Tanita BF/TBW Scales

I did a Forum Search for "Tanita" and came up with nul so I thought I would ask if anyone has a Tanita scale.

**MODS: if this should be in product reviews, please move post. Sorry for misplacement!**

I am thinking of getting a Tanita Body Fat/Total Body Water scale to track my progress as far as weight loss and body comp is concerned. I've read about the BIA technology and it seems sound. I know that the home version is not going to give me anywhere near the accuracy that the sports medicine laboratories get, but I think it would offer a reasonable estimate of my body comp change over time. I have been monitoring my weight (which is not moving downward :( ) but would like to know more about how my body is changing over time. I am not a hard-ass data driven person, but numbers help to narrate my progress and can indicate where I might need to make changes in diet and training.

If you've had good/bad/indifferent experiences with the Tanita scales, please let me know. The investment of $80 is pretty big for me right now so I do not want to waste the money if the technology is bogus.

Thanks!
JGR
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
I have one, and we never use the function. Lemme know if you are interested in a scale trade or the like.
 
I have one and I think its worth the money.

Is it 100% accurate? no. What it has done for me though is this.

1. It gives me a starting point and a comparison between weight and body fat.

2. Weight goals are ok but body fat goal is probably healthier. Example. Say my weight goal was 170. I get to 170 but my body fat is 20%. What good was the 170 other than a short term goal maybe.

Or it could be the opposite. What if I set a weight goal to be 145, but at 155 my body fat was 7 or 8 %. No reason to continue.
that is the thing I seek, a measurement, reasonably accurate but not 100% (since I know I cannot ever be 100% sure), of my body fat%. I am a heavy betty right now, but I know my BF% is high. I could drop 30lbs. but still have a high BF%. I would rather drop 10 lbs. of fat but have a lower BF% and a healthier overall body composition. I just do not have a way to measure such things. I could invest in a caliper and take weekly measurements of the 9 or 10 benchmarks, but honestly I do not have that kind of patience.
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
don't know if this still is an issue, but...

I have one and I think its worth the money.

Is it 100% accurate? no. What it has done for me though is this.

1. It gives me a starting point and a comparison between weight and body fat.

2. Weight goals are ok but body fat goal is probably healthier. Example. Say my weight goal was 170. I get to 170 but my body fat is 20%. What good was the 170 other than a short term goal maybe.

Or it could be the opposite. What if I set a weight goal to be 145, but at 155 my body fat was 7 or 8 %. No reason to continue.


It becomes just another gimmick/toy to look at to keep you focused. I loved the HR monitor for a while but I will never put it back on. Once I reach my body fat goal I am sure I will stop using that function. 5 more % though. Thanks for reminding me:mad2: :mad2: :mad2:
I've been using one for about 4 years, and I'd generally agree with heythorp's words above.

Whether or not the BF measurement is accurate, as long as it's consistent, it's a worthy starting point for gauging progress. My experience is that the only substantial fluctuations occur in connection to hydration. It reads low when I'm dehydrated, which I assume is a conductivity issue.
 
Well I bought the Tanita scale and have been using it to track measurements on a daily basis (to do a 15-day average).

This thing is all over the place! One day I weigh 163 with 37.5% BF and the next I am 160 with 35% BF, and two days later up to 162.4 with 36% BF.

I know being female predisposes me to water retention during certain days which will skew both weight and BF measurements with this device, but I am starting to second guess my purchase.

My first 15-day average was completed this morning, with a net gain of 1.5% BF and a 0.3 lb loss of body weight. WTF?? I weigh-in at the same time, same way every morning: after bathroom, before breakfast, and wear the same type of clothes (t-shirt and lightweight shorts) every time.

I've been faithfully tracking my food intake also, and keep my calories between 1700 - 1800 daily even when I drink a beer or two - I give up something starchy somewhere else to make up for it. My exercise has increased in both frequency and duration but still no weight loss after 3 weeks. This is getting disappointing.

I know that you will sometimes gain weight as you increase exercise due to muscle mass increasing, etc. But after 3 weeks I am still seeing no changes and I know I am not putting on 1 pound of muscle a week to make up for 1 lbs of fat lost.

Is it me or the Tanita or am I just looking for results too soon?
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
Jigger:

Were you exercising regularly and cutting calories before you started using the scale?

FWIW - I noticed a 4 plus pound increase the first several weeks of dropping calories, weighing in, and regular exercise back in January. I didn't bother with BF measurements. This was after a real lackluster year of riding, and an indulgent holiday season. After about 4 weeks, the weight started to come off pretty quickly.

I thought that my body was going into "starvation" mode since I cut my caloric intake by an estimated 2500 calories per day. Norm suggested that the spike might have been water retention (by the muscles) due to increased exercise activity.

Shaggz
 

ChrisG

Unapologetic Lifer for Rock and Roll
*I'm not sure what the margin for error on the BF measurement is, but I assume it could easily be 2%+/-. Anybody have any definitive info on this?

*I've not seen such wild fluctuations in either my weight or BF, apart from when I know that I'm dehydrated.
 
Jigger:

Were you exercising regularly and cutting calories before you started using the scale?

FWIW - I noticed a 4 plus pound increase the first several weeks of dropping calories, weighing in, and regular exercise back in January. I didn't bother with BF measurements. This was after a real lackluster year of riding, and an indulgent holiday season. After about 4 weeks, the weight started to come off pretty quickly.

I thought that my body was going into "starvation" mode since I cut my caloric intake by an estimated 2500 calories per day. Norm suggested that the spike might have been water retention (by the muscles) due to increased exercise activity.

Shaggz
Hey Shaggz,

I thought that might be a possibility. On Friday morning I was 160.2 and today I was 163. In between I had a solid weekend of healthy eating, a 4 mile trail run, 8.5 mile MTB ride and day of household and lawn chores on Sunday. I thought for sure I would have dropped even a fraction of a pound but instead I was up 2.8. Maybe it is water retention from the exercise.

I think my next 15 day average will be more telling. I need to cut more calories each day and stop drinking. We'll see!
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
I think you should weight yourself every day, that's a good thing. I would make Friday my benchmark day though. What's my 15 day average every Friday? That's a better indication. When I have particularly big exercise weekends I've hit Monday as much as +4/5 before. By Friday everything is always evened out though. Over time you'll see a pattern and not be surprised by it. Monday in general is my heaviest day of the week.

Personally I've actually found a trend with salt that has surprised me. I've actually been a bit low on salt. I think we tend to accept the standard diet as containing plenty of salt because Americans in general eat a lot of processed foods. We eat a minimum of processed foods in our house and I bike in the realm of 8-12 hours a week now. So I've started trying to eat more salt after big exercise days and those spikes have seemed to lessen quite a bit. I also eat "right" immediately before/during/after my rides because I'm trying to get the most effectiveness out of what I do. I also think it helps "open up the engines" a bit to eat more around your exercise times. Otherwise I think you can get in the habit of teaching your body to shut down immediately when you stop because you simply don't give your body the energy it needs. But you also have to be able to turn it off and go back to fruits & veggies when the recovery window has closed.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
Good luck. I agree that the next cycle will be more telling.

How are you tracking calories? I was using a web-based program for several months, which gave all sorts of charts and diagrams illustrating the sources and %s of calories. I stopped once my diet was more consistent, and I could tell where my 50/25/25 ratios were coming from. Cutting back on the drinking really helps.
 

Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
Cutting back on the drinking really helps.
+1 on the no drinking. I held steady for 3 months after the All-A-Muchy race. I stopped drinking for 100 days and dropped almost 20 pounds. It's not that you can't maintain and have a few drinks. But it's hard to lose and drink at the same time.

As some of you know I used to be a big fat cow. I've lost weight in several stages. I went from the 285 realm to the low 180s that I am now. It basically went in 4 different stages: 285->250, 250->220, 220->200, and 200->183. Each time it was a little different. So what might have worked in the past won't always work now. The first jump was both the easiest and hardest. Same with this last jump, both easy and hard. I think each time you purge towards "a better self" you go through an easy/hard mix.
 
Good luck. I agree that the next cycle will be more telling.

How are you tracking calories? I was using a web-based program for several months, which gave all sorts of charts and diagrams illustrating the sources and %s of calories. I stopped once my diet was more consistent, and I could tell where my 50/25/25 ratios were coming from. Cutting back on the drinking really helps.
I use sparkpeople.com to get the same kind of breakdown you mention - a pie chart with % calories by nutrient group, etc.

For the past 4 weeks I've been weighing and measuring all my food - I bought a digital scale, measuring cups & spoons, and I pack most of my food for the day before I leave the house so I know what I am eating all day. The weekend is where it starts to fall apart, because I do not pack my measuring cups and scale to go places so I have to estimate my food intake. I aim for veggies and fruits mostly but Sunday morning is pancake day and even though the pancakes get flax meal, protein powder and fresh blueberries - well, they are still pancakes and I relish every bite.

Norm, you mentioned eating for recovery and I have a problem with that. On Saturday we did a ride at CR, 8.5 miles which for me at this stage of the year on a mountain bike is a lot of saddle time, and the ride was hard. I had a bottle of Accelerade with me for the ride and afterwards we split a banana-walnut muffin. About 2.5 hours later I had a green salad with chicken for lunch, which was not enough - I felt dizzy and hungry even after eating. I do not think I ate properly to recover after the ride, and missed "the window" so anything I ate afterwards would not have really hit the spot...

I get the shakes when I do not eat enough or often enough. On a normal day I eat 4-5 times about every 3-4 hours. Now that my activity is being ramped up I need to adjust that to compensate for energy I need yet still have a calorie deficit to lose weight...this game is getting complicated for me.
 

Shaggz

A strong 7
Do you mind me asking what you eat on an average day? You mentioned that you were around 1800 cals, which is where I am at now.
 
Do you mind me asking what you eat on an average day? You mentioned that you were around 1800 cals, which is where I am at now.
no problem. The last day I tracked 100% was Thursday May 3, 2007:

Breakfast: 2 Eggs scrambled, 1 T ketchup, 1 slice Wonder 100% Whole Weat Bread

Lunch: 4 cups Romaine Lettuce, 2Tbsp Lite Raspberry Walnut Dressing, 6 oz. grilled chicken, 20 grams Blue Cheese

Dinner: 5 oz skinless Chicken Breast baked w/ 1/2 cup chopped tomatoes and 2.5 oz lite mozz cheese, 2 cups romain lettuce with tomatoes and cucumber and 1T balsamic vinaigrette, 1 slice garlic bread (no cheese; I used the calories for Texas Toast as an estimator for the garlic bread serving)

Snacks for the day: 2/3 Luna Bar - Smores flavor, Stonyfield Farm FF chocolate yogurt, 1 large apple with 1Tbsp Almond butter

Breakdown according to sparkpeople: 1,784 cals, 152 g carbs, 67 g fat, 139 g protein

Too much food? When I say "tracked 100%" I mean use the computer program to get a breakdown of what I eat. I write down what I eat and when and estimate portions when I cannot measure - you know, deck of cards for meat, baseball for serving of rice, pretty much go unlimited when it comes to brocolli or leafy greens, etc.

But weekends do fall apart a bit on me since the schedule for activity and meals becomes more flexible on Saturday and Sunday.
 
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Shaggz

A strong 7
it doesn't seem like too much food. It seems like your protein intake is high and your carbs are low. Like you mentioned earlier, you will probably have to readjust your caloric intake to compensate for the increase in cycling activity.
 
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Norm

Mayor McCheese
Team MTBNJ Halter's
My thought would be: not enough fruit. Your snacks are going to add up fast that way. Luna bar (120) + yogurt (140) + almond butter (100) = 360., try to swap out some of those for fruit. The garlic bread also adds high-calorie/low-nutrition food.

There's a big contingent of people out there who think you don't need extra carbs for exercise. I tend to wind up near 50-60% carbs daily but some people eat far less than that.
 
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