T Nation

Fat fast /Tanita scam?

I am presently doing the fat fast and been doing it for 2 weeks now.Lost aprox.6lbs already(before 200@24%,now190@24%???,I know this is 10lbs,but I aprox.4lbs waterloss.).Using the skin calipers,I’ve losing aprx.5mm\total per week using the 3 point system.On the tanita BF scale,states that I haven’t lost any bodyfat(24%).To test if the scale works,I held a 20lb weight to my chest while on the scale and gave me 31%bf.Since I weigh more(more mass)and have the same bodyfat shouldn’t I have less bf% with the weight?Either my scale is defective or it it a scam?Any comments?

You have to compare tanita stats to similar levels of hydration. You have to remember that the fat fast diet pretty much deflates your muscles via hydration levels no matter how much water you’re drinking. I’d start weighing with the tanita scale 3 days after starting the diet to make sure that you’ve taken hydration levels out of the equation.

Hey parkX, do you have the normal or athlete model. I bought the normal model a couple years ago, and the bodyfat readings are worthless. I’m ripped right now and mine still reads 24%. The scale is accurate though.

Also…the tanita is always wrong. I use mine as a gauge only…hopefully it always goes down. It is really picky on hydration. Weigh the same time 6:00-7:30 pm like the instructions say after drinking the same amount of water everyday and it will be consistant…accurate NO, but consistant just the same.

I have the normal version.Still I think its irrelevant because if there is an electrical current,the results should be the same.For them,they state that an athlete is someone who excercises more than five days a week.Now a sprinter that trains for only four days should use the NORMAL scale and a marathon runner who trains for 5-6 days should use the ATHLETE version?I think that the tanita has the BMI formula which uses your height and weight and age rather send an electrical current.It does not make sense?

You see,in the BMI index formula if you increase any of the varables,the BF% increases.In skinfold,if the weight increases and the skinfolds stay the same,the BF% decreases.Any comments???

The athlete mode uses a different co-efficient to calculate BF … their program uses results taken from the general population to do these calculations…
In all fairnes to the manufacturer, they state that it is not meant for body builders… they are not intentionally trying to mislead or scam anyone. Personally I don’t see a use for this scale if it’s not any more accurate than ± 5% BF. Even for the general public… if you’re a fat f__k then you know you are… Accuracy and repeatability are two totally different things. And the stated accuracies are usually best case results experienced in a lab environment.

Acutally, the tanita’s are inaccurate BETWEEN individuals but measure fluctuations for AN individual reasonably well if checked at the same times of day. THE LIKELY ANSWER HERE IS that for every pound of fat you lose you are losing over a pound of muscle so the lean/fat ratio stays the same. If you arent using andro, this is definitely the case. It would help if the tania showed actual lean/fat weights instead of percentages so you could see the fluctuation in actual lean and fat instead of the ratio EG when I bulk I stay at the same bf% - this does not mean I am not gaining fat, just that I am gaining it in proportion to lean mass. Make sense? As for the extra weight test, the tanita assesses your lean mass to work out bf% so the result of your “addition of non lean weight experiment” is to be expected.

I’ve got a model 612. I stay around 10-11% consistently when I check at 7-8pm each night. Circumerence chart puts me @ 8.63% and 3-point caliper method put me around 12%. I think the Tanita is a handy tool and I like the value “10%” whether its real or not.

Just got one of these myself. In the brochure it talks about how your weight/BF% might fluctuate from day to day, and that you should establish a baseline by measuring your BF% for 7 days and taking the average. So, it seems reasonable to me that you could do this every week, and compare your average weekly BF% from week to week (as opposed to measuring once a week, or comparing one day to the next). Even if the BF% itself isn’t accurate, using an average from week to week like this will take care of any fluctuations that occur due to hydration, etc.

As far as the 20lb weight goes, if the 20lb weight was resistant to electrical current your BF% would go up. Same (or more resistance) + more weight = higher BF% as far as the scale is concerned.

I weigh myslef every AM on my tanita. Then I just type it in excel (nerdy, i know) but that gives me a way to easily calculate 5-day moving averages. It smooths out the occassional 2% increase and gives, what I perceive to be, very precise (not necesarrily accurate, however) results. Also, and I’m no physicist, wouldn’t holding a metal plate throw off the electromagnetic pulses that the scale uses?

Forget the electrical bodyfat testers. Just get yourself a good pair of calipers and even if you don’t want to measure a number of sites - just measure your abs. If it goes down good. If not, you need to work harder and/or smarter. Once you get lean and you know the measurement of your abs, you’ll know in the future how far you are from your goal. For example, if your abs are ripped at 8mm and you’re at 25mm you’ve got a lot of work to do.

Park: Gotta agree with Spanky and T. on this one. I have both the Tanita 612 and the Omron Body Fat Analyser.(Which requires you to plug in a weight). As I’ve often said in the past, I use them as 1) “Double” checks for each other 2) In order to monitor RELATIVE progression and 3) To monitor the effectiveness of my program. As the rest of the Gang has stated, I ALSO look at average percentages and what I look in the mirror. Tanita and Omron are PRETTY solid companies, have been the long-term players in this Body Composition measurement game for quite some time, and are ALWAYS improving their products. By the way…placing a plate in your hand totally changes the impedence characteristics FROM which and BY which the instruments have been tested and calibrated.