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TOPIC:   calculating body fat % 


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HHHBYE
Posts: 2,908
5/12/08 9:52 P

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I went to the site Ramona recommended, and it says I have 20% body fat (healthy for a 25 yo caucasian)... Now I would LOVE that to be true... but I am not in that good shape... I`m starting to think my scale is probably more accurate.

Specially since the site did not ask my height, and that has a big influence in how big your bones are, therefore your measurements.

How did ur scale test go?

If you *think* you can do something, or that you cannot, either way, *you are right*


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CJBAGGINS
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5/11/08 12:50 A

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Good question.
The sites I was checking out, thanks to Ramona, were saying that a healthy percentage for my age, gender, and race (apparently, Asians, Caucasians, and people of African descent all have different healthy body fat numbers) would be about 23-25%. That's bad if mine really is 31% as my scale says. However, if I try weighing myself at different times tomorrow, hopefully it's lower than that. The calculations I did from the resources Ramona spoke about below put me at about 25 or 26% which is much easier to accept than 31%!

cj

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Barbara Walters

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


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HHHBYE
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5/11/08 12:35 A

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Let me know how it goes :)

What percentage are you aiming for? Basing on my age and gender, the scale`s instructions say I am at "optimal" range up to 28% and "moderate" up to 33%. Wondering how accurate this is.

If you *think* you can do something, or that you cannot, either way, *you are right*


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CJBAGGINS
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5/10/08 11:19 P

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Ooh. I'll try that. Good idea.
cj

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Barbara Walters

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


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HHHBYE
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5/10/08 11:13 P

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I had the same "shock", but the scale`s pamphlet specified it is not a good idea to measure body fat after periods of dehydration.

I would be 30% fat in the morning and by midday it would drop to 27%!!

The scale is accurate, just have to learn to weight yourself in the mid afternoon or evening, when you get the best reading (not for weight though)

If you *think* you can do something, or that you cannot, either way, *you are right*


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SAMODER
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5/10/08 11:07 P

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If thy teach it, then I'm sure that they know how to do it...
Sam

You don't stop laughing. because you grow old, you grow old. because you stop laughing!


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CJBAGGINS
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5/10/08 10:01 P

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Thanks Sam for the caliper measuring tips. I hope the phys ed department knows as well. I know they teach the kids so I'm hoping *crosses fingers*

KHARAHLYN - that's why! I *do* weigh myself first thing in the morning after I pee, so that's why that number is inflated. That makes sense. Thanks!

cj

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Barbara Walters

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


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KHARAHLYN
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5/10/08 8:39 P

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The reason your scale may have an "elevated" body fat percentage may have everything to do with when you're weighing yourself, believe it or not.

As a nurse, I tell people that you're most "accurate" weight is in the morning after you've urinated. This is true. The problem with body fat scales and this process is, you've just spent ~8 hours or so without drinking AND you've just peed. Therefore, you've effectively dehydrated yourself. The electrical currents from the scale work by traveling through fat and muscle AND water. SOOOOO, if you are low on water, the scales are NOT going to "round up" the muscle mass; they will round up the fat mass. Does that make sense? What this results in is an "inflated" body fat percentage.

Just thought you might like to know the mechanism that these things work in.

Success is not the result of spontaneous combustion. You must first set yourself on fire.

*************

Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, breathe, and just hold on till the ride stops...

*************

Excellence is the result of caring more than others think wise, risking more than others think safe, dreaming more than others think practical, and expecting more than others think possible.


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SAMODER
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5/10/08 6:18 P

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I had my trainer do my body fat calculations using the calipers. I know she measured 3 different places - 3 different times. Then took the average of the 3. We're going to do that every couple of months - maybe 3 or so. It helps to see if the strength training I'm doing is helping or not.

Good luck. Hopefully the phys ed department people will know how to use the calipers correctly.

Sam



You don't stop laughing. because you grow old, you grow old. because you stop laughing!


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CJBAGGINS
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5/10/08 1:56 P

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Thanks ladies for your replies.
Christine - I had tried to 'google' the topic but I couldn't find the one I wanted which is why I posted.

Christine and Cherly - It's very true that the scale is not the only way to measure progress. I am definitely learning that on SP.

Ramona - I've used all the resources you suggested. Thanks very much! With the 'lower body' formula I came up with a 25% result, the other gave me a 26% result. So it looks like I may have less body fat than my scale % is telling me. It said this morning that I had 31% body fat! I really don't think it is very accurate.

I'm also going to ask at school because I'm pretty sure that the phys ed department has those caliper thingees. It will be nice to get them to measure me and then compare to these other numbers and see if they are similar or not.

Anyway, thanks again.
cj
Edit - I forgot to say that I am definitely 'pear-shaped' so carry most of my weight below the waist while, since losing over 40 pounds, have a very slim neck, chest, and waist. If you just saw my upper body you would not think I was carrying any extra baggage on me at all and may think I'm underweight seeing my collar bones. However, my hips and thighs still need some more toning.
emoticon

Edited by: CJBAGGINS at: 5/10/2008 (13:57)
The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Barbara Walters

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


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_RAMONA
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5/10/08 11:24 A

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The only really accurate way to measure BMI is with the dunk tank test - they dunk your whole body, and based on how much water you displace, your physical statistics, etc. they calculate your BMI.

Next would be calipers, using the 7-9 (I can't remember for sure which it is) measurement technique. The formula below apparently compares to the calipers. I haven't used calipers, yet, and I'm checking to see if I can get the dunk test done somewhere, but I know this formula more acurately reflects how my body looks, than does my scale (I have a Tanita - they aren't acurate - they depend too much on level of hydration, and only take into consideration the lower body). Hand-held is inacurate becaus it only takes in consideration the upper body.

One thing I noticed between the two methods is that one focuses on lower body measurements, and the other focuses on upper body measurements. I carry most of my excess weight below my waist, so it makes sense that that formula says I'm 'fatter'... but even when lean, my lower body is very muscular.

How do you carry your weight? That might make a difference to which formula is a better indicator for you.

I think the bottom line is that most of these 'formulas' have a weakness in them, as do all the other methods (except dunking), so I guess it's about using these things as tools, and continuously evaluating for yourself as you go through the process.

Something that I think complicates the situation is that depending on how someone is losing the weight can drastically affect their lean body mass - if anyone is losing more than 2 lbs a week they are also losing a high percentage of muscle... if they're not strength-training they are losing muscle... if they're not eating enough protein they are losing muscle... so you can actually get to goal weight, and still have a high BMI (there is such a thing as 'skinny and fat'), with reduced lean muscle mass, and reduced ability to keep the weight off. This is why I'm being really careful about how I'm losing the weight, and I don't mind slow. The more lean mass I retain the happier I will be when I get there.

Don't be afraid of the numbers. Knowing all your numbers is power, because then you know what you need to change.

Here's a calculator you can try that does the math for you (focuses on the lower body):
www.healthcentral.com/cholesterol/home-bod
y-fat-test-2774-143.html?ic=4029


And then there's the following calculation for a more accurate BMI number - this will be the same sort of number as if you used calipers to calculate - it's lengthy, but it was worth it:
www.davedraper.com/bodyfat-calculation.htm
lislink


Here are a couple of articles you also might find useful at this point:

"IDEAL WEIGHT: IS THERE SUCH THING?"
www.thomastadlock.com/index.cfm?action=vie
warticle&action2=5


"Body Weight vs. Body Fat"
www.thomastadlock.com/index.cfm?action=vie
warticle&action2=1


Good Luck!
Ramona


'An Apple A Day' keeps the doctor away...
www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-bluep
rint-101/#axzz28X8ooJ1H



NOTE: My weight tracker is NOT a truthful representation of my weight. Instead, I am using it as a tool to help me visualize my goal as though it's already been achieved!

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=2108522


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MSTIGGERFAN
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5/10/08 10:29 A

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I have one that is handheld and it's pretty close. Yes I do agree with Christine it's easier to let them figure it for you. My mom's has a weight watcher scale that is supposed too also but I have never compared it to mine.

Cherly
I can do all things through Christ who strenghtens me Philippians 4:13



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SIMPLYCRICKET
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5/10/08 10:15 A

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Google it and let the website calculate for you.

I honestly gave up on weighing myself, as long as I am dropping in dress size I think I am doing fine.



"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me." Psalm 51:10


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CJBAGGINS
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5/10/08 9:08 A

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Does anyone have that link to calculating body fat %? The new scale I have is supposed to do that calculation but I don't think it is very accurate as the more I lose, the more body fat it tells me I have!
emoticon
Any suggestions for a more accurate method would be greatly appreciated. I don't have access to a gym with their methods of figuring it out.
cj

The smallest good deed is better than the grandest intention.
Barbara Walters

Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go.
Joshua 1:9


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