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Body Fat Percentage


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Old 05-15-2005, 07:05 AM   #1
SaabGirl
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Body Fat Percentage

I recently purchased a body fat scale, so I would be able to monitor any changes in my body fat from going to the gym. I worked out fervently for around eight weeks and saw several pounds weight gain, and my body fat stayed the same (17%). I didn't feel I was getting enough benefit from cardio 4-5x per week for 45 minutes, and weight training, so I stopped. Now, several weeks later, the scales says I weigh less (down to 104 from 108) and yet my body fat % has gone up to 20%! (I am a 24 yr old female, 5'6.) Could this be correct? It seems hard to believe that at 104 pounds I could have that much body fat, especially if my weight has gone down. I'm thinking the scale could be incorrect. Any input?

 
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Old 05-15-2005, 07:52 AM   #2
cat3883
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

It sounds right to me. You probably lost muscle instead of fat. I have been working out since Jan. and have actually gained a few pounds but it is all muscle. I dont know what my percentage is but I can guarantee it is alot less than it was in Jan.

 
Old 05-15-2005, 08:42 AM   #3
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Fat weighs less than muscle--If you had continued working out and ate the same thing you would gain muscle mass and decrease body fat.Your metabolic rate is higher with more muscle mass so you can actually get away with eating more sometimes but if you quit exercising then of course you won't maintain muscle but replace with fat.Sorry---but you need to get back in the gym honey!!!

 
Old 05-15-2005, 09:21 AM   #4
frustrated35
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Ive talked with several trainers about that body fat scale and they said it's not accurate. Have a trainer at the gym measure you body fat% and go from there. They will be able to tell you exactly how much lean mass pounds as well as fat mass pounds. From there you can create a workout to lose and maintain what you've lost.

 
Old 05-15-2005, 11:25 AM   #5
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Agreed. Scales can help gauge progress if you use them at the same time of day (hydration will heavily affect your reading), but going to a gym or rec center and having a trainer use calipers to check your body compisition is more accurate. I guarantee that the exercise was helping, but you MUST also get your diet in order. Working out all day won't make you lose weight if your diet is garbage.
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Old 05-15-2005, 01:08 PM   #6
SaabGirl
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

It definately makes sense that diet plays a big part in whether or not fat will decrease and/or muscle will increase. That's probably why I did not see any change in my body fat percentage when I went to the gym. But I also agree with Frustrated35 that maybe the scale is just wrong to begin with. If I had gained fat since I stopped going to the gym, my clothes would be tight and I'm sure I would notice. Has anyone else noticed that your clothes actually fit better when you lose muscle mass? Seems odd to me, that's why I thought the body mass scale could be incorrect.

 
Old 05-16-2005, 01:59 PM   #7
3and1
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Your clothes may fit better because your muscle mass decreased some and maybe your waist went in a few cm,but naked---a toned slighty larger body looks better than a smaller flabby cellulite body(thats just my opinion). No one will convince me that an unfit body is better in clothes or otherwise than a fit and toned one!!Please don't give up on exercise--the benefits are not just physical on the outside--there are internal benefits and mental as well.

 
Old 05-18-2005, 05:07 AM   #8
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Quote:
Originally Posted by SaabGirl
I recently purchased a body fat scale, so I would be able to monitor any changes in my body fat from going to the gym. I worked out fervently for around eight weeks and saw several pounds weight gain, and my body fat stayed the same (17%). I didn't feel I was getting enough benefit from cardio 4-5x per week for 45 minutes, and weight training, so I stopped. Now, several weeks later, the scales says I weigh less (down to 104 from 108) and yet my body fat % has gone up to 20%! (I am a 24 yr old female, 5'6.) Could this be correct? It seems hard to believe that at 104 pounds I could have that much body fat, especially if my weight has gone down. I'm thinking the scale could be incorrect. Any input?
Most women fall in the 25- 30% range. At 24, 22% is a healthy range for you. That being said, the majority of body fat scales purchased for home use are not accurate - there is always room for error. Generally this is caused by water levels in the body, as already mentioned, and really only serve a purpose when using it at the same time every day to ensure a decrease in BF.

It is very normal for someone who stops strength training to drop weight and increase BF. Muscle is made up of 70% water - so your weight lose is both a wee bit of muscle and alot of water. This is why your clothes appear to fit better. Your BF has increased because your metabolism is dropping. And depending on your nutritional habits - this (BF) could drastically increase. The weight will start to creep back, however this time it's going to be fat.

If you felt like there were no benefits to exercising - you were obviously missing something. My guess is that your focal point was cardio when it should have been strength training. When you walk into a gym with goals and no game plan (a structured program), 9 times out of 10 you just go around in circles and never see goals materialize.

 
Old 05-18-2005, 06:46 PM   #9
SaabGirl
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Re: Body Fat Percentage

Kellibean- What you said makes perfect sense. I think the water and muscle loss can both be attributed to making my clothes fit better. I have been on the scale a couple times lately, and it has been ranging from 15-18%, so I think I am probably holding steady at this point. I do exercise daily by taking my dog on a walk/jog, but I only go to the gym once or twice a week now, for cardio and strength training. I can now see my legs are much smaller, but my endurance seems much the same. I guess what I have learned is that body fat is not really an indicator of how healthy we are. I currently eat quite unhealthy, so if my weight AND body fat begin to increase, I'll cut back in that area first.

 
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