Exercise! - question about bf% analyzer

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09-25-2006, 03:12 PM
I recently bought a pedometer and it came with one of those hand held body fat % analyzers (I used one at curves and thought it was pretty cool) I was just wondering how accurate they are? I used a calculator on-line to judge my body fat % (using my measurements and weight) and it came out suprisingly low at about 25%, my handheld says about 30% which I would guess to be more accurate.

Note: I am using this as a tool to help guide me to my goal. Just as I am using the BMR and scale as a tool. My weight loss goal is to help me fight diabetes (I am pre-diabetic, plus I had gestational diabetes when pregnant.) I don't use any of these tools as an absolute only as approximate. My doctor wants me to lose 10%body fat as well as a total of 50-60 pounds

09-25-2006, 03:31 PM
I would guess that your bodyfat is probably considerably higher than 30%, if you weigh 173# and your doctor is recommending that you lose 50-60#.

Another forum member (Ultraclyde) compared his results with Hydrostatic weighing and using one of those electronic BF% measuring devices and found that his BF% was much higher as determined by the hydrostatic weighing method.

Personally, I figure that when I can see my abs I will be closing in on 10% BF, whatever weight that happens to be.

Ray Kelly
09-25-2006, 07:21 PM
Both the hand held device and the online calculator wouldn't be too accurate. I have a measuring device that cost $2000, it asks for a large range of questions to be answered and even though it uses all that info I still doubt the results with some clients. The calculation you use would we an estimate based on a study so it's accuracy would depend on how the research was done (ie, were the subjects overweight or atheletes, age, gender, how many wer tested, etc).

I know it's good to have an idea on where you're at so you can measure your progress but I'd stick to waist measurements. It's simple to do and very reliable (ie, if it's getting smaller, you're making progess!)


09-25-2006, 07:50 PM
I don't rely on it at all in fact, I just use it as a tool, Kind of like the scale I have isn't a doctors scale and I know it is off, but I use it as a tool to gage what I am losing. I take my measurements every two weeks and I have lost at least 4 inches in my lower half and (to my husbands dismay) 3 inches in my top half. Although I do my measurments myself those are truly what keeps me going.
I was just curious on the accuracy of the little gadget. I will probably use it as a gage, my true test is when I go to the doctor for my weight check (I go in 3 months to "the real scale").

09-26-2006, 12:14 PM
I find my Tanita device does reveal the trend over time, but isn't accurate enough to get excited about small day to day changes. The scale plus the "skinny jeans" test do better for me.

Ray Kelly
09-26-2006, 07:49 PM
That's a good way to look at it jcatron.

I wouldn't put too much faith in the doctors scales though as it's still only measuring gravity (Rather than body composition). If you go in and you've been eating a little too much salt or it's TTOTM you may find that you're retaining water and that could easily add up to an extra 10lb's!

Measurements are definitely best.