Your Opinion on Body Fat %

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Which one is more accurate for measuring body fat, a scale or taking body measurement and using a calculator?

I have used the 3 calculators on fat2fit radio, and it averages out around 26-27%. I just bought a scale and it said 32%. I am totally bummed by that, and can instantly look in the mirror and see the marsh mellow me instead of the slimmer me that I am becoming.

Just for perspective, I would like to get peoples opinions on which one you think is more accurate?
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Replies

  • danifo0811
    danifo0811 Posts: 542 Member
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    I like the measurements because my scale BF depends on how wet my feet are.
  • SeoulKim05
    SeoulKim05 Posts: 116 Member
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    I am 27% at 218lbs. On my very sensitive scale it's 35%

    Not sure what to believe......
  • EmilyEmpowered
    EmilyEmpowered Posts: 650 Member
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    The scale I had (forget the name brand) was very inaccurate. It would change by 5-10% in a day! I never went by that, I had mine tested with calipers by a trainer. recently and it seems to be accurate
  • mattashbrock
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    Make sure you are using the scale at one of the preferred times of day such as just after waking up or 2 or 3 hours after a meal/exercise. If so, the scale is most likely a more accurate measurement than the fat to fit radio calculators. In fact it even states on that website under the tools that water submersion/professional with calipers > scale > the calculators.
  • gracielynn1011
    gracielynn1011 Posts: 726 Member
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    Make sure you are using the scale at one of the preferred times of day such as just after waking up or 2 or 3 hours after a meal/exercise. If so, the scale is most likely a more accurate measurement than the fat to fit radio calculators. In fact it even states on that website under the tools that water submersion/professional with calipers > scale > the calculators.

    Good point about time of day. I just bought the scale and hopped on it as soon as I programmed my age and height. Lol. I will wait until Saturday to try again, as that is my normal weigh in day.
  • zlauerMom
    zlauerMom Posts: 183 Member
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    Make sure you are using the scale at one of the preferred times of day such as just after waking up or 2 or 3 hours after a meal/exercise. If so, the scale is most likely a more accurate measurement than the fat to fit radio calculators. In fact it even states on that website under the tools that water submersion/professional with calipers > scale > the calculators.

    Good point about time of day. I just bought the scale and hopped on it as soon as I programmed my age and height. Lol. I will wait until Saturday to try again, as that is my normal weigh in day.
    Read the information that comes with the scale. It will tell you the ideal conditions for using the scale. If I weigh myself first thing in the morning, I may be down a pound or two, but my BF% will be crazy high. My scale usually gives me numbers close to the calculation method.
  • gracielynn1011
    gracielynn1011 Posts: 726 Member
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    Thanks for the tip ZlauerMom. I will do that this evening when I get home.
  • bpotts44
    bpotts44 Posts: 1,066 Member
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    Join Sarah's and Sidesteel group eat, train, progress here and they will estimate your BF for you off of pictures. That is as accurate as anything.
  • wildchild06241
    wildchild06241 Posts: 130 Member
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    I joined a new gym 3 weeks ago and finally started lifting. This was after 3.5 months of diet, exercise and strenght training. My trainer decided to measure my body fat. He used a hand held devise. I am 5'2" tall, 118 pounds and 56 years old. After plugging the necessary information in it came up with 30% body fat. Now I can not accept that after losing 20 pounds I'm still at 30%. That's nearly overweight! Is it possible that there was something wrong with his device? Also there was another trainer that said if I wanted that to change I needed to change my diet. My diary is open, help yourself and look at my foods. I think I eat healthy and I workout 1 -3 hours a day. Why on earth would my body fat be so high?
  • gracielynn1011
    gracielynn1011 Posts: 726 Member
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    I joined a new gym 3 weeks ago and finally started lifting. This was after 3.5 months of diet, exercise and strenght training. My trainer decided to measure my body fat. He used a hand held devise. I am 5'2" tall, 118 pounds and 56 years old. After plugging the necessary information in it came up with 30% body fat. Now I can not accept that after losing 20 pounds I'm still at 30%. That's nearly overweight! Is it possible that there was something wrong with his device? Also there was another trainer that said if I wanted that to change I needed to change my diet. My diary is open, help yourself and look at my foods. I think I eat healthy and I workout 1 -3 hours a day. Why on earth would my body fat be so high?

    See, I have this issue also. When I went to Curves a few years ago, they used that same device. It said I had 24% BF. I loved that, but I eat healthier and am so much healthier now that I just can't accept 30% now compared to then.

    But I do know one thing, regardless of what the scale says, I am not satisfied with what my body shape is, so I will keep going until I am!
  • gracielynn1011
    gracielynn1011 Posts: 726 Member
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    Join Sarah's and Sidesteel group eat, train, progress here and they will estimate your BF for you off of pictures. That is as accurate as anything.

    Thanks for the tip. I will check out that group!
  • wildchild06241
    wildchild06241 Posts: 130 Member
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    I am happy with the way I look though. I'm in the best shape of my life. In fact some people think I'm too thin. My Taylor Body Fat Scale says 18%. I was happy with that. But 30%??????
  • Abells
    Abells Posts: 756 Member
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    I take measurements and use a caliper

    the scale only takes into consideration your height and weight

    Scale says I'm 29% and the other way says 22.7
  • TavistockToad
    TavistockToad Posts: 35,719 Member
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    i dont know what my BF% is, i just stand in front of the mirror in my underwear. when i am happy with what i see i will stop trying to lose bodyfat!

    how you feel is more important than a random number that noone else knows!
  • LeenaRuns
    LeenaRuns Posts: 1,309 Member
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    The scale I had (forget the name brand) was very inaccurate. It would change by 5-10% in a day! I never went by that, I had mine tested with calipers by a trainer. recently and it seems to be accurate

    Same here
  • mathjulz
    mathjulz Posts: 5,514 Member
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    My scale has had me at 30-35% body fat for the last 15 pounds. I really don't believe it. It's possible that I've lost SOME lean mass, but I'm pretty sure that most of what I've lost is fat. So why isn't the thing changing? (And it varies up and down between those values, regardless of the weight variance). I vote that the scale is messed up.

    And, the online calculators put me at 25% or so.
  • m4ttcheek
    m4ttcheek Posts: 229 Member
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    I take measurements and use a caliper

    the scale only takes into consideration your height and weight

    Scale says I'm 29% and the other way says 22.7

    Agreed that calipers are the best way to do it at home.

    Disagree on the way the scales work. They use an electrical signal. They also have best practice rules that manufactures don't seem to publish.


    The equations online are pure guesstimates.
  • mathjulz
    mathjulz Posts: 5,514 Member
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    I joined a new gym 3 weeks ago and finally started lifting. This was after 3.5 months of diet, exercise and strenght training. My trainer decided to measure my body fat. He used a hand held devise. I am 5'2" tall, 118 pounds and 56 years old. After plugging the necessary information in it came up with 30% body fat. Now I can not accept that after losing 20 pounds I'm still at 30%. That's nearly overweight! Is it possible that there was something wrong with his device? Also there was another trainer that said if I wanted that to change I needed to change my diet. My diary is open, help yourself and look at my foods. I think I eat healthy and I workout 1 -3 hours a day. Why on earth would my body fat be so high?

    See, I have this issue also. When I went to Curves a few years ago, they used that same device. It said I had 24% BF. I loved that, but I eat healthier and am so much healthier now that I just can't accept 30% now compared to then.

    But I do know one thing, regardless of what the scale says, I am not satisfied with what my body shape is, so I will keep going until I am!

    The caliper is only as accurate as the person using it. And they should take into account age and gender (my trainer did all the measurements and then had a chart that she referred to). I can't say how good your trainer was who measured you, but keep that in mind.

    Bottom line - as someone else said, it is just another number, and may not even be accurate. Go mostly by how you look in the mirror, your measurements (are they getting where you want) and how you feel.

    Edit - I reread and see that you're talking about the handheld device, not a skin fold caliper. Those are notoriously inaccurate! The go off the same basic method as the scales (electrical impulse with biometric impedance). Yeah, don't trust them :tongue:
  • TheApocalypse
    TheApocalypse Posts: 319 Member
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    Using a scale for body fat % is about as creditable as using the BMI scale to know if you are overweight...
  • ninerbuff
    ninerbuff Posts: 48,568 Member
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    The bioelectric scales' readings will depend on how "hydrated" your body is. The more water you have in your body, the "lower" your bodyfat % will read.

    IMO, Dexa and hydrostatic are the most accurate ways to get bodyfat % readings, however the mirror is one of the best ways to gauge your progress.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal/Group FitnessTrainer
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    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition