Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

TOPIC: Obese but low body fat percentage?

Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
February 21, 2014 4:58 AM
Hi everyone this is my first post but I have been reading along for a while.
I hope someone has had the same experience and can inform me a little.
I currently weigh about 213lbs (96kg) my height is 5 ft 5` ? (1.66m). According to the scale and fat meter at the gym I have about 33% body fat, I did another calculation online:
And it told me I had 30% body fat so about 66kg lean and 30 kg fat. I know the results are not that accurate but it still seems very low to me. I know that even when I was slim (pre kids) I have always been heavy, as in I looked slim but my weight was heavier than I looked like (heavy bones blah blah). Taking that all in consideration I still think this is a little low isn't it? I mean my ideal weight is about 65kg / 145lb which would put my fat % at 0? or at least very low.
Or should I just ignore all this because it is very inaccurate?
My workout schedule at the moment s:
1: weights legs (heavy low reps) followed by 30 min treadmill (jog)
2: weights upper body (heavy low reps) followed by 30 min treadmill (jog)
3: 60 min treadmill so just cardio on this day
And then this schedule over again, I might have a rest day depending on how I feel or my personal schedule (on average I work out 6 days a week.

Some advice would be highly appreciated
Edited by samira2603 On February 21, 2014 5:45 AM
February 21, 2014 5:11 AM
Sorry but those scales are typically not accurate at all.
February 21, 2014 5:25 AM
I'm very confused. At 5'5" and 113 lbs, I think you're underweight (or at least borderline, not positive). So if your ideal is 145 lbs you're already well below that. 33% or 30% fat at 113 lbs and 5'5" is not impossible, but certainly would be unusual.

Unless you typo'ed your weight. Perhaps you meant 213 which would mean you're obese and you're questioning why your BF is only 30%? Sorry, just trying to understand.
February 21, 2014 5:38 AM
Typo on pounds - should be 213.

Both the online calculators and the scales are very inaccurate for measuring body fat %. Even if you use them exactly right (fasted for at least 4 hours, some other specifications depending on machine), there is an error rate of 3-5%. Let's assume the 33% is closer to correct - technically that is obese for a woman your age. A healthy body fat % would be closer to the mid to upper 20's

I like using the link below as a resource

Your workouts sound fine. You may need to do more than 3 days per week and you definitely need to make sure you're staying within your calorie limits, eat back at least half of earned exercise calories and getting plenty of protein - at least 70g per day, if not closer to 100. This will help you to make sure the weight lost is mostly fat, not muscle and that percentage will decrease as you lose weight.

Good luck!
February 21, 2014 5:44 AM
yes a typo !! 213lbs sorry.
Thanks for the advice. I was questioning the accuracy of the machine anyway.
February 21, 2014 5:52 AM
I just got one of those "body fat analyzers" and mine was 33% - I am currently 205. Like you, I have always weighed more than I look (although of course now I am obese). My goal body fat percentage (after I looked also at the builtlean website a few days ago) is around 24%. I am making sure to keep my protein high and progressing in my weight training and also doing HIIT.
February 21, 2014 6:02 AM
I just used the calculator you posted, and it gave me a number within the accuracy results they claim. They say it can over estimate by 3-5% for fit people. I had my BF measured a few months ago and it was 19.3 vs the 21.5 the calculator says, so I'd say it's a good guesstimate.
February 21, 2014 6:11 AM
hmmm I am just wondering. What if it is accurate (-ish), should I then also lose some muscles in order to be 65 kg wth a BFM of 20%.
February 21, 2014 6:18 AM
You will lose some muscle mass when you lose weight and that's OK (as long as it's just a small amount). Obese people have extra muscle to help carry around the extra weight. You should try to minimize the loss with strength training but you will still likely lose some. No one can lose strictly fat. I do strength training twice a week and typically lose about 10% lean body mass, 90% fat.
February 21, 2014 6:24 AM

hmmm I am just wondering. What if it is accurate (-ish), should I then also lose some muscles in order to be 65 kg wth a BFM of 20%.

Unless you are an athlete who wants to compete in a specific weight class, stop worrying about your "ideal weight" and focus on your BF %. Take two men: one is 200 lbs and 10% body fat, the other is 190 pounds and 20% body fat. While the first one weighs more, he has less fat than the second man and his extra weight is coming from lean body mass. The result is the first man will almost certainly look better and be stronger.

Weight should only be your primary focus if you're, say, a boxer looking to make weigh-ins for a specific weight class before a fight and your prize money/shot at the belt is on the line if you don't make weight. For everyone else, I really think we put too much emphasis on weight in our society and you're better off focusing on your BF % instead.
February 21, 2014 6:26 AM
that doesn't make sense. If you lose muscle mass your body fat percentage will be higher. You want to lose fat and retain muscle.
February 21, 2014 8:05 AM

hmmm I am just wondering. What if it is accurate (-ish), should I then also lose some muscles in order to be 65 kg wth a BFM of 20%.

What? No, you definitely don't want to lose muscle. Muscle helps you to have a higher metabolism which = more calories burned at rest. Less muscle = lower metabolism, as well as a flabby body aka skinny fat.

You know how women complain about their boyfriends/husbands lose weight faster with seemlingly little effort? This is because men naturally have more muscle mass and therefore need more calories so some minor changes in their diet can make enough of a difference to lose quickly. (disclaimer for nitpicks: this is a bit of a generalization but close enough)

FYI, the non-fat weight (or LBM - Lean Body Mass) isn't just muscle, it's your bones, organs, skin, etc.


Message Boards » Fitness and Exercise

Posts by members, moderators and admins should not be considered medical advice and no guarantee is made against accuracy.