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Old 11-16-2009, 02:28 PM
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Body Fat Monitors/Scales

I figure this is probably the right forum to ask this...

I've made some pretty big changes in my lifestyle within the last year, and have reaped the benefits.

I'm starting to try and pack on a little extra muscle, but I'm leery of trusting a basic scale to track my progress. I never know if the extra weight I've put on was because of the time spent in the gym, or if it's because I've gained a little extra poundage in the form of bodyfat. I can tell...kinda...by looking in the mirror, but I'd like something a little more objective than that.

I've got a pair of body fat calipers, but I don't trust myself with those. I can never get a consistent reading either.

I'm interested in a Scale/body fat monitor...one of those electrical impedance things. I've read that they're pretty inaccurate as well...but if you use them right (i.e. measuring at the same time of day) they provide a fairly accurate reference point.

So...my question...is has anybody used these, and could anybody care to recommend a model?

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:32 PM
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I'd like to know too. I got weighed at the doctor's and weighed 10-15 lbs less than I though because I always weighed myself on my parents' scale which sucks...
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Old 11-16-2009, 02:35 PM
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I have an older model of this one: BF-683W Body Fat / Body Water Monitor
I like it quite well, I always make sure to use it first thing in the morning after I use the bathroom, before I've eaten anything (but usually am working on a cup of coffee), nekkid. I can't speak for the accuracy, but the gym I belonged to after I had my son (joined in early '06) had one I don't take the body fat as gospel, more like a reference point, like you said.
Oh, and I *think* I bought mine at Linens n Things with a coupon, on sale. Could probably do the same at Bed, Bath and Beyond. I know I didn't pay $80 for mine!
Another edit LOL The weight I get from mine is fairly accurate, at least judging by the scales at 2 different dr offices.
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Old 11-16-2009, 06:45 PM
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Cool, cool, thanks for the tip!

I've been looking into it and the Tanita models seem to be fairly well reviewed. the BF680W in particular...then there's always the "IRONMAN" version...WHOLE lotta bells and whistles on that thing! Do I *really* wanna spend $130 on a scale though? ...Nahhhhhhhhhhhh.

All I know is that I've been going to the gym a lot more recently, and I've been slowly watching my weight increase on their medical scale down there. From under 175 over the summer to about 188 when I checked today...and it's making me nervous . I know that I'm lifting a lot and have really cleaned up my diet...but I just wanna make sure that I'm on the right track.

This has caused problems with my Nudies, too! My size 29 Average Joes are fitting really slim! I'm afraid I'm gonna rip 'em, I sooo wish I had gotten a size 30.
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:20 PM
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Well, here's one of the Ironman ones on ebay: Tanita Ironman™ Body Composition Monitor - eBay (item 140360282739 end time Nov-22-09 17:56:48 PST)
I did a quick search for the one I posted earlier, and only found ONE place that had it for less than $79.99, but they are out of stock Guess b/c they were selling it for $45!
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Old 11-16-2009, 07:25 PM
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Forgive me if I'm wrong but I thought the calipers were more accurate than the handheld things? I bought the handheld one a year ago, I think it's an Omron but I do not use it at all anymore because it was inconsistent. Then of course the water dunking method is the most accurate but it's on the pricey side.
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:02 PM
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Calipers - you have to be pretty skilled to use those, otherwise (as you already mentioned) the readings are pretty inaccurate.

The scales or handheld machines are a bit more reliable but not much since the low voltage current doesn't really go all the way from one part of the body to another. For example, using it on a man with fat around the belly the scale type BIA machine might not give an accurate reading, the same thing for a person who deposits fat on the lower part of the body.

If you truly want to have a good idea of what's going on find a place that has the BIA machine with electrodes... They get attached to wrist/arm and ankle/leg and they measure fat%, muscle, body fluids according to sex, age, etc. It only takes a minute, the readings are entered into machine's software and... voila! ;)

If you find the place (it could be an university nutrition office, dietitian office, personal trainer, etc.) my advice would be to get it done once at every 6 months or 1 year, not monthly. Unless you're training for some special event, you don't really need much access to it. There are things that you should be/or not be doing before you go in so make sure you call the place and get info on that. Such as last workout, hydration, meal timing, etc.

This is how the machine I'm talking about looks like:
RJL Systems Quantum II
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Old 11-16-2009, 08:52 PM
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I have one of the Tanita models (not sure which one) that I really like. It measures weight by the .2 lb. The weight I know is accurate because I kept my old scale and they both are very close in readings together. Like aswin, I only use that function in the morning, before eating, and naked. I know that it is not accurate but it does give me a good reference point which is what I think you are going for. You can also use it to just weigh yourself and not utilize the body fat monitor.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:29 PM
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^^ under aluhall

That'd be the best way to go, honestly, but those tests get pretty expensive...I'm looking more for something that I can use to track my progress on a regular basis. I'm not exactly training for anything in particular...well, maybe for when the band starts gigging again and I get the chance to do that ever-so-narcissistic move where I remove my shirt and rock out.

It'll make it easier for me to make small adjustments in...say...serving sizes, or the composition of my meals.

Something that's got me a little "eh" about a lot of the scales though is how they only have two electrodes for each foot...seems, since electricity follows the path of least resistance, that it would only really be effective in determining lower-body bodyfat. Tanita's got a few models with hand-electrodes as well, but those are well in the 300 dollar range. Ain't gonna friggin happen.

Omeron has one that looks promising though, and gets good reviews. Does the foot-and-hand electrode thing. Lil more expensive than I'd like to spend...but not out of the question.

Amazon.com: Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor: Health & Personal Care

Thinking I might go with that one. I'm incredibly indecisive.
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Old 11-17-2009, 12:33 PM
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^I have that exact model. It seems very accurate (as in, it doesn't change 10% day to day.) I also like that it tracks it for you so you can look back 30/60/90 days.
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Old 11-17-2009, 02:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mesalomanic View Post

Something that's got me a little "eh" about a lot of the scales though is how they only have two electrodes for each foot...seems, since electricity follows the path of least resistance, that it would only really be effective in determining lower-body bodyfat. Tanita's got a few models with hand-electrodes as well, but those are well in the 300 dollar range. Ain't gonna friggin happen.

Omeron has one that looks promising though, and gets good reviews. Does the foot-and-hand electrode thing. Lil more expensive than I'd like to spend...but not out of the question.

Amazon.com: Omron Full Body Sensor Body Fat and Body Composition Monitor: Health & Personal Care

Thinking I might go with that one. I'm incredibly indecisive.
This may be your best option considering. Go for it!
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