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1/26/11 11:17 A

I never really knew what that body fat percentage thing on my scale was.

*admitting ignorance* I thought it was supposed to be the same number as your BMI.

I just went and researched it today and found out that I have too much body fat. Well, I kind of already knew that, but now I have proof.

Sigh, I guess I should be happy that I've dropped a percentage point, on average, in the past three weeks.

ANARIE Posts: 12,771
12/4/10 3:16 P

It's a fluid issue, definitely. The Tanita scales measure water. Your body fat reading will go back to normal in a few days. Be warned that it might drop way low (and you weight might go way up) first, but it''ll even out as your fluid levels get back to normal.

GARYM1A2 SparkPoints: (8,668)
Fitness Minutes: (20,294)
Posts: 1,426
12/4/10 12:35 P

Those scales don't do well if you are dehydrated.

Coke free since July 4, 2008. I eat my calories not drink them.
UNIDENT Posts: 33,498
12/4/10 12:18 P

Whenever you've been sick, throw the scales away for a week or two. Your body isn't back to normal when you feel like it, it'll take a few more days. So ignore weird readouts in that time. Skip your weigh-in this week, and look at next week's instead.

Deb, in New Zealand
MOTIVATED@LAST Posts: 14,846
12/4/10 10:05 A

When you are exercising regularly and challenging yourself with intense workouts, your muscles retain water (it takes 3 water molecules to bond to each glycogen molcule, and this helps deliver energy to the muscles more efficiently). When you stop working out for a while, your muscles let go of this water, which is why your weight has gone down.

Tanita scales work on bio-electrical impedance - basically the amount of resistance to a very small electric current passing through your body, and then calculate body fat based on the assumption that muscle is wet, and fat is dry (and water conducts electricity). I'm not sure that you are necessarily 'dehydrated' in a clinical sense, but yes it is likely that you are carrying less water, and this is why the scales are reporting higher body fat.

Likely things will return to normal when you start working out again.


The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
RTBYRD55 Posts: 124
12/4/10 9:23 A

This whole week I was sick and was not able to make it to the gym. I am finally starting to feel better again. I did eat regularly as much as a I could during the week. Noticed my weight has been dropping a pound or two each day for past few days and my body fat percentage went up? It went up by 2% during past couple of days. I am using one of those Tanita scales to measure body fat. Should I be concerned?

I also want to assume maybe my body is dehydrated from my cold and that's why the body fat percentage is up. But I've seen this pattern happen in the past for me.. weight goes down and body fat goes up according to scale.


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