Scale guidance please?

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I bought a fancy new scale that reads both weight and body fat percentage, muscle mass, BMI and water %. As someone who has been morbidly obese for 20 years and long ago gave up thinking I would ever be healthy these types of measurements did not get across my river of denial. Now that I have faced reality and am really enjoying getting healthy I wonder if you smart folks would explain to a dummy what reasonable goals in these categories would be for a 46 year old 5'2 woman. Also should I even focus on these or just keep focusing on weight loss and these % will work themselves out? FWIW I've lost about 90 pounds so far and have about 65 to go.

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  • nichell88
    nichell88 Posts: 364 Member
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    I think its important to focus on body fat percentage, even more than weight. The reason being that often times when you lose a lot of weight, you end up losing lean mass instead of fat. Monitoring the body fat percentage will let you know more clearly what is changing in your body. So if you lose 4 pounds in a week but you body fat percentage stays the same, there's a chance that youre losing muscle. I believe a normal/healthy body fat percentage for women is in the mid to high 20's. I dont very much use the water weight and bone density measurements, but Im sure they are useful to some
  • Tacklewasher
    Tacklewasher Posts: 7,122 Member
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    I have a smart scale and ignore everything except the weight. I'm not convinced that they are anything near accurate enough, or even consistent enough, to be of much value.

    Having said that, mine does send the fat % to all the apps I use and I am curious about fat %.

    According to one chart, average for you would be 25 - 31% and fitness is 21 - 24%, so it would depend on your goal.

    From here http://www.builtlean.com/2010/08/03/ideal-body-fat-percentage-chart/
  • mandalunia
    mandalunia Posts: 128 Member
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    Thanks I love the builtlean link. I think your right accuracy seems tricky but at least knowing the ball park helps. So far in a week worth of measurements my body fat is just on the high edge of average (big victory!!) and my muscle mass seems to be increasing slightly or holding steady. It will be nice to track those two for trends moving in the right direction.
  • STEVE142142
    STEVE142142 Posts: 867 Member
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    Congratulations on the weight loss.
    As far as the scale it's a reference point. Use your scale for long-term evaluations not a short-term day-to-day basis and don't make decisions based on that day today number. to put things in perspective I have access to scales at work and in the past I've done it as an experiment there are days where my weight will vary 2 to 5 pounds during the course of a day depending on what I've eaten and a whole bunch of other parameters.

    To me, BMI is subjective number I'm 6-foot 4 inch, 56 year old male at 208 pounds.
    According to the BMI index for me too be considered in a normal range I should weigh between 155 and 205. Therefore BMI considers me overweight. If I drop my weight down to the 16os because of my build I would look anorexic. Also just to put things in perspective every player in the NBA according to the BMI index is considered overweight so I don't even look at BMI as a real number.

    Water weight is another issue you really shouldn't look at closely. Water retention is going to be based on what you ate how hard your workout was. I know on a lot of the post women say when it's that time of the month they retain water so personally for myself I don't pay attention to water weight it's just a temporary gain or loss.

    As far is a reasonable goal you're going to have to decide that yourself. to put things in perspective for me I started out at 288 pounds. I eventually decided 220 pounds was a good number and I went into maintenance. Totally screwed up maintenance and I lost another 12 pounds and I've been maintaining around 208 pounds for the past 8 months. I like where I am now but I'm lifting more so I know I'm going to put on a little muscle mass but as I stated before you're going to have to determine what your final result it is and where you feel comfortable and like yourself.
  • nichell88
    nichell88 Posts: 364 Member
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    I also assume the scales are not particularly accurate, but i use mine more for its precision than its accuracy. So no matter what the numbers are, if they go down three they go down three. Mine has shown to be pretty precise so far, as there havent been any major fluctuations and the numbers have been consistent