30-Somethings - Just trying to make sense of it all--body fat %

04-12-2011, 07:01 AM
I have been going to the gym since January 21, 2011 for 5-6x weekly. I joined a 90 day fitness challenge there on March 11th. From January 21st to March 11th I lost 13 pounds and dropped 2% body fat. When I weighed in yesterday for my weekly weigh in for the challenge they checked my body fat % again. I have lost an additional 5 pounds during the challenge but I lost 8% body fat. I don't really understand the body fat $ too well. I was really proud of the fact that I had lost 8% in the last 4 weeks after only losing 2% in almost the 2 months prior to this. A coworker always asks how my weigh ins go and when I told her I had lost 8% body fat she said "do you really think that is accurate? I don't put too much stock in the body fat %." So, I guess my question is what exactly does this mean?

04-12-2011, 10:54 AM
Perhaps in the beginning you were losing water weight and once you got through any excess there, you got to work on the body fat. Sounds like you're doing GREAT - and don't put any stock in what your coworker says - sounds like a bit of a jealous streak in her. if SHE lost 8% body fat, she's put a lot of stock in it, I'm sure.

04-12-2011, 11:48 AM
if SHE lost 8% body fat, she's put a lot of stock in it, I'm sure.

Ha, too true!

None of it seems to be exact. The scale can't account for water vs. fat.... The BMI can't account for the very muscular... what they all are is our best chance at tracking and holding ourselves accountable. A way to set a starting point and look back at progress. What really matters are the inches we lose and how healthy we feel/are. but even this is not exact. 8% is good and you are healthier for it. :)

04-12-2011, 12:08 PM
How are they measuring your body fat? Bodpod? Hydrostatic weighing? Dexa scan? Those three ways are fairly accurate.

If they put you on a scale with bioimpedence or used a hand held bioimpedience monitor than no - not accurate.

If they used skin calipers it could be accurate depending on who took the measurements.

Considering the larger drop in weight resulted in the smalled drop in body fat percentage I'm guessing they're using bioimpedience and the results can not be considered accurate.

04-12-2011, 12:16 PM
Right, along with what John said, apparently the scale version measures your lower half more and the hand held device measures your upper body more. I amuse myself with the body fat, but I don't put much stock in it.

We can all say that to you because you asked. ;) Your co-worker, however, should just have said, "Congratulations!" LOL! Either way, you're still doing a great job and you are a making a difference!

04-20-2011, 06:29 PM
your level of hydration at the time of measurement (when using Bioempedence) plays a HUGE role in impacting the results! HUGE..... perhaps you were MUCH more hydrated for the second time when you lost 8% than the first time that only showed 2%