T Nation

Low Tanita readings

I’ve read all the experiences with the Tanita scales posted over the last year and I’ve owned a Model 612 for many months. Now from what I remember people generally say that they read high when compared to say calipers and thats been true for me too. But…I recently increased my water consumption by 40-60oz/day and after about a week my bodyfat reading went from a consistant 14% to a consistant 10%. Calipers say I’m around 12% using 3-point. Should I believe the new readings over the old readings? Which is more realistic?

I reckon that my Tanita reads 4-5% above actual under normal hydration. Well I hope so anyway:)

By increasing your water consumption, you have increased your fat-free mass compartment (water, muscle, bone). Therefore, your weight will go up by 2-3 lbs and your %body fat will drop slightly. Did you lose any fat by increasing your water intake? NO! Did you gain muscle by increasing your water intake? NO! You changed your fluid balance and unfortunately, that is how bioelectrical impedance works. The skinfolds will do a better job at keeping track of your actual fat mass. As for which one to use or believe, stick with the skinfolds because bodybuilders have way too much fluid variation within a day to get precise and reliable readings from a tanita scale or any bioelectrical impedance device.


i just used a Tanita (the best one they make) and it said i was 21.5% bodyfat. with calipers i measure out to about 10% and i’m probably more like 12-13%. these scales are useless. i’m not fat, i’m defined every place on my body with slightly visble abs but only place i have some fat is my stomach. again, these scales are retarded.