How do you know what your body fat percentage is?

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Joined: Jun 10
Posts: 190

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 01:23
I've not gained any weight recently, but I feel like my pants are tight and that I don't look as good as I did a few months ago. I haven't been working out very much, and so I'm thinking that I may have lost some muscle, and gained some fat???

How do you measure your body fat? Do you have to go to a doctor? Does the gym have something you can use?

Joined: Apr 11
Posts: 184

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 01:43
Doctors can do that. Most gyms will do the test for you for a small fee. you can also get scales that measure fat percentage, but they're not as accurate and more useful for comparing your own before/after results. There are also websites that will take your measurements in and give you fat percentage.

The first person who should be in love with you is yourself, no matter how imperfect.

Joined: Mar 10
Posts: 504

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 07:16
I use an Omron body fat analyzer. (I think I paid like $30 for it on Amazon.) I hear that it isn't particularly accurate, but I've watched my BF% fall at a steady and reasonable pace as the weight has come off, so I feel pretty confident about it. You have to be careful to do it first thing in the morning before you've had anything to drink (since it works based on electrical currents through your body and water that you've consumed can make the % off), but I find that if I do that, my dropping percentage seems to be in line with the weight on scales that I've been losing and the changes I've observed in my body.
"The grass ain't greener, the wine ain't sweeter, either side of the hill" The Grateful Dead

Joined: Jan 10
Posts: 38

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 07:45
I also have the omron body fat analyzer I think it is accurate enough to monitor your loss. its not perfect but I have seen mine from from about 26% to 17% and I have lost 30lbs so its accurate enough to measure your losses.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 1,712

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 08:20
I know your feeling exactly- there have been several times in the past when I've stopped working out and have been surprised to see that my weight was actually lower when I stepped on the scale, because the fit of my clothes was telling me the exact opposite!

I've used the Omron analyzers from amazon and my WW scale also measures it. Interestingly enough, the first time I used the scale, my body fat dropped 3-4% from what it had been on the standalone gadget. They're both consistent with each other, so I'm not sure which one to trust. I'd like to think that the scale is more accurate, which would put me at 32.5% at the moment, but I've never had a formal test done. I think an immersion test is the most accurate, but a skilled professional can also give you goood results with a calliper test. For me, though, the trend over time is what's most important, so the at home gadgets work for me.

BTW- my WW scale runs about $30 at Bed Bath and Beyond and you can always find a 20% off coupon in the mail, so its a pretty cheap investment. I like how it also measures water %, so I can follow trends there, too.

- Natalie

Joined: Aug 10
Posts: 61

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 09:27
Go to your gym or to a nutritionist and get "clipped" with calipers. It's way more accurate than a scale and usually free. I have a tanita BF scale and it's actually 5% "heavier" than what my body fat actually clipped. I agree that scales are good for measuring movement but the calipers are a bit more accurate Smile

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 174

Posted: 29 Apr 2011, 13:05
Calipers can be more accurate if the person taking the measurements knows the correct points to measure from, if you're 2 mm off it can skew the entire algorithm. Feel free to ask the trainer how many tests they've administered, it should be over 50 at a bare minimum. Also make sure they use a 7-point input, not a 3-point.

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