Bodyfat Scale?

Discussion in 'Diet & Nutrition' started by Keystone, Jun 9, 2006.

  1. Keystone

    Keystone New Member

    Hey everyone. Have a question for you. I pretty much know what you all will say but I will throw it out there anyway. I don't have any calipers or know how to use them. I went and bought one of the $40 bodyfat scales that uses BIA to measure you bodyfat. It has a normal setting and an athlete setting. Based on their description, I don't technically meet the definition of an elite athlete, lol. I also noted a blurb that the scale is not calibrated for bodybuilders or professional athletes.

    So I tried it out and it's either not accurate or I am a complete fatty. On the normal mode it gave me a reading of 29% bodyfat and on the athlete mode it gave me 21.5%. Someone at the gym a while ago gave me an estimate with calipers and I think it was 16% or so.

    Am I just wasting my money on this scale? Maybe it would serve a baseline and at least tell me the changes from what it is telling me now? Or should I march right back to Wal-mart and get my money back? [​IMG]

    Keystone
     
  2. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    as long as you use it in a consistent manner, in regards ot hydration etc, its fine for tracking changes.
     
  3. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    I would take it back and use the money to buy a pair of calipers of ebay. They are really cheap and a bit more reliable than the BF scales.
     
  4. jwbond

    jwbond New Member

    i have a electronic body frat scale. it is garbage...i can see my top four abs and it tells me i am at 23-25%.


    use the mirror.
     
  5. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    <div>
    (Totentanz @ Jun. 11 2006,01:59)</div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">I would take it back and use the money to buy a pair of calipers of ebay. They are really cheap and a bit more reliable than the BF scales.</div>
    A decent set of calipers will set you back 100+ US...

    and even then they are only as good as the user,

    and still can only be used to track changes as they, and their associated equations, will not accurately predict true bodyfat
     
  6. Totentanz

    Totentanz Super Moderator Staff Member

    Of course nothing can accurately predict bodyfat, but as long as you aren't retarded, it is easier to get consistent measurements with calipers, even if they are 99 cent ebay specials. The scale can vary considerably depending on water retention or even how clean your feet are.
     
  7. Keystone

    Keystone New Member

    I guess I was just a little dissappointed when it gave me a 29% reading. I guy did a caliper test a while back and said 16-17%. Then I might have gained a little which put me around 225. Ne measurements were taken then. Then I proceeded to cut down to about 200 or maybe even a little less. Then I held it steady around 200-205 for a while and then I started HST. This is my 2nd cycle and it will be over after this week. I will tally everything up and post my results next week. I gained about 9 lbs mass the first cycle and about 11 lbs the second cycle. I have definitely put on some good muscle and I do know my gut has absorbed some fat as well. My gut is the only thing that doesn't look improved in the mirror. [​IMG] Anway, I am thinking about keeping the scale so I can at least track changes. It does water % too. I guess that will tell if me how much of what I lose is fat, water and muscle.

    Keystone
     
  8. Aaron_F

    Aaron_F New Member

    with 99cent ebay specials you may as well look in the mirror and save yourself 99cents. they will give a variability of around 4-5% easily.
     
  9. Tom Treutlein

    Tom Treutlein New Member

    My bodyfat scale is, oddly, accurate. I weigh myself every AM, and eat the same foods and such daily, so my hydration levels and digestion should be the same. It will differ by 1% every so often, but it consistently went from 12-13% down to 9-10% during my UD2.0 trial.
     
  10. dkm1987

    dkm1987 New Member

    Even with great measurments with calipers it's still gonna be off as Aaron is saying thoguh any of these will work to track any change, it might not truly represent your levels but will tell you if your going in the right direction, I still like my mirror and grease pen [​IMG]
     
  11. colby2152

    colby2152 New Member

    <div></div><div id="QUOTEHEAD">QUOTE</div><div id="QUOTE">with 99cent ebay specials you may as well look in the mirror and save yourself 99cents. they will give a variability of around 4-5% easily. </div>

    I don't know... as I think it's not so much about the tool, but more so of how and when you use it. As Aaron said earlier, as long as you do it at the same time of day with the same amount of water weight in you, then you should get consistent feedback.
     
  12. deli_conker

    deli_conker New Member

    Body fat scales are good for watching trends. But you have to give it a baseline or they won't help at all. Weigh yourself after you wake up and after you use the bathroom. Do it like this every time you use the BF part of the scale. It won't tell you what your bodyfat really is, but over time you'll be able to see if you are making progress.

    Another thing to keep in mind about BF scales is that they also measure hydration to a certain degree. When you add more water to your body, the resistance to the electric current changes and so does your reported bodyfat%. Try it. Weigh yourself and watch the body fat %. Then drink a quart of water, give it about 30-60 minutes and use your scale again.
     
  13. Keystone

    Keystone New Member

    I have decided to keep the scale so I can track changes. I want to make sure I doing it correctly though. The scale gives the following:

    Weight Fat Water
    223 29% 54%

    So I apply these percentages and come up with:

    Fat Water Other
    64.67 120.42 38

    Is that the correct way or I am missing something here? Does the 38lbs of &quot;other&quot; mean muscle, bone, organs, etc.?

    So now let's say I have gained 10lbs for a weight of 233. Then let's say I use the scale and it gives me the same fat % and water %. That would yield the following:

    Fat Water Other
    67.57 125.82 39.61

    So would that mean the 10lbs I gained was: 3lbs of fat, 5lbs of water and approximately 2 lbs of muscle?

    Just let me know if this is correct in general or if I am missing something blatant here. Thanks.

    Keystone
     
  14. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    I think the average man is about 60% water so other than the bf% that sounds like it could be right. 29% bf is kinda high for a guy tho. My bro has one of them [scales]. He says it sucks.
     
  15. Keystone

    Keystone New Member

    I thought 29% was high too, lol. That's why I was going to take it back. But I have since decided to keep it and just track my changes and the previous post was just to see if my methodology was correct or not. I will be posting pictures this weekend after my second cycle is over with. I have a picture up after my first cycle. I was going to link it here but the search button on this forum sucks. Either it sucks or I am not very good at using it. I can't find my own thread.

    Keystone
     
  16. deli_conker

    deli_conker New Member

    You may want to keep in mind that muscle mass also contains water. I wouldn't say that your muscle mass (and bones etc.) == weight - fat - water. All the scale is doing is sending a known amount of current from one foot to the other. When it reaches the other side, the current is measured. The amount that reaches the other side tells the scale how much resistance it encountered on the way.

    This resistance when compared to height and weight can help indicate mathematically how much bodyfat and/or level of hydration a person has. Fat has a different resistance than muscle or bone. Don't give the numbers too much thought. Think of it as a ball park and reference them every now and then to analyze trends.
     
  17. Maximuscrates

    Maximuscrates New Member

    Last december radio shack had a set up hand held body fat analyzers.

    It worked for a girl friend and gave her the same number everytime.

    For me I got ERROR 3. I tried it 6 times and got the same error. Crappy Tire has one of those scales for $80 right now, but I am not going to buy because I think I am immune or something.

    I also got tested with Bioelectric impedance at my old YMCA, the first two trys they got an error, then the 3rd time they got that I had 19% bf which I know I am more around 10% or lower.

    So basically the whole method is a piece of crap and a waste of time. The hydrostatic one is probably pretty accurate but where do you do them eh.

    So for now, I look in the mirrow, flex those abs and pinch with my fingers the fat on my legs stomach and butt.

    Calipers would give me some nice skin fold numbers though and I want to try them out. My current YMCA wont test for this stuff and some of the staff are stupid.

    I got my other measurements done and they did them unflexed and said my left bicep and calf and quad was an inch smaller than the right side. So I redid it when I got home and made sure I did it in the same spot and they were all the same.

    I would bring the scale back and get a digital scale for weighing your food so you can better keep track of your calories as you would know exactly how many onces or kg you ate of chicken etc. Then more accureatly keep track of your calorie consumption and cut back that fat.

    Does anyone else get the errors from bioelectric impedance measurements?
     
  18. quadancer

    quadancer New Member

    As a mechanic/electrician/carpenter/ inventor, and some other weird things, I neglected to buy a scale that uses electrical resistance to measure bodyfat, thinking of the obvious inaccuracies as mentioned in the posts above. I do have some calipers, which are better, albeit elusive themselves because I can bloat up from water, an empty stomach (strange...), or a couple of days of high carbs.
    I think the best idea is to measure by caliper and tape, at a regular time of day, with the stomach empty. Then, total up periodically, say, every four days, your average numbers. This would be more accurate than getting a big measurement one morning and saying &quot;OMIGAWD! I'M FAT!&quot;
    You're looking for overall results anyway, and the shorter time fragment you utilize, the more errors you will have. Day by day just doesn't get it.
     
  19. mostlyallan

    mostlyallan New Member

    I read that the Navy's method for measuring bf% is comparable to the skin fold test. If that's the case, everyone can save themselves some cash and just do that for free.
     

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