A lot of people say that the TANITA body fat readings vary widely depending on the time of the day. YES, that's true. Imagine how I was feeling when for months (!) my body fat readings would be consistenly high even though I was making progress at the gym (lifting 4 times a week) and eating right (being on a proper diet). Then a few days ago I visited the UK site of the company and read this:
"Consistency is the key when taking your readings. The best time is in the early evening, before your meal. This is when your hydration level will be more stable.
Avoid taking readings after you've woken up in the morning. Not only will you be dehydrated, but also the majority of fluid in your body will be stored in the central trunk area. As the day progresses, the fluid becomes more evenly distributed through the limbs, increasing the accuracy of the readings.
Other factors which can affect your hydration level and the accuracy of the readings include:
Temperature The amount of exercise you've taken Menstruation (For more information, see An Important Message for Women) Medical conditions and medications Alcohol Caffeine Bathing patterns
Take your readings at the same time and under the same conditions every day. Look for the long-term trend - body fat levels change slowly over time" Source: http://www.tanita.co.uk/index.php?id=40
The PROBLEM with me was that I'd always take my readings very early in the morning, around 7/7:30 am... when my body, apparently, would be very dehydrated. The best time is early in the evening! Now that I started doing that - taking my readings early in the evening - I see much more acceptable fat percentages which nicely reflect my work at the gym and my diet!
But who wants to change their life to fit the needs of a scale? Most people way themselves in the morning. I have done so my whole life long. I'm naked just before heading into the shower. I'm not going to strip down every evening before dinner to get on a scale. Tanita should adjust their reading outs for the real world. If the readings change vastly during the day, then there should be an option to tell the scale when you weigh in (just like you can tell it your age and sex) then it should make adjustments. Alternatively it could have a calibration weight where, perhaps once a month you do step on it just before dinner to calibrate, but thereafter you step on it first thing in the morning.
BOTTOM LINE: I'm never going to weigh myself at 6:00 pm each day and neither will most customers. Tanita has a defect in their product if they think their customers will do otherwise.
You are being unreasonable, it's not Tanita's readings that need to be adjusted... that's just how our bodies work, you can't adjust the math to compensate for everyone. No one said you have to weigh yourself anyway. Keep weiging yourself in the morning, and jump on it before you use the bathroom at some point in the evening and get a bodyfat percentage... They aren't asking you to change your life around. These limitations are definitely the downside to this technology, but your other options for home bodyfat monitoring are Calipers or possible a tape measure and a decent formula... all of them have their own issues and those methods take a lot longer.
Well, that's the rub. It isn't about how much we weigh, it is about body composition. If all you want to know is how much you weigh, keep doing what you're doing now. It is about adjusting our lifestyles to get the results we want, and no one likes to hear that message. I think that using this scale accurately would be a really small step in the right direction, and a really big step away from the "what's your weight" demon!
That's helpful--I am not sure though what an "good level" of hydration is to ge the most accurate fat reading--50; 51? I got a difference of 1% fat difference with the 2 different levels of hydration during the later evening (would love to be the lower percentage raher than higher). I am trying to lose abou 5% of my body fat so a % point is a big deal. Any help is appreciated!