Body composition scales- yay or nay?

So i've been on my weight loss journey for awhile, and find the scale dissapointing, when i see inches off and no weight, it makes me wonder whats going on, and after a visit with a trainer and getting the reports on body fat % and such i thought it would be a great motivational tool to follow up with and ensure lean body mass is increasing while fat is decreasing.


  • MyOwnSunshine
    MyOwnSunshine Posts: 1,312 Member
    I think that they're a great idea hypothetically. My doctor's office has a very high-end Tanita that gives a print-out of a lot of measurements and it seems really accurate. I went out and bought a regular body composition scale, and honestly, while the pounds seem really accurate, the body fat % and water % don't seem accurate at all. It's basically a piece of crap that weighs me accurately. I probably wouldn't encourage anyone else to invest the money.
  • taylor5877
    taylor5877 Posts: 1,792 Member
    Mine always told me I was around 20% when I could see the veins in my obliques and abs.
  • riouxha, did you go ahead and get one? I'm looking in to the Tanita BC 568 and I thought I'd ask.
  • boy03727
    boy03727 Posts: 26 Member
    I have tried two different brands of scales. I do think they weigh very accurately, but I think the %body fat is not that accurate. I lost around 30 pounds and put some muscle on my arms, but the body fat measurement only went down 2%. I lost the weight slowly over several months and was lifting weights. I just don't trust the scales too much. I read that the scales only measure the body fat in your lower body and the hand held things only measure your upper body. Maybe the expensive scales work better.
  • GadgetGuy2
    GadgetGuy2 Posts: 291 Member
    Different scales (e.g. wife's vs. mine) give me way different numbers.

    I don't interpret any special significance to the %fat "number". I do watch how it moves up or down over time (I always use the same scale) as an indication of change.
  • BlackKat75
    BlackKat75 Posts: 210 Member
    I have one that I bought years ago on sale and I don't think it's all that accurate on the BFP measurement. That being said, it has been logging a slow steady decrease in BFP as I've lost weight and upped my exercise. So, I don't necessarily trust the actual number it's giving me, but it *is* noticing a change. I do think the weight portion of the scale is *very* accurate though.
  • ChrisRS87
    ChrisRS87 Posts: 781 Member
    I have one and its a waste of money, too inaccurate.
  • psuLemon
    psuLemon Posts: 38,363 MFP Moderator
    Not worth it. They are all inaccurate. And it's almost impossible (besides in the morbidly obese and noob gains) to gain muscle while losing fat. More than likely, you are cutting fat by retaining water.
  • geekyjock76
    geekyjock76 Posts: 2,720 Member
    BIA scales are not the most reliable, though measurements should really only be done every 3 months or so because the range of error in many can be greater than the rate at which body fat truly changes. If you assess yourself more frequently, just log the prediction but do not take it too seriously in the short term.
  • JustJennie1
    JustJennie1 Posts: 3,843 Member
    I had one and it was a complete and total waste of money. I ended up returning it. It told me a different weight/BF/Hydration etc. every time I stepped on it. I could step on it and two seconds later the reading is different. It also depended on where on the scale I stood too.