Body fat percentage - scale vs. calipers

  • So, I have been using my scale to measure my body fat.  When I started the challenge it told me I had 33% BF.  Today (week 5) it says I have 29% BF.  Now, I have read several things that tell me that the scale is not very accurate, so I finally caved and ordered the Accu-Measure BF calipers.  They arrived today.  I measured myself and got a reading of 11 mm which equates to roughly 22% BF.  Whoa!  Not sure I believe that.  I measured myself about 50 times, though and that seemed to be the most consistent reading.  So now I have to try to believe that I have 22% BF instead of the 32% that prior to today my scale was consistently telling me.  So, should I adjust my starting BF%?  If so, should I say my starting BF was 26% since the scale tells me I've lost 4% so far? Sorry if this is confusing.  (To recap, on the scale I went from 33% to 29% so since the calipers tell me 22% I am adding 4% to that to get 26%.)

    Anyway, I weigh 157 so this tells me I have a lean mass of 120 pounds.  My goal is to be at 15% BF.  That means my goal weight should be 141.  Let me tell you, this is a revelation to me and I still don't really believe that I can look as cut as say Margi Faze or Mariah Yu at that weight.  I guess seeing is believing.  7 weeks to go in my challenge and since apparently I only need to lose 16 pounds of fat to reach that goal it seems pretty doable.  I have lost 9.2 pounds already which is just under 2 pounds a week.  If I keep it up (well increase it a little actually) I can get there!  However, like I said, I still am not sure I believe that at 141 I could look cut.  (I am 5' 8" and female by the way.) 


    Patience, persistence, and hard work pay off.

  • It's very difficult to get an accurate reading with calipers unless you have a lot of experience.  BUT if you use them as a relative comparison you will know how many percentage points you've lost.  That's what really counts, not the final number, but the change that you have made happen.  Take your measurements, and then each time just make sure you measure exactly the same way.  Accuracy won't matter, but consistency will.  You'll have an accurate record of the change in bodyfat.

    10's in exercise and nutrition = 10's in life