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smartin585

Joined: May 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 16:48
I am curious about body fat percentages. Right now I am 5'10" 188lbs and 37% body fat. According to a chart I found on the web...the body fat break downs are as follows:

Classification Women (% fat) Men (% fat)
Essential Fat 10-12% 2-4%
Athletes 14-20% 6-13%
Fitness 21-24% 14-17%
Acceptable 25-31% 18-25%
Obese 32% plus 25% plus


So I am obese (body fat wise, just overweight BMI wise) and will be until I hit 31%, but even then should I try to go down to 24%? I have been hitting the weights hard this past month and plan to keep lifting. I just don't have a clue on how low I should aim for??????
smartin585

Joined: May 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 16:48
Sorry the formatting is off...the first percentages are for women and the second for men.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 17:06
Well, it depends on your goal I suppose. There's no one "correct" weight for a person to be. Do you want to take yourself out of the health risk range? Then 31% or below is the number. Or do you want to look good in a particular type of clothes?

I used to think I would get my bodyfat percentage tested when I got to 180 pounds and then see what's what from there. But I finally realized that it's just another number like number of pounds. It's really all about how you look and feel. Other than that, unless you're a fitness competitor or athlete, it's probably pretty meaningless.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
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mdep1229

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 387

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 17:06
Which method did you use to have your body fat measured? The most accurate (and expensive) one is getting dunked in a tank of water! Smile Most other methods, be it caliper, or by some electronic device, are not very accurate. How hydrated you are can drastically affect the results measured by electronic devices.

What I usually do is use the caliper method with 5 locations, then use the electronic device, and take the average of the two.
Woah_99

Joined: Jul 09
Posts: 3

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 17:14
Which method did you use? I really want to know what's my fat percentage ='(.
smartin585

Joined: May 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 18:30
I used the electronic one on my scale, but it may not be accurate...I stay extremely well hydrated drinking at least 3x the recommended amount of water a day. But as Kate said..it is just another number...still I don't want to be one of those fat skinny people...lol.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 20:34
My scale is completely wrong. It says I'm 40% body fat. Go to my journal and look at my most recent picture and tell me where the 70 pounds of fat are, lol! Thank goodness I am more in touch with my body now because in the past that would have sent me into a tailspin! Funny thing is, it has hovered around the same range 38-42% since I was 190 lb. So if I didn't lose any fat, yet I can visibly see my biceps and shoulders and thigh muscles- what did I lose??
My boyfriend is really big- with muscle. He's a bodybuilder. It tells him he has 45% body fat! We both laugh about it. It gives really accurate weights though. Within .1 lb if you weigh yourself over and over.

If you exercise and eat enough, you won't end up with the dreaded "skinny fat" Smile. Use the mirror and the fit of your clothes. If you MUST know for some reason, google "hydrostatic body fat test" and find a place in your area that does it. It is really the only reliable way. The calipers I think are more accurate than the scales, but still faulty especially if you carry most of your weight in your bottom half- like most women do, or if someone untrained does the measuring,
My blog, This is not a Diet:
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tapeekcm

Joined: Dec 09
Posts: 58

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Posted: 03 Mar 2011, 20:45
I use the Omron HBF-306C as a bodyfat monitor. I'm not exactly sure how accurate it is, as I've never had the caliper test done. I'd like to get a more accurate test every once and a while. If I hold my arms out straight like they say to do for an accurate reading it says 16.7%.
smartin585

Joined: May 10
Posts: 25

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 17:23
Kate that makes me feel much better than...I wondered how I could still have so much body fat yet be seeing muscle definition. I'm just not going to worry about it. Smile
AmethystM

Joined: Mar 11
Posts: 341

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 17:50
My scale perpetually puts me at 37%, whether I weigh 135 or 160. People who work out get it really bad, especially with those stupid BMI charts and such. The Rock is morbidly obese!
Comfortable at this size/weight (I really don't want to buy size 0 jeans).

It's not about "weight" or the number on the scale. It's about lean muscle mass and body fat percentage.
At 125 I was a size 8 (after I lost 100+ pounds over 1.5 years).
At 135 I was a size 6 (maintained for several years) and over 28% body fat. I had 97 pounds of lean muscle mass and felt skinny fat.
Now at 140 I am a size 2 and have the smallest measurements I've ever had since I started taking them around the age of 18. I'm at 25% body fat and 107 pounds of lean muscle mass!! I'm no She-Hulk, either.

Don't tell me you aren't losing "weight." That doesn't tell me anything. Tell me how much fat you've lost and how much lean body mass you've gained. Here's a good start to estimate: http://www.scientificpsychic.com/fitness/diet.html
Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 442

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 19:20
Call me crazy, but I think this is a bit of an OCD discussion. The reality is, if we really a healthy weight on a lean protein diet, while engaging in plenty of exercise, we'll reach a healthy balance of body fat to muscle. I don't think it does much for us to worry about measuring body fat for those of us who have 25-50 pounds yet to lose. Just do the thing right, and the rest will come.
k8yk

Joined: Jan 09
Posts: 4,546

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 19:53
I agree it's splitting hairs, but for some of us- who actually have a "healthy" body fat percentage even with weight above the acceptable BMI range, it could be one way to prove this to yourself. Sometimes it's hard to know. Charts can't tell you everything. And I know that for me personally, I have long struggled with being taller and more muscular and not fitting into that chart. It's hard not to have days, especially when I was younger and less mature, when I would wonder if I really should weigh 130 lb like he BMI chart says would be an acceptBle weight for my height.

I'm over it now, but it took a long time. I understand being confused about what weight you "should" be.
My blog, This is not a Diet:
http://notsobigk.wordpress.com
Follow me on Facebook for tips, recipes, advice, exercise ideas and more:
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Hermiones...

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 442

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 20:53
In some ways, you've made my point: charts just don't tell the whole story. The right weight for an individual is a more complex issue than that. Based on what I look like now, when I tell people I have another 50 pounds to go, they look at me like I'm nuts. No one ever guesses how much I weigh -- there's something about my build that hides the weight. But I know that at 5' 4 1/2, I probably shouldn't weigh more than 140, so I'll have to just keep monitoring how I look and feel as I lose. Right now, I'm sticking to my 134 goal, but it's possible that's too little for me, no matter what the charts say. Not something I have to worry too much about for a while -- given how slowly my weight is coming off.
fredmugs

Joined: Jan 11
Posts: 383

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Posted: 04 Mar 2011, 23:04
My scale at home is worthless too. I can step on it and have it registers lower 20s and get right back on and it's in the upper 20s. The Navy way of measuring yourself is worthless too. My scale just showed me at 6' 3"; 185 lbs, and 25.3% fat. I highly doubt it.
Pain is a by-product of a good time.



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