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Body Fat Scale?

armsterarmarmsterarm Posts: 9
Hello everyone!

For those who are into bicycle and use it as form of exercise and reducing weight, has anyone use a body fat scale to monitor your weight? Not sure if this is the right question to ask but, I just want to ask if it's only me who's doing this?

Thanks for your response!


  • I have a Withings WS-50 that measures both weight and body fat percentage. I've found it's heavily influenced by hydration and the noise in the data makes it very difficult to pick out any meaningful trends. I'd say it doesn't tell me anything that's not already obvious from my weight alone.

    Short answer: I wouldn't bother.
  • fenixfenix Posts: 5,437
    +2 the readings are bobbins. Maybe just use weight as a guide
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    I think the trends in the WS-50 are pretty good actually. I *want* to know when I have extra water weight, or less. The interaction between weight and body fat percentage is the interesting part to me, when looked at relative to my training/rest/diet (along with the actual trend of weight loss of course!)

    That said, I don't know how absolutely accurate it is for body fat, but the consistency is what matters to me anyway.

    If you really want to know absolute body fat, get some decent calipers and a good friend and spend 30 min a week doing skinfolds.
  • cgfw201cgfw201 Posts: 674
    I’ve had a basic set of Tanita scales for a year or so which measures all the usual numbers, BF%, MM, Water etc… ( ... ita+scales)

    Found that as long as I jump on them at exactly the same point in the day, which has become 22:30 pre-bed, then I get pretty consistent numbers out of it. If you use once a day, at different times of the day then they are a total waste of time.

    However, setting out with some defined season goals around weight and BF% it was very useful to be able to track it over the year which saw me go from 80kg @ 18% BF after some Xmas indulgence to a peak weight of 72kg @ 12% BF in the summer.

    If you use them regularly and record the results they are a good investment, however ultimately all they do is tell you how fat you are/aren’t and let’s face it we all know what the numbers will say before jumping on the scales anyway most of the time.

    I like numbers and data so works well for me.
  • I use mine at the same time every morning, I agree that's a critical point even just for measuring basic weight reliably. Do you ever see a decoupling of the weight and body fat metrics though? i.e. is the additional body fat metric telling you anything that the weight isn't?

    During normal training loads (10-20 hours of swimming, cycling and running) I very rarely see the two deviate; if one goes down, so does the other. If I have the odd session of heavy alcohol consumption then they can deviate for a few days, presumably due to initial dehydration and subsequent water retention, but that's not entirely useful unless you're planning on balancing a training plan around a heavy drinking plan.

    But then again, my weight is almost always within a 5 kg range, from maximum-winter-lardiness to peak-season-leanness, so perhaps it's just not sensitive enough to quantify fluctuations in that kind of range. If you're planning on losing a couple of stone in weight (i.e. fat) it might be more useful in discerning those trends; but then again, I'm very skeptical that it's going to tell you anything more insightful than the weight alone. The reality is that not many people are going to shed 10 kg fat and put on 10 kg of muscle and that's the kind of ballpark I suspect you'd have to be in for these scales to start showing that kind of trend.
  • stueysstueys Posts: 1,332
    The guys on the trainerroad pod cast did a comparison on calipers, Tantia scales and a dexa complete body scan. They found the absolute values to all vary across the measuring methods but they found the variance to be consistently the same, so you can use any of those methods to monitor your body fat percentage and have confidence the trend was correct. Which really is what matters.

    I've used a Tania scale for a few years, find it pretty accurate. I always measure when I first wake up after a morning glass of water.
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,992
    The OP is merely advertising one of his sites, that lists the '10 best body fat scales'. In another of his very few posts he links to a '10 best earbuds' that is in exactly the same format.
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • marykamaryka Posts: 748
    Good point. Have reported him but the thread is still useful. :D
  • maryka wrote:
    Good point. Have reported him but the thread is still useful. :D

    Have removed link in OP
    BikeRadar Communities Manager
  • napoleondnapoleond Posts: 5,992
    maryka wrote:
    Good point. Have reported him but the thread is still useful. :D

    It is interesting to hear. My gym has one that proclaims to be really accurate and actually measure muscle / fat mass in different areas of the body.However it goes loco at all my metalwork :D
    Insta: ATEnduranceCoaching
    ABCC Cycling Coach
  • diydiy Posts: 6,473
    I had a withings smart analyser.. I sent it back when I realised it was spying on me. Be very careful if you use these devices they are collecting and selling your data.

    If you can avoid anything that connects via a phone or uses your wifi.
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