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Weight Loss
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Are online bodyfat% calculators accurate?

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You've probably seen them.  The ones that ask for measurements of different parts of your body and then tell you an estimate of your body fat %?

Anyways I was just wondering if anyone knows how reliable these are.  I keep reading that your BMI isn't always accurate since it doesn't take into consideration your body frame type, or athletic attributes.  So, I thought maybe I would look at how much work I still need to do based on my bodyfat %

I was not happy with the results.  According to my BMI I am around 21.9 -which is healthy.

According to several of the bodyfat calculators I have a range of about 29-32% bodyfat, which is almost overweight.

My stats:
female, age 34
weight 140, height 5'7"

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Not very accurate - I'd take them with a grain of salt.

At 5'7" and 140, I would suspect it's nearly impossible that you're 30% fat.  Unless you've got fat in place of your bones or something...

Even those scales that shoot the current through you are pretty inaccurate.  If you really want a good test, get hydrostatically weighed - where they put you in a pool and weigh you.  That's the only truly accurate one I know of.

I've had one tell me my body fat was 33% and another said 26% using the same measurements.  Does that sound accurate? considering you've had the same issues I'd say NO

Yeah, I am 5'8 and weigh 137 and the online calculators say I have between 25-29% body fat. I am not sure how accurate that is and I can't get professionally measured. Does anyone know an accurate calculator or scale that I can use?

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Maybe not 100% accurate, but gives you a rough idea. Weight in terms of lbs shows no indication for how much body fat you have. For example, I may weight 200 lbs, while someone else weights 150 and they can have a higher body fat % than I do.

Plus the average woman who maintains a regular weight, can have up to 32% of body fat, anything over 32% is considered obese.

Sounds like you probably have an above average amount of muscle for your age, gender, and weight. This would make most online calculators inaccurate for you since they are based on averages.

If you really want to get an accurate body fat percentage, find a local Bod Pod. It's the next best thing to hydrostatic weighing and tests cost only about $40.

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