I have more muscle in my legs than I previously thought, which is always good.

While she did say that the dunk test is the most reliable, it is most important to look at the trend of the body fat % rather than the actual numbers. She did mention that there was some discrepancy between my body fat % and BMI. So for right now I'm gonna stick with 170 pounds.

And for bacilli, my measurements are 47-36-48 and I'm 5'4"(apparently this makes me an hourglass! ). This test didn't make me feel like I could slip-up or that my weight loss goal is somehow "easier". I'm just a little less fat than I probably thought. Although I must have the bone density of a mammoth :D

07-15-2009, 01:33 AM
Oops, I meant 175 pounds. My bad.

07-15-2009, 03:46 AM
I am so impressed that you let anyone near you with the fat pincher things! I would run so fast! (not that I even know where I'd go to ask for the test).

At the minute, I know that I'm just plain fat but when I get nearer, a lot nearer a healthier weight, I might look into the fat % thing, it's important to know as much as we can about our bodies.
Currently the only test I need to do is look in the mirror!

07-15-2009, 11:16 AM
One thing to remember is your lean body mass goes down with your weight. At my heighest weight, I think my lean body mass was estimated around 190 lbs. Uhh trust me, that isn't the case :) Despite doing weights during my entire weight loss, my lean body mass has definitely gone down. I haven't had an estimate done in a while so I'm not sure what it is noow.

You will lose some muscle but most of all you will shed excess cells/tissues that your body will no longer need to support your higher body weight.

07-15-2009, 01:39 PM
I am so impressed that you let anyone near you with the fat pincher things! I would run so fast!

Well, I would never let a MALE trainer do the fat-pinching machine! She let me listen to my headphones and the whole time I pretended I was a rockstar in my mind :).

While I do realize that lean body mass does go down, my goal for right now is 175 and then I will see what my body is like at that weight. I would be happy at a size 8/10! Part of losing lean body weight is I am worried about losing too much bone density and come menopause/osteoporosis time I would rather have a strong bone density than be thin. I am perfectly fine with being a little below the average size ;)

07-15-2009, 02:01 PM
I should say I don't think there is anything wrong with setting a certain goal and see what happens. That is how I did it. My goal is 182 so... :)

07-15-2009, 02:04 PM
Hey, it is ALWAYS great to have an initial goal in mind. So you ROCK! And I just want to give you a big shout out for getting further testing. So it shows how dedicated you are to your program.

And as you go along this amazing journey, you may find that your ideas change, and you learn other stuff along the way that you might want to implement. I think we ALL have had this experience, and where we planned to go isn't exactly where we've wound up! Not a WORSE place, but just a DIFFERENT place. Which is why the journey is so interesting!

Let us know how you are doing!


07-15-2009, 02:06 PM
175 is a high weight for 5'4", I am 5'9" and that was still overweight for me.

07-15-2009, 02:35 PM
175 is a high weight for 5'4", I am 5'9" and that was still overweight for me.

That's why I got a body fat test with those horrible caliper things vs BMI test because everybody has different bone density, muscle density, etc. One person's 175 might be different than another's, hence getting personally tested as opposed to the generalized BMI.

Thanks for all the support! I want to make sure I am doing it right and what works for me is instead of focusing on the weight the BMI tells me I SHOULD be, I want to be at a weight where I feel comfortable and happy. And of course, having the supervision of a doctor and trainer to make sure I'm doing it right. :)

07-16-2009, 02:04 AM

I think your on the right track nothing wrong with aiming a bit higher then you originally planed because you can reevaluate when you get there if it's right... and yeah lean mass does go down even if you lift weights. You won't know till you get there.

Besides if you revalaute at 175 and do decide to go down lower the goal will look less daunting. :)

07-16-2009, 09:00 AM
Well if you want some comparison of where you might be at 175lbs and 5'4" with an hourglass figure I might be able to help little, although I've no idea what my body fat percentage is. I'm exactly there at the moment and I set my goal at 170 as I've always 'weighed heavy' for my size. My current proportions are 38/32/42. Waist:height ratio 0.5 and waist:hip 0.76 which are both considered 'heart healthy' measurements. Size wise I'm wearing the equivalent of US10s and 12s. I still need to get 12s in pants to accommodate my booty. I'm not quite where I want to be yet although not far off. I know I don't want to lose another 30lbs. Once I'm a comfortable size 10, then I think I'll be done.