Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

TOPIC: body fat % vs scale weight

 
Ic_disabled_photos
Topic has been inactive for 30 days or more and images have been disabled.
Display All Images
November 9, 2010 9:10 PM
It seems like this needs to be put out again. let us not focus on the scale so much as a healthy weight. I hope this helps someone.

Body Fat Percentage Categories
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%+ 25%+

Knowing your body fat percentage can also help you determine if your weight loss goals are realistic. Remember, weight loss doesn't always mean fat loss.

For example, let's say you are a 130 pound woman with 23% body fat, and your goal is to lose 20 pounds.

Initial body fat 130 pounds x 0.23 body fat = 30 pounds body fat
Lean body mass 130 pounds total - 30 pounds fat = 100 pounds lean body mass (bones, organs,...)
Goal 130 pounds - 20 pounds = 110 pounds

As you can see, the goal of losing 20 pounds is not realistic or healthy. At 110 pounds, this woman still requires 100 pounds of lean body mass, but would only be carrying 10 pounds, or only 9% body fat. From the body fat chart above, you can see that this is a dangerously low percentage.

A better goal might be for the woman to reduce her body fat from 23% to 18%. In this case:

130 pounds x 0.18 = 23 pounds body fat
100 pounds lean body mass + 23 pounds body fat = 123 pounds goal weight.

So, for this individual to achieve a lean, but healthy 18% fat, she would need to lose only 7 pounds of fat, reducing her weight from her current 130 pounds to 123 pounds. Losing more than 7 pounds means losing lean body mass (usually metabolically-active muscle tissue), which is clearly not desirable.

So before you decide that you need to "lose weight", remember to consider that "weight" consists of both lean body mass and body fat. Try to keep your weight loss goals realistic, and remember, keep the calorie-burning muscle, and lose only the fat.
  912128
November 9, 2010 9:23 PM
Thank you for posting that. I always take my body fat % when I do my measurement tracking and find it much more useful than the stupid scale!
November 9, 2010 9:44 PM
how do you take your body fat %?
  165290
November 9, 2010 9:48 PM
google body fat calculators. there are many out there. good luck
  912128
November 9, 2010 11:38 PM
I bought a pair of calipers and I calculate my body fat % to the nearest tenth using the calipers numbers, my weight, and the fact that I am female. (I bought this e-book called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle that has the calculators in it).

Using the body fat % and my weight, I calculate the lean mass and fat mass in pounds. There's another calculator in the book that helps you find your ideal weight using these same calculations. That's why my goal is 129 pounds, even though some 5'5" females think it's too much. If you lose fat and gain muscle, then you could very well be a lean and tight size 4 at that weight. That's my goal. flowerforyou
November 26, 2010 12:51 PM
bump
  912128
November 26, 2010 1:05 PM
QUOTE:

I bought a pair of calipers and I calculate my body fat % to the nearest tenth using the calipers numbers, my weight, and the fact that I am female. (I bought this e-book called Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle that has the calculators in it).

Using the body fat % and my weight, I calculate the lean mass and fat mass in pounds. There's another calculator in the book that helps you find your ideal weight using these same calculations. That's why my goal is 129 pounds, even though some 5'5" females think it's too much. If you lose fat and gain muscle, then you could very well be a lean and tight size 4 at that weight. That's my goal. flowerforyou


So how do you do a triceps measurement on yourself?? laugh

(For females, we always do triceps, suprailiac and thigh)

That title is Tom Venuto's book, right? If so, I'm sure he has several good protocols.

But you are exactly right on how to use the measurements and you have a good description of how to use the data in the right context.

The converse is also true as well. Someone with a small frame or smaller amount of muscle mass can be told they are "fine" based on scale weight, but they can actually be overfat.

These days I see a lot more women in that category (skinny fat, for lack of a better term) than the measurements you report. (That's probably because the majority of them are 45-65). So, it's lift, lift, lift.

You should she the looks on their faces when I throw away their 5lb dumbbells and start loading up the bar.....noway

But then after the set, it's .......bigsmile (OK, sometimes, it's ..... sad -- but not for long....)
February 12, 2011 7:27 AM
QUOTE:

google body fat calculators. there are many out there. good luck


But these do not take into account your frame. I do these online and even the one on MFP and it tells me that I am in the middle of the obese section. To be just 'overweight' I would have to lose 50 pounds. And that's right on the border of overweight and obese.

I am, for sure, overweight, but I am not obese. For me a weight of 153 pounds on my 5'1 frame is really good. Slender and toned and wearing a size 9.

So how would you measure body fat on a person with a large frame whom always weigh significantly more than she looks??
February 12, 2011 9:01 AM
QUOTE:

QUOTE:

google body fat calculators. there are many out there. good luck


But these do not take into account your frame. I do these online and even the one on MFP and it tells me that I am in the middle of the obese section. To be just 'overweight' I would have to lose 50 pounds. And that's right on the border of overweight and obese.

I am, for sure, overweight, but I am not obese. For me a weight of 153 pounds on my 5'1 frame is really good. Slender and toned and wearing a size 9.

So how would you measure body fat on a person with a large frame whom always weigh significantly more than she looks??



in your case you would need to do a more accurate BF measurement. IE caliper/ immersion
  912128
February 16, 2011 12:22 PM
bump!!
  912128
February 16, 2011 1:17 PM
Thanks for the post! I am just getting on this train.

I ordered my monitor and it should be here tomorrow so I'll know if my goal to get down another 15 lbs is realistic or if I shouldn't be watching the scale.
February 16, 2011 1:30 PM
QUOTE:


The converse is also true as well. Someone with a small frame or smaller amount of muscle mass can be told they are "fine" based on scale weight, but they can actually be overfat.

These days I see a lot more women in that category (skinny fat, for lack of a better term) than the measurements you report. (That's probably because the majority of them are 45-65). So, it's lift, lift, lift.

You should she the looks on their faces when I throw away their 5lb dumbbells and start loading up the bar.....noway

But then after the set, it's .......bigsmile (OK, sometimes, it's ..... sad -- but not for long....)



Think i fall into the skinny fat bracket. !! So is best way to reduce my lifting bigger weights ???
February 16, 2011 2:03 PM
I really think this is important as well. I've been tracking my bf% for about 6 weeks now and it has been very helpful to know that I am losing fat but NOT lean mass. I bought a cheap but very effective caliper (Accu-measure) and I use the Jackson-Pollock 3 point method. It is very easy (takes about 2 minutes). For men, the measurements are Chest, Ab and Thigh (there are pictures of how to take the measurements on the same site that has the Jackson-Pollock calculator (I just made my own calculator on a spreadsheet since it is easier for me to track that way). Feel free to friend me or message me with any questions.
  1949707
March 1, 2011 10:02 PM
Bumb
March 11, 2011 10:58 AM
wink
  912128
April 28, 2011 2:30 PM
bump
  912128
May 5, 2011 1:34 PM
bump
  912128
May 29, 2011 7:35 AM
there is a lot of new people on here. please read this. even though I still weigh myself it doesn't matter as much as how I feel and how I look. so many young girls on here are fixated by a scale # to all of you I beg that you redirect your focus on being healthy.
Edited by rnroadrunner On May 29, 2011 7:36 AM
  912128
July 4, 2011 1:11 PM
Bump.
  7773582
July 4, 2011 2:31 PM
I agree with the OP 100% about focusing on body composition change versus just weight change. Heck you don't even have to do body fat measurements, if you are a man just track your waist size--that is a huge indicator of body composition quality.

However, if you are interested in body fat measurements, go here:
http://www.linear-software.com/online.html
is a great site for those wanting to do their own body fat measurements and calculations. I think almost anyone can do the Jackson/Pollock 3 Caliper Method measurements by themselves which are reasonably accurate. Or enlist and train a loved one to do the measurements you can't do yourself. Even more important, imo, is the ability to track changes in your readings over time by learning to take the readings in the same place in the same way.

I personally like and use the Slimguide caliper but I also have the Accu-Measure caliper and it works fine too. The Slimguide just seems better built enough to justify the extra $6 I paid for it. In any case, both of these calipers are under $20 and are worth twice what I paid for them, again imo.
July 8, 2011 6:45 AM
I'm in the same boat. I am 6'4" and my lean 0% weight (and this is based on a submersion BF test) is 217lbs. Obviously weight and BMI are pretty much tossed out the door at that point.

I think purely from a health standpoint, no number is more accurate or important than body fat percentage, and it's my main focus. by my calculation, Id need to weigh around 235 give or take for 10% bodyfat, which is my goal.

Starting today I am going to try to drop 63 total lbs, getting me down to 239 from 302, and getting me in that 10% range. As soon as I am below 240, I'll head in for another dunk test and re-evaluate.

Body frame and structure are such a hinderance in trying to adhere to weight-loss or BMI as a gauge for me, but I'm actually thankful for it as it's shifted my paradigm in terms of what's really important, and that is definitely BF%.

Reply

Message Boards » General Diet and Weight Loss Help

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