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Scales that measure body fat %



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BREWMASTERBILL
SparkPoints: (31,080)
Fitness Minutes: (12,713)
Posts: 4,110
2/5/13 8:20 A

Personally, I've found them to be complete garbage. I thought I could use them to discern trend, but even that was mostly a failure. I've had a few devices and all of them gave dramatically different readings. They are highly sensitive to hydration and moisture (example, take a reading before and after a shower, major difference). I would not put any faith in a BIA device. Save your money and sanity.



MOTIVATED@LAST
Posts: 13,911
2/5/13 6:51 A

BF scales don't measure fat directly. What they do is pass a tiny electric current through your body, and measure the resistance. On the principle that 'muscle is wet, and fat is dry', they then estimate your BF%.

Unfortunately, this makes them pretty sensitive to your hydration levels. One salty meal can make a big difference from one day to another in their reported numbers, even in you haven't gained or lost a single ounce of fat.

If you are taking measurements, then you may want to try an online BF calculator such as lowcarbdiets.about.com/library/blbodyfatca
lculator.htm


Online calculators also have accuracy problems, but they are considerably less volatile in their estimates than scales.

M@L



REYNINGSUNSHINE
SparkPoints: (20,346)
Fitness Minutes: (41,738)
Posts: 523
2/4/13 11:41 P

The term you are looking for is "precision"- akin to reliability.

My experience is that BF Scales are not accurate for me and are NOT precise or reliable at all. But that is just my experience. I think they can tell progress alright, but I've always had erratic readings. This is not to discredit your insanity work!! It is definitely possible and realistic to lose 2% body fat following that program.

I would suggest you get a tape measure or even better- a set of calipers. You can estimate body fat % off of those readings, but they are numbers too and are another good way to gauge your progress, even if the scale isn't budging. I use a tape measure personally because I haven't found a good set of calipers that I can afford on a college kid's budget, and I LOVE it. Much more motivating in my opinion.



SP_COACH_NANCY
SparkPoints: (158,833)
Fitness Minutes: (112,042)
Posts: 46,222
2/4/13 9:43 P

Hi,

Special scales that use bioelectrical impedance (weak electrical signals) can estimate your body fat percentage, but these scales can have a large margin of error (around 10% or more according to some studies). Plus, digital scales only measure fat levels in the lower body (the signal travels up one leg and down the other), so they don't provide a full picture of the fat level of your entire body.

As to how quickly one can reduce fat, depends on many factors.

Coach Nancy




MJLINDSEY6
SparkPoints: (6,051)
Fitness Minutes: (10,437)
Posts: 12
2/4/13 8:45 P

Okay, I KNOW they are not an accurate measure of body fat % but my question is, do you think its an accurate measure of progress? I am on week 4 of insanity and have followed the program exactly while doing Shakeology and tracking my calories. I have lost 7 lbs but most of that was right away and likely water weight. But according to the scale I have lost about 2% body fat, its pretty consistent and doesn't vary from day to day like my weight. My clothes are fitting better and I know that's the best way to measure progress but I like to see numbers.



 
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