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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
My body fat has been in the 20-27% range for the past 10 years or so that I remember measuring it. This past January, I bought a Tanita Ironman scale, and have been keeping data on various stats (obviously weight, body %, water and muscle mass, etc). Obviously I don't think these types of scales are are dead-on-balls accurate, but they're pretty close, and the most benefit is from ensuring overall trends are moving in the direction you want (down, mostly!)

In early January (January 6th, to be exact) I weighed 201lb with a body fat of 26%. Ouch. Over the course of the last five months or so, my body fat and weight have both come down relatively steadily - I'm now down to 185lb. My body fat was in the 19-20% range all through mid and late May, and stayed there for about a week.

Then, about a week ago, I got on the scale - and my body fat was 34.5% ! :eek: I thought this was just an anomaly, but my body fat % (according to the Tanita scale) has been between 32-34% for the past week, while my weight has gone down only marginally over that period (from 187 to 185lb). Looking at the data, there was a sudden drop in my body water % - it was consistantly in the 53-56% range for the last five months, before suddenly dropping to 47-48% over the past week. Likewise, there was a sudden drop in my muscle mass - was in the 141-145lb range, from last week it's measured at 118-124lb - and, of all things, bone mass (from 7-8lb to 6-7lb).

My body weight data seems accurate (I've weighted myself in the locker room where I play hockey). Can anyone think of a reason why all these stats would suddenly go south? Even at my mostest fattest my body fat wasn't over 28%, and I'm in better shape now than I was 15 years ago. I'm thinking that maybe my Tanita scale has gone on the fritz or something.
 

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I don't have any experience with the Tanita scale, but I know that all the scales that use electronic impedance to measure your body fat are affected by your hydration levels. Maybe you've been dehydrated and that's throwing off the body fat measurement?

Another thought, have you tried changing the battery?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I thought about the dehydration thing as well - I haven't made any change in my diet or my fluid intake pattern that I can think of. I will probably try to change the battery, but I doubt that's the problem since the weight function seems accurate...?
 

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I've had the Tanita for 3 or 4 years and I've come to ignore the BF readings, the whole reason I bought the thing. I've found it to be too inconsistent no matter what I try - same time of day, level of hydration, etc...
 

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kirkdig said:
I've had the Tanita for 3 or 4 years and I've come to ignore the BF readings, the whole reason I bought the thing. I've found it to be too inconsistent no matter what I try - same time of day, level of hydration, etc...

my tanita works fine. I weigh in the morning and the bf is up - i super hydrate during the day, weigh at night, and lose 2-3% bf.

But it is consistent everyday - and I can see when I'm starting to drop to the next % or gain...

I'll hopefully start hitting 17%-20% consistently vs 18-21% or 19-22%..etc..
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I weigh myself at pretty much the same time, in the same condition, every day (late afternoon, after a work out and shower), and in my experience as well, the Tanita has (up until the last week or so) been very consistent. All the more reason why I'm puzzled by the sudden jump i bf%.
 

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surista said:
I thought about the dehydration thing as well - I haven't made any change in my diet or my fluid intake pattern that I can think of. I will probably try to change the battery, but I doubt that's the problem since the weight function seems accurate...?
Summer has arrived, maybe you should be drinking more? That seems like the only reasonable answer.

Silas
 

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Listen to Silas

surista said:
I weigh myself at pretty much the same time, in the same condition, every day (late afternoon, after a work out and shower), and in my experience as well, the Tanita has (up until the last week or so) been very consistent. All the more reason why I'm puzzled by the sudden jump i bf%.
The onset of warmer weather can shift your body's hydration level quite a bit. That, plus the possibility of battery needing replacement and the inherent uncertainty of the impedance method for calculating BF% all say that you should just chill and watch your numbers for a while. If your weight did not go up, then your %BF didn't go up either. Simple as that.
 

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Check the setting on your scale. Does it have a athletic male funstion and normal male, athletic female, normal male. Maybe you have been on a different setting and something got changed. I beleive the these scales are pretty accurate but can vary by water consumption. It measured close to what they came out with calipers but it was different in all I think plus or minus 2% is pretty accurate rating.

Check setting and then change battery. Mine was acting up a couple of weeks ago and changed batterys and work fien now.
 

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My Tanita scale has two different buttons for activating it. The one on the left is for "athletes" and the one on the right is for "normal" people. If you are an athlete with lots of muscle mass and use the normal setting, it will show a much higher body fat rating. Is it possible that you activated your scale with the wrong button?
 

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agree with the settings mode. I had to adjust for height, male / female, and athletic vs. non. If your tanita reset and went back to a standard algorithm or different setting it could through you off 10% maybe. I do not believe hydration can change the scale % 10 points unless you are just coming back from a century and your pee is coca-cola colored. Also maybe that grime / callous on your feet is hurting the impedance or your child smeared come PB&J on the sensors.
 
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