Your browser isn't supported
It looks like you're using an old web browser. To get the most out of the site and to ensure guides display correctly, we suggest upgrading your browser now. Download the latest:

Welcome to the MSE Forums

We're home to a fantastic community of MoneySavers but anyone can post. Please exercise caution & report spam, illegal, offensive or libellous posts/messages: click "report" or email forumteam@.

Search
  • FIRST POST
    • sickasachip13
    • By sickasachip13 18th Sep 17, 4:57 PM
    • 1,173Posts
    • 1,510Thanks
    sickasachip13
    BMI / Body fat - confusion
    • #1
    • 18th Sep 17, 4:57 PM
    BMI / Body fat - confusion 18th Sep 17 at 4:57 PM
    Hi there, I'm new to this area of the forum and I'm hoping someone will take pity on me and help me get my head round something! I've lost approx 14kgs over the past 18 months - it's been slow and steady and I've now held this weight for the past 6 months or so. I've reached (just) a normal BMI but have what is described as an obese level of body fat - but low visceral fat (thankfully).

    Female
    age 46
    Height 5' 4'
    Size 12 bottm, 14 top
    Weight 66kgs
    BMI 24.6
    Visceral fat 6
    Body fat 38.4%
    (I have checked my body fat on two different machines and they came out within 1% of each other, so I do think it's accurate)

    I'm really quite strong and have good cardio. I exercise in the gym 2 / 3 times per week. Do yoga. I walk 11k steps at least five days per week, and include on average 30-40 flights of stairs. I can walk 15-20 miles, up and down hills without difficulty and without many aches the next day.

    What's going on? I would like to lose a bit more weight but these fat results have really got me down tbh.

    If I got my fat down to a normal range, what would the weight loss be? Or is it about converting more fat to muscle. Any thoughts/info/advice gratefully received.

    Cheers!
    Last edited by sickasachip13; 18-09-2017 at 5:04 PM.
Page 1
    • zx81
    • By zx81 18th Sep 17, 6:33 PM
    • 13,691 Posts
    • 14,160 Thanks
    zx81
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:33 PM
    • #2
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:33 PM
    You can't convert fat to muscle. It would be like trying to convert butter to steak.

    But by increasing your muscle mass as well as losing weight, you would more quickly change your body fat %.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 18th Sep 17, 6:50 PM
    • 1,490 Posts
    • 3,132 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:50 PM
    • #3
    • 18th Sep 17, 6:50 PM
    Do you feel in decent shape yourself? That's all that matters.
    • theoretica
    • By theoretica 18th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    • 4,889 Posts
    • 6,114 Thanks
    theoretica
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    • #4
    • 18th Sep 17, 9:19 PM
    Those body fat reading machines are extremely inaccurate. They will have given similar results because they work the same way, not because they are necessarily right.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
    • AirJoe
    • By AirJoe 20th Sep 17, 3:25 PM
    • 59 Posts
    • 45 Thanks
    AirJoe
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:25 PM
    • #5
    • 20th Sep 17, 3:25 PM
    BMI and weight are not good measures of health so for a start, I'd stop worrying about either.

    Lowering body fat percentage to a healthy range is a good thing (regardless of how fit you are according to recent research) so you can keep aiming to do that but, as alluded to by theoretica, the only reliable way to get a reading is with skin fold calipers. For all our technology body fat reading is not something we've cracked.

    That said I personally think a mirror comes a close second for measuring (subcutaneous) body fat and is quicker than skin fold calipers.

    As to how you achieve your goals, you crucially omit to mention anything about diet. A clean diet will make a big difference in both body shape and how you feel. If you think there's some improvements to be made there (I recommend natural, whole foods over reduced fat or 'diet' products) then give that a try and see if it makes a difference.

    You've clearly made some good progress on your strength and aerobic fitness. If you think that's reached a plateau then look to increase the intensity of some of it. Increase the weight of your lifts, replace some walking with running. I think you've reached a stage where step counts will be fairly meaningless. They're a good measure when walking is all a trainee can manage but once you've reached a basic level of fitness increasing step count will have a fairly minimal impact.

    Bottom line is you're doing great and now you just need to kick a few things up a notch and you'll see even more progress!
    • Robinio
    • By Robinio 27th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • 8 Posts
    • 2 Thanks
    Robinio
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    • #6
    • 27th Sep 17, 12:27 PM
    The only true way to get body fat percentage is to use a DEXA body scan. I did this. I can see my abs, and looked relatively "toned" but turns out I was 25% bodyfat, which is classed as overweight, boderline obese!

    What work are you doing in the gym?

    Ideally, you need to be lifting heavy weights - large compound moves such as deadlift, squat and bench press. Don't worry, you won't turn into the hulk, but it will help tremendously!
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 5th Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    • #7
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:31 PM
    Hi there, I'm new to this area of the forum and I'm hoping someone will take pity on me and help me get my head round something! I've lost approx 14kgs over the past 18 months - it's been slow and steady and I've now held this weight for the past 6 months or so. I've reached (just) a normal BMI but have what is described as an obese level of body fat - but low visceral fat (thankfully).

    Female
    age 46
    Height 5' 4'
    Size 12 bottm, 14 top
    Weight 66kgs
    BMI 24.6
    Visceral fat 6
    Body fat 38.4%
    (I have checked my body fat on two different machines and they came out within 1% of each other, so I do think it's accurate)

    I'm really quite strong and have good cardio. I exercise in the gym 2 / 3 times per week. Do yoga. I walk 11k steps at least five days per week, and include on average 30-40 flights of stairs. I can walk 15-20 miles, up and down hills without difficulty and without many aches the next day.

    What's going on? I would like to lose a bit more weight but these fat results have really got me down tbh.

    If I got my fat down to a normal range, what would the weight loss be? Or is it about converting more fat to muscle. Any thoughts/info/advice gratefully received.

    Cheers!
    Originally posted by sickasachip13
    It would be helpful if you explained which methods you used to measure body fat. If it was two models of the same machine, it's not surprising you got the same result (reliable, but not necessarily valid). If they were different methods (e.g., BA and skinfolds), I would trust the validity of the average of the two a little more.

    Also, how do you know you have low visceral fat? You'd only know this if you had some sort of scan (DXA or MRI).

    BMI is a seriously over-used method for indicating body fatness. It is relatively accurate for prepubescent children and some women, but not for men.It really should be used very cautiously at the individual level.

    It may simply be that the machines are inaccurate. Or you may be one of the "skinny fat" members of the population. Or you may not be genetically programmed to respond to exercise (a low-responder). Also, if you don't mind disclosing, what race are you? Typically, BMI overestimates fatness in people of Afro-Caribbean origin, but underestimates people of Asian origin (as they racially tend to be more "skinny-fat")
    • dunroving
    • By dunroving 5th Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • 506 Posts
    • 201 Thanks
    dunroving
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    • #8
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:35 PM
    You can't convert fat to muscle. It would be like trying to convert butter to steak.

    But by increasing your muscle mass as well as losing weight, you would more quickly change your body fat %.
    Originally posted by zx81
    You are 100% correct. I think that what this sometimes means in practice is that someone changes their diet and starts exercising, but doesn't lose weight. They lose fat and gain muscle, so it seems like they "converted" fat to muscle, whereas they have (sort of) "replaced" fat with muscle.
    • Quizzical Squirrel
    • By Quizzical Squirrel 5th Oct 17, 1:46 PM
    • 114 Posts
    • 4,053 Thanks
    Quizzical Squirrel
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:46 PM
    • #9
    • 5th Oct 17, 1:46 PM
    Are you using those step-on scales for assessing?

    Like you, I'm pear shaped and I get a higher reading on the step-on scales than when I'm using an arm-held impedance device.

    This is because the step-on is only measuring the bottom half of my body, which is fattier, whereas the arm-held one measures my leaner (but regrettably puny) upper body only.

    These devices really aren't intrinsically accurate.
Welcome to our new Forum!

Our aim is to save you money quickly and easily. We hope you like it!

Forum Team Contact us

Live Stats

677Posts Today

6,303Users online

Martin's Twitter
  • RT @LordsEconCom: On Tuesday Martin Lewis, Hannah Morrish & Shakira Martin gave evidence to the Cttee. Read the full transcript here: https?

  • Ta ta for now. Half term's starting, so I'm exchanging my MoneySavingExpert hat for one that says Daddy in big letters. See you in a week.

  • RT @thismorning: Can @MartinSLewis' deals save YOU cash? ???? https://t.co/igbHCwzeiN

  • Follow Martin