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Is it worth buying a 'Fat Scale'?

(62 Posts)
Rowantree Fri 17-Jul-20 17:30:38

Is it worth buying one of those body fat scales or are they for entertainment only? I've seen mixed reviews on Amazon. I can't afford - and wouldn't spend - some of the high prices advertised and would prefer to keep it under £35. Is that pointless?
Feel free to guffaw/snort and tell me I'd be wasting my money and why - or that you bless the day you got one because it's a real game-changer.

Riverwalk Fri 17-Jul-20 18:22:35

Wouldn't be worth it for me as I know than any excess weight that showed on the scales would be fat - not heavy bones or toned muscle, but fat, unfortunately!

I'm not sure what purpose they would serve - tell you you have a certain % of body fat, then what?

Maybe someone has a more positive opinion!

PamelaJ1 Fri 17-Jul-20 19:17:31

River walk, I don’t have a more positive opinion, I agree with you.
IMO if you look fat, feel fat and your clothes don’t fit then the chances are that you are putting on fat.
Muscle weighs more than fat but takes up less space. So if you are looking leaner and weighing more it’s because you have been exercising. You probably know if you have been to the gym.

GrannyLaine Fri 17-Jul-20 19:54:15

I guess it would depend on what you would do with the information? Personally, I'd prefer not to know!

janeainsworth Fri 17-Jul-20 20:00:25

I think you might want to know, and might want to monitor the proprtion of your weight that was due to fat.
If you’ve lost weight, how do you know whether you’ve lost muscle or fat?
I’ve read recently that the single most important thing over 70’s can do health-wise is maintain muscle mass, by exercising and by eating enough protein.

GrannyLaine Fri 17-Jul-20 20:59:40

janeainsworth its true that that is the theory. But it isn't the way I roll. Each to their own.

janeainsworth Sat 18-Jul-20 09:53:04

Grannylaine I guess some people like to take responsibiilty for their own health & some don't. I was just responding to the OP's question about whether it's worth knowing your body composition.

Rowantree Sat 18-Jul-20 11:40:23

I'm curious because I'm worried about visceral fat which you can't see, but is supposed to be dangerous for health. Also i want to know whether I'm on the right track exercise and diet-wise. I think I am, but it would be good to know how much muscle is building. I am ashamed to admit that I was in the obsese category for my height, and have been struggling with weight problems for years, but at the start of lockdown I decided this was a perfect opportunity to take responsibility for my own health. My diet is now mainly plant-based where I can, with a wide range of foodstuffs, pulses, beans, grains, and lots of fresh veggies and fruit. Also lots of water. I do workouts three or four times weekly with a local teacher (from home!) and Pilates three days a week, plus a 60+ cardio and strength session. Worth every penny. It's hard work but I am now losing weight and feeling stronger. Maybe that should be enough, but I still want to open the oven door and see what's cooking!

janeainsworth Sat 18-Jul-20 12:20:10

Rowantree that sounds as though you’re doing brilliantly. I love Pilates. After lockdown started I was feeling very low & listless. Our Pilates teacher started an online class and doing the class each week, plus some during the week in my own, has made such a difference to how I feel.
Yes visceral fat is a concern. I remember Michael Mosley talking about it in his programmes.
I’ve thought about getting those scales in the past but not bothered - perhaps now I will. Thanks for the nudge smile

Riverwalk Sat 18-Jul-20 13:05:40

As a 5'2" apple, currently normal weight, I know well the problem of visceral fat as that's where people like me store the excess!

As anyone who has a weight problem knows it's impossible, as far as I know, to lose weight from your particular problem areas, and not affect other areas. For example, I've recently lost my Lockdown 5lbs, but I fear it's gone from my face and breasts, rather than my abdomen.

The cups of my bra are loose - not a good look, and my waistband is just as tight!

From what I've read of the medical literature it's not possible to target and succeed with specific areas - I wish it were.

timetogo2016 Sat 18-Jul-20 13:10:13

I don`t need fat scales to inform me of the obvious.
Don`t waste your money.

janeainsworth Sat 18-Jul-20 13:49:12

I don`t need fat scales to inform me of the obvious

The point is that it isn’t always obvious, Timetogo. You can look as though you’re not overweight, have a ‘normal‘ BMI but still have a high proportion of fat in your body.

Whether that actually matters in itself I don’t know, but if it means that you have a low muscle mass it would concern me.

GrannyLaine Sat 18-Jul-20 21:09:50

Rowantree sounds brilliant and answers my point perfectly. We all see and do things differently but that doesn't mean that I don't take responsibility for my health. What do you think you will do about the scales?

Hymnbook Sun 19-Jul-20 09:12:18

I bought these scales l can't fathom out how to work them.

Beanie654321 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:12:27

If it makes you happy then yes. Its upto individuals. Well done and good luck. Xx

minxie Sun 19-Jul-20 09:23:11

Muscle doesn’t weigh more than fat, it’s just more dense. A lb of feathers weighs the same as lb of lead

Alypoole Sun 19-Jul-20 09:24:43

Mine has all those options on it but I don’t know how to use any of them.

CleoPanda Sun 19-Jul-20 09:32:16

I’ve had and used these scales for over six years. Mine are called Weght Watchers and were bought online. I use them all the time for monitoring just my weight.
Also use them for checking parcels by standing on them with the package!!
I try to eat healthily and exercise but every 18 months or so, I seem to slip - make excuses for not walking, eat cakes every day etc. I think I’ve always been like this! Then I start to feel sluggish & put on weight.
These scales motivate me to get back to my healthy routine. I use the fat analyser to shock me into action! It really does help me to see the readings and feel that sense of urgency to stop it getting worse.
Before I had the scales, I would only think about doing something when I could no longer get into my clothes - meaning a long slog to get back to a healthy weight.
For me, they are definitely worth the cost!
The booklet explains everything about fat monitoring. You may need to read it many times!! However, once it clicks, it’s very straightforward.
Every time I restart the fat analysis, because it’s been over a year, I have to read the booklet and refresh myself as to how to set the scale.
For me, I pretty much know I’m eating badly but can’t seem to stop. Reading the figures; seeing the proof, kick starts me.
It’s probably reassuring for others to see that they’re doing a good job.

Anne9054 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:33:57

These were investigated on “trust me I’m a doctor” and it was discovered they only measure the fat content in legs not elsewhere. For this reason I haven’t bothered though would love to know how much fat I’m actually carrying

sarahcyn Sun 19-Jul-20 09:37:15

Rowantree you are doing a fantastic job with exercise. Surely you can be confident your health is improving without a gadget to tell you?
I'm a total sucker for gadgets that claim to link up to an app on my phone (car Internet, fat measuring scales, cctv - you name it) and apart from my Fitbit they never seem to work. Even the Fitbit has wonky moments.

Nannan2 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:38:55

Why not ring your drs surgery and ask for a chat with the surgery nurse? Or even your drs advice? (over phone if they arent back to normal appts yet?) Ive noticed that when they weigh people at hosp visits (when they weigh/measure prior to going in for appt) they dont always have digital scales that do all that- theyre mostly just 'common' old type scales that read only weight, but not body mass etc? And its not just what you eat but when- i was told i was doing it all wrong by only eating one main meal later in day as the body puts itself into 'starvation mode' and then increases on fat! (Nurse in orthapeadic clinic told me that) But have a chat with the surgery nurse or someone first- see what they say- as you dont want to just get 'obsessed' with the fat on the scales as a body does need some body fat to function, just not huge excesses- theres a danger of becoming focussed only on that if its there showing you whenever you step on them.hmm

joesdadnick Sun 19-Jul-20 09:40:00

I have a set of smart scales from Withings, not cheap, but they do have discounts sometimes, several different ones, and they keep the readings on an app on phone/tablet, so you can keep track of weight/bodyfat/pulse/muscle/bone etc, , I myself have the top of the range only because they offered a discount at the time, but would recommend them, but a word of caution they are quite heavy bit of kit

joesdadnick Sun 19-Jul-20 09:40:14


Coolgran65 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:43:14

*minxie• you are correct that 1lb feathers weighs the same as 1lb lead.
However, 1 cubic foot of fat will weigh less than 1 cubic foot of muscle.
Hence muscle weighs more than fat. And one person can weigh more than another but be slimmer.

Nannan2 Sun 19-Jul-20 09:45:16

Im sure a quick chat with a nurse or your doc will advise wether its a good idea to buy one or not? Or maybe if they have one you could just pop in and have it checked along with a 'health check' when theyre back to all that as normal again? Much better to have the all round health picture maybe?(weight, blood pressure etc?)