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I've got an older Tanita model. The newer ones are supposed to do a better job of measuring body fat for those of an "athletic" build which means, I guess, that they are more sensitive to lower body fat percentage. My model does not seem to be accurate below about 15% body fat (determined through various measurements with my sons and myself). My daily measurements vary about 2-3% points based primarily on my level of hydration. In fact, I use it mostly to monitor whether I need to be consuming more fluids at the end of the day. Summary -- not a real precise tool but another set of numbers to consider with my analytic mind. By the way, my father has a newer model that seems to be more accurate, but that may be because his fluid levels do not vary as much as mine from day to day.
 

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Bacon!
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I have a couple of them. We have been measured using both calipers and through the scales. The scales vary considerably depending on what you eat, when you eat, how much you're hydrated, etc. Compared to the calipers the scales were off by as much as 5% bodyfat - and I am assuming the caliper measurements were somewhat accurate. I use the scale as a means of tracking more than anything. The scale has been very consistent in its measurements when I weigh myself first thing in the morning. But, as an example, this morning it said I have 15.2% bodyfat. Last night it was 11%. It bounces around quite a bit.
 

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Underwater weight is the only way to go

All those scales are horrible, and for cyclists, they probably just make you feel like crap because they will overestimate.

The only real way to get body fat is an underwater weighing. Of course you say, where can I do that. Well I think some athletic clubs have it, but otherwise the best bet is the local university.
 

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As a competitive bodybuilder I’ve tried several ways of measuring body fat & found they all give different results. When it comes down to what is important you can throw all that stuff out.
 

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question that i've never seen an answer for:

i too have a Tanita scale that measures body fat, and yes, the measurement varies according to how hydrated i may be at the time. but does the lower % fat reading mean you're more dehydrated, or well hydrated?
 

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Bacon!
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Don't quote me on this :), but I was told the more hydrated the lower the body fat measurements. I kind of went along with the reasoning figuring I was more hydrated in the evenings than in the morning and that's why the higher fat reading at 5:00AM. But, I'm not sure the person who told me this is any more knowledgable than myself.
 

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that's what i figured. the higher the liquid volume in the body, the lower the proportion of fat would be comparitively. but after long rides, my fat percentage is lower than after i've had a lot to drink in the evenings and then slept overnight. so that confused me.

i guess all those trips to the bathroom during the overnight have some effect. :blush2:
 
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