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Thread: Tanita vs reality

  1. #1
    Senior Member hemants's Avatar
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    Tanita vs reality

    Using the male athelete setting I get a range of 16% morning to 11.5% evening. I would say that my actual is probably in the neighbourhood of 13-14%.

    Has anyone ever reality checked their tanita?

    Anyone else have a feel for how it behaves?
    If the only thing you are holding is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.

  2. #2
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    Do a search on Tanita...lots of past discussions and info that may be helpful. One reading doesn't really tell you much.

    I could give all to Time except - except
    What I myself have held. But why declare
    The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
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    And what I would not part with I have kept.

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  3. #3
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    They are totally inaccurate. Most will agree they're only useful for tracking changes. I question whether they are even good for that. If you do it right when you wake up and have eaten and drank the same every night before, maybe. But mine goes all over the place, 19-26%. It's been lower when my pants fit tighter and I'm 10lbs heavier. I'm 6'2" 207lbs and bench more than my bodyweight for reps, so I frickin doubt I'm borderline obese. By the caliper method I'm 11.5%, but that's not much better in my case because I bet I'm never pinching the same spot twice. I really need to look up the formula for 3 different areas with calipers, because that's the best you're gonna do without underwater testing.

    I just saw you have one with the athlete setting. Maybe that one's gonna be more accurate. I didn't think I wanted that one because I wasn't "extremely fit", like athlete level. But maybe anyone who has actual muscle mass and keeps themselves hydrated should have one.

  4. #4
    . Delphi's Avatar
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  5. #5
    You can call me Gohan wolfpack's Avatar
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    by calipers i was 13% today i got on a scale and was 18%, i really doubt i'm as high as 18 so I'm really planning on relying on calipers and just using the scale for weight.
    damn it

  6. #6
    Senior Member geoffgarcia's Avatar
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    how can you guys all use the product without knowing how it works?
    I recommend reading the manual or the technical papers on how it works.

    It explains clearly why there can be large differences in readings.

    Its not something you just hop on when the mood gets you...

  7. #7
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    I correlated mine with caliper readings over a period of a few months. Remember than one piece of data is not useful...you need at least a small data set (like 20-30 numbers) to get a feeling for the amount of natural variation in the numbers, which in this case would be a combination of variation due to the measuring device AND in hydration. Once I was able to get a feel for the natural variation in the Tanita readings, I used the mean (average) reading and compared it to calipers readings taken by a technician at my gym (error possibilities here too but I couldn't measure those without asking the poor person to measure 25-30 times in a month like I could with the scale). I found that in general, for me, the Tanita read at about +3-4% (on athlete mode, in the evening before eating/drinking) over the caliper readings, which may themselves be off by 3%, so it's hard to get an absolute number without underwater weighing or DEXA.

    I think too many people get caught up in wanting/believing in a 100% accurate number from a measurement, when all measurements are inherently variable. I think you have to pick a method, learn about how to minimize error in the method, and eliminate as many possible sources of error as you can, and then just be consistent with taking readings and tracking them over time.

    MOST people tend to underestimate their body fat using any method, especially those who say "I go by the mirror." The mirror is a qualitative assessment and not very accurate UNLESS you are a trained professional who assesses body fat on a regular basis and has developed a very good, objective eye for that sort of thing.

    If you understand data and what it can tell you/can't tell you, it takes a lot of the emotion and subjectivity out of the process. If you get hung up on taking one reading and freaking out about what it may or may not be telling you, then you are better off not bothering.
    Last edited by IceRgrrl; 10-08-2003 at 10:08 AM.

    I could give all to Time except - except
    What I myself have held. But why declare
    The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
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    And what I would not part with I have kept.

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  8. #8
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    Originally posted by wolfpack
    by calipers i was 13% today i got on a scale and was 18%, i really doubt i'm as high as 18 so I'm really planning on relying on calipers and just using the scale for weight.
    Do a bunch more readings like that and if the scale consistently reads +5% over the calipers, then you know to just subtract 5% from the scale reading. Of course there's also the error in your caliper readings to think about...those aren't absolute measurements either.

    I could give all to Time except - except
    What I myself have held. But why declare
    The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
    I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There,
    And what I would not part with I have kept.

    --Robert Frost

  9. #9
    En botella whey! Max-Mex's Avatar
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    I think Icer should be a Tanita spokesperson.
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  10. #10
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    Nope, not pimping Tanita, just trying to shed some rational light on data and measurement systems...it's my math/science/engineering background coming out. It's important to know what tools can do for you and what they can't do. And then with weight/body fat, there's that whole emotional/wish component.
    Last edited by IceRgrrl; 10-14-2003 at 05:10 AM.

    I could give all to Time except - except
    What I myself have held. But why declare
    The things forbidden that while the Customs slept
    I have crossed to Safety with? For I am There,
    And what I would not part with I have kept.

    --Robert Frost

  11. #11
    Rollin Dubs HORNEDFROGS07's Avatar
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    Where can I get a good, cheap set of calipers? Academy maybe?

    I've got the scales (+/- 5%) and I usually measure out at 9-10%, but the weight is dead on accurate. The other day, I was in the training room here and decided to measure with the handheld electrical BF monitor (+/- 7%), and came up with something like 15-16%. If you do the math on that, it comes out to something like 12.73% (by the mirror, I'd estimate myself in the 11-13% range, so it's pretty close to my perception). Think this sounds like an accurate method?
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