Body Composition Analyzer--Allowed? Useful?


Alisonlcarver

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Body weight measurements are out for the Whole 30, but how about body composition (body water, fat %)?

 

Before starting my Whole 30, I went to see a nutritionist to discuss my upcoming endeavor and during the visit she put me on a Tanita Body Composition Analyzer.  It told me my weight, BMI, fat %, fat mass, and total body water.  She said that if I ever want to stop back into the office, even without an appointment, I could use the Tanita scale.  One instance that she said it might be useful is if I am ever feeling bloated or like I am retaining water, and just want to check with the scale to determine if my total body water has increased.

 

Are these scales allowed?

 

And do they provide useful information?

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Nope no useful information for your Whole 30 there, unless her machine has readouts for "are you full for 4-5 hours", "how is your energy", "did you sleep well last night", and "did that annoying itch/rash/stuffiness/brain fog/etc go away". And I'm thinking it doesn't.

 

Sorry I'm laughing a little because this is like a SWYPO with scales instead of food. 

 

Trust how you feel! :)

 

lucie

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I can definitely see the appeal for using the Tanita scale during your Whole30 - for reassurance! It can be scary to not have any objective feedback during the process to know what's happening in your body. 

 

The trouble with Tanita scales (and other scales that measure body composition in that way...) is that they are heavily influenced by water in the body. How much water we are retaining day to day varies according to many different factors - diet, stress, movement, hormones, etc. - and if you are retaining slightly more water and step on that scale, it will show up as a jump in body fat. It is inaccurate and not a helpful measurement. It can lead to a rollercoaster of emotions as your bodyfat % can vary so much from day to day using those scales. Our body fat level simply doesn't change that quickly. 

 

Totally get where you're coming from with the question, though! Not silly at all. 

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  • Whole30 Certified Coach

The Tanita ones are not the most accurate but they would be good for trending.  If you  can replicate fairly well your day before hydration, day before exercise and day of hydration from your first measurement you would have reasonable pre/post data.  

 

I assume you were asking for post W30 - I can't see why if you are going to get on a scale it can't be that one.  Hydration is the biggest variable in how those scales work so you'd really want to try to be as similar as you can to your hydration status for the first measurement.  

 

Now if you had gotten a DEXA scan or done some hydrostatic weighing those would be good data :)

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Ah I don't mean so much to be laughing AT you. More of... I recognize the thought process and the mental games behind the question. And recognize it as something our minds can do to fool us. And I speak from experience on this! I've had similar thoughts over the years. Hence my laughing.

It's amazing what power food and numbers can have over us. But MORE amazing is how good it feels to look that power in the eye and battle it down! So don't sweat the numbers, before or after whole 30.

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The trouble with Tanita scales (and other scales that measure body composition in that way...) is that they are heavily influenced by water in the body.

Heheh I had a BF% measurement as a component of a variety of tests for my work's insurance plan, and I purposefully gamed it by super-hydrating beforehand, and tested out at something ridiculous like 7%  :ph34r:

 

..... but ya, much like those bathroom scales that include a BF #, it's really only valuable as trend data.

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So if you are bloated and retaining water, your body fat % will be erroneously lower?

I can see how a scale like this would be useful for trending body water (to determine if weght gain is actual fat gain or just temporary water weight gain), but as far as a body fat measurement this doesn't seem useful to me at all now...

I'll stick with my NSV :)

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So if you are bloated and retaining water, your body fat % will be erroneously lower?

I can see how a scale like this would be useful for trending body water (to determine if weght gain is actual fat gain or just temporary water weight gain), but as far as a body fat measurement this doesn't seem useful to me at all now...

I'll stick with my NSV :)

 

 

Here is a helpful article about this method of body composition analysis. :) http://weightology.net/weightologyweekly/index.php/free-content/free-content/volume-1-issue-4-the-pitfalls-of-body-fat-measurement-parts-3-and-4-bod-pod-and-bioelectrical-impedance-bia/the-pitfalls-of-bodyfat-measurement-part-4-bioelectrical-impedance-bia/

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One of the things scales do, is get us measuring success by numbers (and numbers we know aren't very accurate).

 

For some people, Whole30 is the first time they've gone even a single day without weighing.

It can really mess with your head (many doctors won't take blood pressure after weighing patients), your stress levels and therefore your results.

 

If you're worried your scale is a temptation, have a friend hide it from you at their house :) It's only 30 days.

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