Weight Loss Support - Just dissapointed

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08-24-2011, 02:12 PM
I had the opportunity to have a body composition done today at my gym, they use the type of machine that you stand on that has the metal foot sensors and you hold onto handles that have sensors in them as well (the machine is called InBody 520 if you want to look it up for a picture) and the readings were not good. I read as 31% body fat, when the normal/healthy range is 18-28%. The thing is, I have had readings on this same model of machine, although not this specific machine, in the past (a couple years back when I was at my absolute fittest) and the lean body mass readings are exactly the same today as they were back then. Back then, I was lifting weights religiously 6x per week, eating a high protein diet, and doing interval cardio 6x per week as well (back then my body fat was 18.4% but that is because I was very lean). You would THINK that having not lifted weights in over a year (well, technically I just started again 3 weeks ago) my lean mass would go down… which makes me want to believe the entire reading I got today was off. Plus I’ve been watching my diet and doing cardio 4-5x a week for the past 4 months. I am 5’8” and weigh 150 (ticker is a bit off at the moment…) It just doesn’t seem possible for me to have a body that is 31% fat. Maybe I’m just in denial.

Thanks for letting me vent. :(

08-24-2011, 02:44 PM
First, it doesn't sound to me like 31% is terrible, since 28% is the top of normal. I wonder what your % will be after you get to your goal. I would think losing 13 pounds might put you well under 28%.

Otoh, if you feel like it's wrong, maybe it is. If you're happy with the way your body looks and feels, I don't think that number should matter to you, right or wrong.

08-24-2011, 03:44 PM
If you want a true body fat percentage test done you have to do it in a hydro tank. Anything else tends to be wildly inaccurate.

Keep your chin up, you're doing a great job!

08-24-2011, 04:46 PM
Gale is right!

150 at your height is a fine weight, I bet you are lower than that machine read.

08-24-2011, 07:50 PM
First of all, I have to commend you for even stepping on that kind of machine. Takes a special kind of bravery I definitely don't have.

You're not at your goal yet, though.. so try thinking of this reading as motivation to push to where you want to be. You're doing a great job and have been for 4 months now.. don't let a silly (and wildly inaccurate -Gale is right!) machine overtake your progress! If you keep it up, those numbers will change.. but your happiness is more important than your muscle mass. always will be. Keep on keeping on!

08-25-2011, 05:23 PM
Thanks everyone, this is exactly what I needed to hear. It has encouraged me to push myself harder because I know I can get there. And I was definitely do the hydro test if it weren't for the fact you have to pay for them... this test I did was a freebie offered at my office. I am leaving for Hawaii in exactly two weeks so I will just keep pushing myself in the gym as hard as possible until the day (then keep pushing myself after wards too, of course!) Thanks again!

08-25-2011, 08:26 PM
Have a good time in Hawaii, I'm jealous!

08-25-2011, 09:43 PM
these machines are also notoriously inaccurate. I am 5ft 4 inches and weight 173 pounds. Much fatter than you, I can still see fat deposits, and am sure there is visceral fat thats not obvious. (no, not putting myself down, but this is the reality, which is still better than before) I have about 32-34% body fat on my "body fat" scale. What changes it? usually hydration. If I drink it goes down.
It is not accurate for a lot of people, just like bmi doesn't work for people who are muscular.
If you are reasonably fit, I really doubt it is accurate.
I don't want to discourage you from reaching your goal, I think you are doing great.

08-26-2011, 10:38 AM
We've had people get tripped up by those machines before. Hydrostatic weighing is they only way to truly measure that. Caliper measurements can also be a useful tool. I wouldn't put much stock into that machine, it never seems accurate although it's a cool gym toy.

At 5'8" and 150. You only have about 13ish pounds you can lose before getting underweight so no, those numbers don't add up unless you are very skinny fat and have lost all of your lean muscle by excessive dieting.

08-27-2011, 07:34 AM
Those machines are indeed inaccurate. But whether they are accurate or not, the lowest body fat percentage reading I got at 147 lbs was 33%. I was exercising 6 days a week. (At my high weight I got a reading on the same machine of 44%.)

Although it's good not to have a really high body fat percentage, don't use it as just one more number to torture yourself with.


08-27-2011, 12:55 PM
Those machines can be off by as much as 8%! So yes, as others said, wildly inaccurate. Just go based on how you feel and look.