Weight Loss Support - Do you have a body fat percentage you are gunning for?




berryblondeboys
07-08-2011, 01:03 AM
I know that trying to find a body fat percentage is nearly impossible, but I'm curious what people in general hope to achieve or what's even possible to achieve without herculean effort?

I ask because my husband sent me this chart today and I was quite floored by it and what it considered acceptable fat levels. http://www.bodyspex.com/community.aspx?articleID=3

When I look at that chart and I use my very flawed body fat calculating scale (they all are flawed), I see I'm already in the "yellow" range for my age. I find that somewhat surprising. yes, i've dropped nearly 60 pounds. Yes, I workout 6 days a week and recently I've added weight training, but I have a lot of blubber left on me.

My husband's measurements read him at 15% body fat (he is tall and thin and has been swimming for exercise the last 5 months several times a week).

My body fat percentage it not something I really ever thought about. I just picked 175 for my goal weight because a. I've been that weight before (when I was unfit) and it felt and looked good on me. b. I'm very large boned, so trying to go too low, especially for an initial weight loss goal could be setting me up for failure. and c. at age 41, I'm not feeling the need to be model thin. I just want to feel healthy and fit and active, but still be able to live a normal life without having to live at the gym to keep a particular weight.

My hip to waist ratio is .795. My waist is 35". My body fat percentage is 33% according to my scale and I weigh 198. Now I'm really curious what my body fat percentage will be at 175?


Chubbykins
07-08-2011, 05:29 AM
I have 27% atm, which is normal for someone less athletic than me.
But since I do work out daily at least for an hour I should be 21-24%.
It isn't my prime concern since when it comes to fat % I am healthy, but it probably will fix my looks, that extra 3% of fat obscures my musculature :mad:

berryblondeboys
07-08-2011, 11:10 AM
I expanded on this in my blog today and included a link to a test from the UK. According to that I'm around 27% body fat. Wow! I've come a long way!


fitmom
07-08-2011, 11:25 AM
Wow, that's awesome! You've come a long way. Congrats!! :) I never really paid attention to my body fat until recently. I was always what I'd call "skinny fat". Kind of thin on top and dumpy/flabby on the bottom (very boyishly-shaped as my terrific hubby likes to kid me about). Never overweight but certainly not toned by any means. I estimate my body fat at my highest weight to be around 28%. I recently went from 23% to 18.2% in the last several months just from upping my cardio and seriously cleaning up my diet. One side affect has been that my abs have started to show which is a little weird, lol. But I guess even small-boned people like myself still have a layer of fat covering their bellies. I try not to pay too much attention to all the numbers because IMO how you feel is most important. I wish you continued success on your journey.

zoodoo613
07-08-2011, 11:46 AM
Hey Berry, I did that test too. I also got 27%. I know you know that that sort of thing isn't reliable, so I won't say it again. Other online tests have me at 48%. My scale has me at 44%. (Lately, with my bloat, it has me at 41%). I'm pretty sure my scale is high because 1. I use it first thing in the morning, so am most likely dehydrated, and 2) At this point I'm bottom heavy. But I know I'm no where near 27%. I think the UK test gets thrown off by my arms. My wrist circumference is 6.5 inches and my forearm is 11.5. I have big arms. I was always big, even when I was little.

I'm not shooting for a particular BFP. I suspect that my goal will have me in the low-mid twenties. I guess I sort of have the opposite problem as fitmom. I was looked big, possibly overweight (according to my mom and my critical teenage self) even though I didn't have a whole lot of fat. It always makes me wince a bit when I see people trying to get into size 6 or size 8 clothes. I'll be lucky to ever get into a 12.

Bellamack
07-08-2011, 11:54 AM
I expanded on this in my blog today and included a link to a test from the UK. According to that I'm around 27% body fat. Wow! I've come a long way!

Melissa ( I love that name, it is my daughter's)

You are a very beautiful woman and congrats on your accomplishments.

I find I don't pay too much attention to charts, graphs, stats & doctors, because when I was 145 lbs and ran 6 miles a day, my doctor still told me I was overweight. really??? I have never had high BP or cholestrol, I only take meds for thyroid. I am somewhat limited with exercise, but can hold my own. I think that no matter how fit I was (competitive swimmer HS and college) and soccer player, plus runner, somebody was telling me I needed to get thinner or leaner. I say "be quiet all you haunting voices". I am going to get to where I feel good. period.:hug:

fitmom
07-08-2011, 12:11 PM
Also, I forgot to add to my earlier post that two people could have the same body fat percentage and look vastly different. I've googled around on some sites to see what other women with my body fat percentage look like and we all look so different. Depending on your build, height, weight, waist to hip ratio, diet, forms of exercise, etc. As long as your body fat percentage is decreasing and not increasing, I'd say you're doing alright, lol.


@Bellamack: Your doctor told you at 145 lbs. at your height that you were overweight???? What??? My sister is 140 lbs. at 5'4" tall and she is very fit and muscular. I don't believe it. Sorry, I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one, lol.

zoodoo613
07-08-2011, 12:29 PM
Heh. Totally off topic, but I did some of the other tests on that site. I have a higher than average autism score, but am below the threshold. I think the clinical definition of this is "social misfit".

Chubbykins
07-08-2011, 12:30 PM
Well you can roughly guess fat percentage only by looking at someone.
If hip, rib and back bones are showing then you probably are underweight,
If you're muscular-thin you are fit, if you have just a bit of a love handle etc barely enough to pinch then you are normal and so on.
There can be muscular men and women that qualify as overweight with the bmi but normal with fat % like me. Nobody ever considered me thin though.

berryblondeboys
07-08-2011, 02:49 PM
IRonically, my scale is putting me at 36% fat today! LOL (hasn't done that for awhile). It must have know I was thinking about it today! LOL

This is all just in fun. I'm basically losing to feel better, get healthier and fitter. What they end body weight and fat percentage is still an unknown, but I'm beginning to think the 175 I picked is probably a good place to start/end. I definitely need to lose more. I don't feel I'm there yet or even that close, but 25 pounds is still a significant amount! And with the loose skin I'm getting, it's hard to visualize what will be.

gagalu
07-08-2011, 02:59 PM
you know, i haven't really thought about it either! i've been overweight since i was 6 and obesity struck when i was in 7th grade, so i'm just happy to be lowering that number at all!

kiahna23
07-08-2011, 03:02 PM
Im going for about a 15% body fat percentage. Im about 21% right now. Thats why most dont believe Im 144. Because some at 144 look big. I went to magic mountain and did the "guess my weight" and they were way off!! She guessed 120 and I was 150!! lol.

gagalu
07-08-2011, 03:46 PM
Im going for about a 15% body fat percentage. Im about 21% right now. Thats why most dont believe Im 144. Because some at 144 look big. I went to magic mountain and did the "guess my weight" and they were way off!! She guessed 120 and I was 150!! lol.


daaamn! i wish i had that kind of muscle :)

fitmom
07-08-2011, 04:38 PM
Im going for about a 15% body fat percentage. Im about 21% right now. Thats why most dont believe Im 144. Because some at 144 look big. I went to magic mountain and did the "guess my weight" and they were way off!! She guessed 120 and I was 150!! lol.



It's nice to find someone else with the same aspirations as me, lol. I, too, want to get to 15% body fat. But I know it's gonna be a lot harder going from 18% to 15% then 23% (my previous body fat) to 18%. BTW, my neighbor who's a personal trainer told me that most women start to show some ab definition at around 18% so that's a good gauge of where you're at, I think. 21% is awesome. I think some sites consider that to be in the 'fitness' zone. Below 19% is considered to be lean/athletic. Good luck! :)

mayness
07-08-2011, 04:44 PM
I don't really know what mine is right now (somewhere in the 25-35 range) but I'm hoping to end up around 18%, toward the upper end of the "athletic" range on most charts.

xty
07-08-2011, 11:11 PM
Body fat calculations can vary quite widely based on the methods used. A good summary is here: http://new-fitness.com/body_fat_analyzing.html

Even if your method isnt the most accurate vs actual bf%, it can still be valuable if it is at least consistently incorrect...that way you can watch the trend to see how you are changing.

Re: goal bf%. At 5'6 and 121lbs I was ~17%bf (based on a more accurate type of measurement involving a professional). Seems extremely low, but I was eating ~1600c/day, muscular and still had some wobbly bits. And this was last fall, not like 10yrs ago ;) Genetically though, I am small framed and have size A cup (even at 240lbs I was a big B)...and women typically support a higher bf% than men due to hips, butt, boobs....so for me the redline is probably closer to like 15% for health, but I cant imagine the pain of getting there, undesirable.

But I didnt have a goal bf%, I just now know what felt the best...17-19%. Even now, Im trying to think of my "goal" weight as: whatever weight I am when I feel like maintenance is something I can live with. During my personal journey, I am learning the # (BMI, bf%, weight, measurements) that actually ends of being the "goal" will continue to change based on my age, health and what is going on in my life. Instead of feeling like a failure for not meeting the "target", Im trying to think of my target as essentially doing the best I can given the current circumstances.

zoodoo613
07-12-2011, 08:46 AM
Not to beat a dead horse but I tried another body fat calculator, because I love an online test and here are my results:

Using your measurements of a 36 inches waist and weight of 197 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 45.62 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 28.67 % using the formula developed by the YMCA, or 88.40 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or -3.53 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm.

Shows you what a test will tell you.

BTW this is the test http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-percentage-calculator

Wannabehealthy
07-12-2011, 09:10 AM
I know that trying to find a body fat percentage is nearly impossible, but I'm curious what people in general hope to achieve or what's even possible to achieve without herculean effort?

I ask because my husband sent me this chart today and I was quite floored by it and what it considered acceptable fat levels. http://www.bodyspex.com/community.aspx?articleID=3



According to the BMI calculation I found online, I need to lose another 20 lbs to get out of "obese" and into "overweight". That will get me lower than I've been in 10 years. I am happy with every pound I lose. I just want to weigh less than I did yesterday.

Carol

berryblondeboys
07-12-2011, 10:27 AM
Not to beat a dead horse but I tried another body fat calculator, because I love an online test and here are my results:

Using your measurements of a 36 inches waist and weight of 197 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 45.62 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 28.67 % using the formula developed by the YMCA, or 88.40 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or -3.53 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm.

Shows you what a test will tell you.

BTW this is the test http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-percentage-calculator

That was cool. It gave me this:

Using your measurements of a 35 inches waist and weight of 197 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 37.75 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 32.89 % using the formula developed by the YMCA, or 32.90 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or 24.91 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm.

Which just shows you how the same weight for two people can mean completely different things, especially if they are built very differently (and different heights, of course).

runningfromfat
07-12-2011, 01:40 PM
That was cool. It gave me this:

Using your measurements of a 35 inches waist and weight of 197 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 37.75 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 32.89 % using the formula developed by the YMCA, or 32.90 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or 24.91 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm.

Which just shows you how the same weight for two people can mean completely different things, especially if they are built very differently (and different heights, of course).

Whoa, I get an insane difference between those scales. I got something like 32-37% for the first two and then over 50% for the second two. I wonder if I'm measuring something incorrectly? What are the US Army body fat and US Marine body fat algorithm's based on??? Maybe they are made just for men?

ETA: I don't have a goal body fat pecentage at the moment because I don't have an accurate way to calculate it. I finally found an nutritionist but she's on vacation until next month so hopefully then I can get an accurate measurement and start thinking about this.

zoodoo613
07-12-2011, 02:00 PM
Whoa, I get an insane difference between those scales. I got something like 32-37% for the first two and then over 50% for the second two. I wonder if I'm measuring something incorrectly? What are the US Army body fat and US Marine body fat algorithm's based on??? Maybe they are made just for men?

ETA: I don't have a goal body fat pecentage at the moment because I don't have an accurate way to calculate it. I finally found an nutritionist but she's on vacation until next month so hopefully then I can get an accurate measurement and start thinking about this.

I still win :D -3.5%-88%. Now that's a range. What would -3.5 even mean? I need to look up their test and see what measurements they use.

runningfromfat
07-12-2011, 02:03 PM
I still win :D -3.5%-88%. Now that's a range. What would -3.5 even mean? I need to look up their test and see what measurements they use.

Haha, yeah, that test seems totally arbitrary! The first two seem ok and about what I'd guess (somewhere in the mid-30's) but there's just no way I'm at 50% and above! :dizzy: I tried looking at what they measured but I'm on my work computer and it's pretty horrible. :( Let me know what you find out!

fitmom
07-12-2011, 02:05 PM
Not to beat a dead horse but I tried another body fat calculator, because I love an online test and here are my results:

Using your measurements of a 36 inches waist and weight of 197 pounds your body fat percentage is estimated to be 45.62 % using the U.S. Navy body fat formula, or 28.67 % using the formula developed by the YMCA, or 88.40 % using the U.S. Army body fat algorithm, or -3.53 % using the U.S. Marine body fat algorithm.

Shows you what a test will tell you.

BTW this is the test http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-percentage-calculator

Haha...I've had some pretty wacky results as well. Some telling me I'm as high as 30% or as low as 12%. No way to both. My trainer friend told me if your abs start to show some definition you are between 17%-19%. If they start to look 'cut' then you're 15% or below. I did mine with a skin-fold caliper and it came out to 18.2% which makes sense to me b/c from all the running I've been doing, my abs have definitely started to get toned and defined. So I know for me that that percentage is correct. But you're right, tests, smests, lol.

khat
07-12-2011, 08:28 PM
I'm 24-25%.. I'd like to be around 20.. All my fat is in my thighs and I'd like to lose that fat asap

joyfulloser
07-12-2011, 10:14 PM
I'm between 16-17%bf now...trying to get down to 14-15%bf.:) I'm 44 yrs old so lower bodyfat for me means MORE FOOD!...and I LOVE FOOD!!!:D

fitmom
07-12-2011, 10:28 PM
The key to me reducing my body fat is losing two more inches from my waist to make it 24". Then I think I may hit my goal of 15% body fat. *crosses fingers* But I'll take 17% or even 16% in the meantime, lol. Hopefully, my HIIT cardio is the missing link. Oh well.

rawbanana
07-12-2011, 11:30 PM
I think I am around 20% going off of 'tests' I have found online...I would like to get down around 15-16%

Suzanne 3FC
07-13-2011, 12:47 AM
I'm aiming for 40% less jiggle. Does that count?

It's funny to see this thread because just this morning I ran across my Omron fat loss monitor that I bought a few years ago and completely forgot about. I think I'll buy fresh batteries and start using it.

sheramama
07-13-2011, 12:55 AM
Suzanne: I love the 40% less jiggle! Can I up it to 50%?

As for me, I go more with weight, but I want to shoot for 22-24% which is neatly in the healthy range and also around my weight goal.