What's better: lose 5% body fat or 20lbs

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christina_fitz
christina_fitz Posts: 2 Member
edited November 2017 in Health and Weight Loss
I'm wondering if it's a better success to lose 5% of my body fat or 20lbs? I remember looking and feeling thinner and stronger but the scale didn't more - so i assume it's BF? I'm 5"3 177lbs. I tried to do research but it got more complicated. Thanks!

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  • pogiguy05
    pogiguy05 Posts: 1,583 Member
    edited November 2017
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    Instead of worrying about those small things try concentrating on the more positive changes to yourself. Eating healthier and exercising will get you to where you want to be weight wise. Along the way you will start to feel better physically and emotionally. Unless you get one of them Dexa scans or other BF analysis done then we really dont know are true BF%. I have an Aria scale and an older scale that also shows BF% and they both give me very different readings.

    How about take measurements and pics and then you can see the changes over a period of time. that is my advice to you.
  • dwilliamca
    dwilliamca Posts: 325 Member
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    How do you plan on measuring BF? I'd start with weight and body measurements which are easy to take, and then if you want add a measurement for body weight, choose a method/calculation you plan on using and check it maybe once a month for another indicator. However, when you start losing fat the scale will drop.


  • lemurcat12
    lemurcat12 Posts: 30,886 Member
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    Most measures of fat loss aren't terribly reliable, and I wouldn't trust them in the absence of weight loss when you have a decent amount of weight to lose.

    One option is to measure yourself and take photos every week or two, however. Added encouragement.
  • nowine4me
    nowine4me Posts: 3,985 Member
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    For me, a 10# loss is about equal to a 1% reduction in body fat. Of those two choices, I’d much rather lose 5%bf than 20#
  • Viking_Batman
    Viking_Batman Posts: 114 Member
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    people put to much emphasis on bodyweight, I would choose 5% body fat over 20lbs of weight every time
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,663 Member
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    If you're losing body fat, you're losing weight. People want to lose body fat (to an extent) and not MUSCLE. So if one lost 20lbs, but say 8lbs of that was muscle, is that worth it?

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  • rybo
    rybo Posts: 5,424 Member
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    Don't over think it. Just lose weight for now, and follow a good strength program to minimize muscle loss.
  • christina_fitz
    christina_fitz Posts: 2 Member
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    Thanks everyone. I am currently in a 6 week challenge and they asked us which one we prefer - as they have a guarantee if we don't lose the option we chose then we get our money back. This is why i wanted to know which would have the best results. I agree the percentage because of the weight of muscle and 2 people can have the same weight but look totally different. Thanks for all the replies
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,866 Member
    edited November 2017
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    Thanks everyone. I am currently in a 6 week challenge and they asked us which one we prefer - as they have a guarantee if we don't lose the option we chose then we get our money back. This is why i wanted to know which would have the best results. I agree the percentage because of the weight of muscle and 2 people can have the same weight but look totally different. Thanks for all the replies

    You didn't specify WHY you were asking. The answer is not the same about which you SHOULD prefer to do... and which one WINS you money!

    Your body fat cannot be measured accurately. Skin fold and bio-impedance which are the common methods are both unreliable.

    You can easily manipulate water weight for a good 25% + of your target weight loss, if not more.

    Time your initial weight in so that you do it just as you're getting bloated at the appropriate time of the month.

    And don't forget to measure your initial weight in after eating a huge all you can eat sushi or chinese buffet with plenty of salt and carbs the night before.

    And after drinking as much water as you can before your weight in... and before going to the washroom.

    That establishes a good "starting" point ;-)

    Now, time your weigh out on day ~5 of going hard core low carb (keto). After going to the washroom, doing some faster cardio, and before drinking or eating anything!

    If you faint, feel bad, hurt your self, or anything like that... that ain't my problem. I am just letting you know how to manipulate your water weight to win the challenge!

    By the way, unless you're just about exactly 350lbs, losing 20lbs in 6 weeks would exceed what most would consider a safe loss rate of 1% of body weight per week. Some weird people, like myself, even think that this should be lowered to 0.5% to 1%

    And would be quite hard to achieve (if you really were to lose 20lbs of fat in 6 weeks you would need a deficit of ~1670 Calories a day, which for most people AIN'T GONNA HAPPEN WITHOUT ADVERSE HEALTH IMPLICATIONS) ... hence the money back guarantee! (unless you pick 5% and unreliable measurements perhaps even performed by the people paying out the money)

    So, IF YOU ACTUALLY WANT TO LOSE FAT... your idea of participating in this challenge SUCKS *KITTEN*. **

    If you just want to manipulate the results to get some money... see above.

    **how about just setting MFP to losing 1lb a week and following a sane weight loss plan?
  • steveko89
    steveko89 Posts: 2,217 Member
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    If I’m understanding this correctly you get to pick a goal between the two they’ll guarantee you to achieve in 6 weeks or you can get your money back? Breaking down the numbers assuming your starting lean mass is 125 lbs and weight loss is 80% fat loss, you start with an assumed current bf% at 29.37%; going from 177 to 157 would therhetically bring you down to 22.9% where A 5% change in body fat would obviously be less at the same loss rate (161-162 lbs scale weight = 122 lbs LBM, 24%bf). In this scenario, easy to see it’s more aggressive to lose 20 vs 15 lbs (5% body fat).
  • PAV8888
    PAV8888 Posts: 13,866 Member
    edited November 2017
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    .... apparently you're right and they give you money if you fail to meet the option you pick.

    Usually it is the opposite (they only refund you when you meet an impossible goal) but that is not what the OP said now that I re-read it!

    So all my advice as to how to measure your weight before and after.... reverse it and you will fail to lose 20 pounds no matter what the program does short of amputate!