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Electrical Impedance Bodyfat Measurements statistically useless...

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Electrical Impedance Bodyfat Measurements statistically useless...

Old 10-11-12, 07:22 PM
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Mithrandir
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Electrical Impedance Bodyfat Measurements statistically useless...

Anyone have any experience with a bodyfat scale that uses electrical impedance? I've been using one for a bit over a year now, marking down my daily measurements. While my weight swings up and down in broad trends matching the various choices I have made in my life regarding diet and exercise, the bodyfat number seems... weird. A graph, if you will:



So the weight has 3 trends; from September 2011 to November 2011 my weight was generally decreasing slightly; from December 2011 to May 2012 my weight increased greatly (a result of me working from home, causing my fridge to be too close to me at all times, and not biking to work anymore), and finally from June 2012 onward losing a decent amount of weight (limit weekly shopping, make sure I bike 5-6 times a week now). Sure there's daily variation of up to 5 pounds or so, but it's generally consistent long-term.

There's a large gap of data missing from January to April 2012 as I was in some dire straits and sort of gave up on my weight loss goal for a time, part of the reason for the weight gain.


So now look at the red line, there seems to be almost no general trend in the number whatsoever. In fact the only thing I can see is that when my weight drops for a day, the fat % spikes. This somewhat makes sense since a large drop in a single day is most assuredly simply a loss of water weight, and since impedance figures are affected by your current hydration level this seems consistent.

There's a somewhat consistent drop in mid-June 2012 right around the time I had my car accident and stayed off the bike for 3 weeks. But right around the time I got back on the bike the number started trending upward again.

I try to weigh myself at a consistent point every day, about an hour after I wake up. I just don't have a clue why these numbers are so weird. Anyone else have a similar experience with bio-electrical impedance scales?
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Old 10-11-12, 08:33 PM
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keithm0
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I don't trust the impedance body fat tests. They seem to be very sensitive to factors other than body fat percentage, including hydration level, time of day, etc.
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Old 10-11-12, 08:51 PM
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Mark Stone
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Originally Posted by keithm0 View Post
I don't trust the impedance body fat tests. They seem to be very sensitive to factors other than body fat percentage, including hydration level, time of day, etc.
+1 on that, they're traditionally questionable.
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Old 10-11-12, 11:42 PM
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i go by what the scale says and how my clothes fit. Low tech I know but it works.
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Old 10-12-12, 06:38 AM
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I think a $50 Pulse/Ox meter is all that's needed.

If pulse or O/2 level is Zero ---- Don't bother getting up in the AM.
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