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Monitoring body fat percentage

ZoomZoomZoomZoom Posts: 53
edited September 2011 in Training, fitness and health
If so what method do you use? How often do you measure and what targets have you set yourself?
I have a set of tanita scales which are showing mine at 37%!! According to wikipaedia tanita scales can be out by as much as 40% for men when compared to omron scales. Are Omron monitors any better? 

Thanks

Z

Posts

  • PepPep Posts: 501
    Why do you want to know % of body fat?
  • ZoomZoom wrote:
    If so what method do you use? How often do you measure and what targets have you set yourself?
    I have a set of tanita scales which are showing mine at 37%!! According to wikipaedia tanita scales can be out by as much as 40% for men when compared to omron scales. Are Omron monitors any better? 

    Thanks

    Z

    I just guesstimate mine, I reckon it's 'bout 85% :oops:
  • ut_och_cyklaut_och_cykla Posts: 1,594
    Oh good - I have some scales that measure fat - they say I'm 36% fat too if its 40% wrong 'd be laughing. I think they are ok for using as a personal trend measure - ie start at 36 live like a monk, look skinnier, drift down to 25% over a few months but not so good for comparisons between people.
  • phreakphreak Posts: 2,471
    Do you look like you have 36% fat? I have some Tanita scales as well and my reading generally fluctuates between 10-13%, which looking at my physique seems plausible. I dare say you can get a reasonable idea from looking at yourself in the mirror.
  • I have some salter bathroom scales that also do body fat and water percentages amongst other things, though I can't attest to their accuracy. I did the whole weighing myself every day for a bit whilst I was deep into exercise joy, and I found my weight varied by whole kilograms between days, which I found hard to believe.

    Nowadays I have a weigh-in once a week, normally on a Tuesday when I get in from my ride. Last night I was down below 30% for the first time ever, which was nice. I don't live or die by the readings, but it's nice to observe the trend (so long as it downwards!). I've no idea if 30% is reasonable or not, but I'll keep plugging on...
    Twitter: @FunkyMrMagic
  • ZoomZoomZoomZoom Posts: 53
    Thanks all for confirming some of my suspicions. I was asking as the other half has expressed an interest to get hers measured and thought about the convenience of an accurate DIY tool might be the best way to go.

    @cadseen thats a quite a discrepancy! Calipers I know are most accurate but I'd assume I'd need to go the gym or get a personal trainer to help with ths?and I've only been to the gym a handful of times in the last couple of years. I prefer the outdoors! :)

    @Peps body fat % is a much better measure of fitness than say weight or BMI, I'm looking to get a better overall picture of where I'm at.

    @phreak afraid I don't agree with the 37% but know am somewhat overweight, think I'll use it a baseline and monitor the trend. Unfortunately it seems to be going the wrong way at the moment!

    @CakeLovinBeast There are so many dependencies (time of day, hyration levels, what clothing your wearing) to get a consistent reading I also find the weight fluctuating by kilos every couple of days, prob going to start measuring once weekly, and every couple of days which I seem to be doing at the moment.
  • PepPep Posts: 501
    ZoomZoom wrote:
    @Peps body fat % is a much better measure of fitness than say weight or BMI, I'm looking to get a better overall picture of where I'm at.

    ZoomZoom, no offense but I think they are all ridicoulosly faulty for this purpose.
    The only measure of fitness is how well one performs at the chosen sport. Anything else are just fancy numbers, I would be careful to give them any meaning in term of fitness.

    My weight for example, has not changed more than 1kg either side of 66kg for almost 25yr, but sometimes I have been very fit, sometimes very unfit. My naked "look" also has never changed. BMI or % body fat never measured so I can't tell...
  • keef66keef66 Posts: 13,123
    Get some skin fold calipers and do the measurements yourself. It's not rocket surgery!
  • phreak wrote:
    Do you look like you have 36% fat? I have some Tanita scales as well and my reading generally fluctuates between 10-13%, which looking at my physique seems plausible. I dare say you can get a reasonable idea from looking at yourself in the mirror.

    errm
    yes
    :oops:
    fat and old and female.... :)
  • McBain_v1McBain_v1 Posts: 5,237
    Hmmm... and here is me persisting with the Wii Fit Board that calculates my weight and BMI :oops: As you say, not the most accurate but useful for plotting whether there is an overall downward trend or if you are just staying the same. If I was attempting to become a competitive bodybuilder then I would start to obsess about body fat, since competition standard bodybuilders need to look skinless... but I'm not and have no intention of becoming one :D

    Interesting observations about the Tanita scales though, but I haven't heard of Omron - are they a pile of brown steaming organic matter as well :?:

    What do I ride? Now that's an Enigma!
  • Pep wrote:
    ZoomZoom, no offense but I think they are all ridicoulosly faulty for this purpose.
    The only measure of fitness is how well one performs at the chosen sport. Anything else are just fancy numbers, I would be careful to give them any meaning in term of fitness.
    None taken, we're all here to chat and learn. This confirms my limited experience with Tanita, and as for the numbers I do find them helpful to measure progress. I'm still some way off my fitness goals.
    keef66 wrote:
    Get some skin fold calipers and do the measurements yourself. It's not rocket surgery!

    I'm going to look for some calipers on fleabay, can't believe I didn't think of this myself!

    Probably saved my a bundle of dosh by not spending on a more modern fat monitor, this I can spend on cycling gear! :)

    Cheers

    Z
  • cadseen wrote:
    The electrical resistance method of measuring body fat is the most inaccurate method you can use. Its not the scales that are inaccurate its the standard set of assumptions used to calculate body fat. Some peoples skin are more oily or resistive/conductive than others.

    Get your body fat measured with come calipers, much better and compare this to the scales. My body fat is 11% with calipers but reads 25% on sclaes and I am only 60kg. My friend who has more fat only measures 15% on the same scales.

    Electric impedance is accurate. it just depends on how expensive the bit of kit you use is essentially.

    As for people saying "buy some skin calipers, it's better and easier", it takes practise, a lot of practise, to be good with them, and measuring oneself properly requires you to take reading from areas on the back. So unless you can turn your head 180 degrees I don't see how that's possible?
    "A cyclist has nothing to lose but his chain"

    PTP Runner Up 2015
  • I suspect the electrical impedance is what the machines at Boots uses. Costs 70p for a printout, and I found it useful in doing a monthly check and month-on-month comparison if there was any improvement. I suspect it may not be overly accurate, as I have never compared to a skin caliper test, but I did find it quite motivating.
  • GarzGarz Posts: 1,155
    The boots machines are good but being fully clothed and with shoes etc it bumps up the weight a tad. Not sure how accurate the blood pressure thing is on them, but I seem to have a history of high systolic pressure with a lower than average diastolic.
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