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TOPIC: Body fat percentage calculation- loose skin

 
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April 29, 2012 4:26 AM
Does anyone have any experience of how much loose skin impacts on body fat figures. I have lost over 41 kilos(90lbs) and my doctor estimates that I have somewhere between 6-8 kilos of loose skin, When I take even the smaller amount of this off my current weight - I am well within the healthy BMI levels for my height. When I use different formulas to calculate my body fat percentage I get results somewhere between 28 and 32. Yesterday when visiting my daughter I used her scales with a body fat percentage calculator that uses electrical impedance to calculate the result. It said that I was more than 37 percent - which seems crazy to me because other than the excess skin mainly around my middle and a general excess of moveable skin - I am pretty lean and fit. I have just moved into a size 12 ( equal to a US 8) dress size and people are telling me to stop losing weight.My doctor is also happy with my current size. My query is - how reliable are the impedance type calculators - and can excess skin skew the results. I live in country Western Australia and don't have access to water type or pod type calculators and I figure that the excess skin would cause issues with calipers for measurement. Any ideas????
  7165257
April 29, 2012 4:43 AM
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  53513
April 29, 2012 6:10 AM
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  7165257
April 29, 2012 6:13 AM
A caliper test measures the thickness of the skin and the fat and extrapolates fat thickness assuming skin thickness is constant in a given population. Depending on your age and skin elasticity, your results can be skewed. There is a 3-5% error in caliper tests, and this is also greatly influenced by the skill of the measurer.
  312
April 29, 2012 7:25 AM
bmp
  7165257
April 30, 2012 7:22 AM
BMP
  7165257
April 30, 2012 7:41 AM
Calipers will likely give skewed readings if you have excess skin. Scales that measure body fat can give skewed readings based on how hydrated you are when measuring. The only way to get a truly accurate reading is with expensive medical test (weighing underwater or air displacement chamber).

Your best bet is probably going to be measuring with the scale over several days/weeks and taking the average. Or using several online calculation methods and taking the average of those. Those should give you a pretty close guesstimation.
May 1, 2012 3:41 AM
Many thanks to those who replied - it would seem that the bulk of people don't have an opinion on this. I have been using the online calculators as bcattoes suggested and the idea of trying out several and taking a guestimation is a good one as I don't have access to water or displacement chambers - and truthfully don't need to spend a heap of money on it. It is more a curiousity than anything else.

Thanks again to the couple of people who responded
  7165257
May 1, 2012 3:46 AM
losing big amounts of weight is bound to give you excess skin. I know of a gal who lost 100 lbs...had plastics on her arms...and she lost 7lbs of excess skin.
i hate to see how much I'd lose LOL I am going to be having plastics to remove the excess skin on my tummy due to a hernia repair.... they said I could very well lose 30-50lbs of skin. realizing this i am now maintaining until i see what happens...I too could be at my goal or lower due to excess skin...
  6283114
May 1, 2012 3:56 AM
My scale at home has me about 10% more body fat than my trainers scale and calipers that I have done at my weight loss center. None of these are going to be 100% accurate, but the important thing no matter what you use to measure is that the number on any of them go down. I have lost 192 lbs and estimate about 15 to 20 lbs of loose skin, I have started to basically maintain my weight or be in a 5 lb range until I opt for the surgery. They say to maintain your weight for a year or two before opting for the surgery. It does tighten up some with lifting but doubt that at least in my case all of it will tighten up.

The more overweight you are the more inacurrate body fat scales and calipers will be. For instance when I was around 230 lbs it had me at 24%, but when I lost about 15 lbs it had me at 26%, on the calipers and trainers scale, but now I am around 185 lbs and 17% on my trainers scale, I am getting checked by the calipers tomorrow.
Edited by jhardenbergh On May 1, 2012 3:59 AM
  4146357
May 5, 2012 5:37 PM
I just had a Dexa scan...I have lost around 190 pounds...and was estimated i have 5-10 kilos of skin...but when they did the calculations that was part of my lean mass not my body fat. Also those scales in the home that measure body fat....they send a pulse up one leg then down the other so they dont take your upper body into account. So my at home ones say im 34-35% but the dexa scan gave me 27.6% :) To give u a idea as well...im 175cm and currently weigh 86 kilos...to get to my ideal weight they say i still need to lose another 5.1-7.2 kilos of fat. Which would theoretically put me outside the healthy weight range.
May 5, 2012 5:40 PM
So the thing about those scales with BF% is that they are a crock (in my opinion). Even doing stuff with calipers can be pretty off. Your best bet is to take measurements and put those into a calculator... or go get a scan professionally. I find that the way that the scales work with the electronic wave is bs.

Do it also by how you feel. How clothes fit. Etc. Screw the numbers. Not worth fretting over. :D
  283864
May 5, 2012 5:57 PM
I own a body fat scale and Omron Handheld body fat monitor and I trust both of them. For the fun of it, I have used online body fat calculators to see what they will tell me and I know they were wrong, because they stated that my body fat percentage was 25% and I know that's wrong.
July 15, 2012 12:29 AM
Reviving this question because I'm wondering the same thing.
July 15, 2012 1:10 AM
I got dunked in a tank last year and then did all the online calculators and this one was the closest I found to the results I got after the dunk.

http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/mbf/

My scale was 8-12% off from when I got dunked.

I'm not sure if the MBF calculator will be of help to you using measurements which may not factor in skin, but minus getting dunked or someone very experienced with caliper locations where there isn't excess skin, I wish I could help.
Edited by AZDizzy On July 15, 2012 1:12 AM
  12797619
July 15, 2012 1:22 AM
QUOTE:

I got dunked in a tank last year and then did all the online calculators and this one was the closest I found to the results I got after the dunk.

http://www.fat2fitradio.com/tools/mbf/

My scale was 8-12% off from when I got dunked.

I'm not sure if the MBF calculator will be of help to you using measurements which may not factor in skin, but minus getting dunked or someone very experienced with caliper locations where there isn't excess skin, I wish I could help.


Just made me laugh how you said you got dunked... cheers for the link too.smile
February 28, 2014 5:37 PM
I lost about 40lbs of fat, and have little lose skin on my lower belly, but ur best bet is to do the full caliper test, lower abdomen, tricep, quad, side of pecs, neck measurements, waist measurement, and when u out the weight in remove the kilos of excess skin. Then use the body scale, In the morning after a full 7-9 hour sleep and after you urinate, then add both numbers and divide by 2 it'll give u the closest body fat percentage without paying for expensive medical equipment, my caliper measured me at 8.5 percent body fat and the scale measure me at 10.6 and my end result was 9.44 which seems about right die to my abs showing without flexing them, and veins everywhere

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