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  1. #1
    Registered User afrizelle's Avatar
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    Question Question - visceral vs subcutaneous fat

    I read an article today that differentiated between visceral fat: internal, packed around organs; and subcutaneous fat: the jiggly stuff under the skin.

    My question - Can calipers accurately calculate total body fat if they are only measuring skinfolds, which would account for subcutaneous fat only?

    Are there any experts out there who can explain? I wonder if visceral fat disappears first, and subcutaneous after? How do you truly know if you have a healthy level of fat?

    Background - I have a Tanita bodyfat scale that tells me I have 28% bodyfat. With calipers, I get a reading of approx 18%. I decided to dismiss the scale. Are they both potentially correct? (Or possibly I just am an amateur with the calipers.)

    Help?
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  2. #2
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Apparently others are concerned with this same issue. Check this sorry I just came across. http://lowfatcooking.about.com/od/he.../a/bodyfat.htm

    It appears that active people who avoid trans fat and keep saturated fat to a mimimum have less visceral fat than sedentary people who are thin.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Also, I saw a page claiming that the Tanita bodyfat scales measure all your bodyfat including the visceral.

    I don't know if there are any calliper methods that have any sort of allowance for possible visceral bodyfat amounts, although I would day they would all be guesses without beaing able to actually measure it.
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  4. #4
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Both calipers and bodyfat scales estimate the amount of visceral fat. Women have a lot more than men, which is why the estimation for both is a lot less if you have the same number and look at the men's chart.

    No, calipers cannot accurately measure bodyfat. You should use them to see whether you are getting fatter or skinnier.
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  5. #5
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    Both calipers and bodyfat scales estimate the amount of visceral fat. Women have a lot more than men, which is why the estimation for both is a lot less if you have the same number and look at the men's chart.

    No, calipers cannot accurately measure bodyfat. You should use them to see whether you are getting fatter or skinnier.
    Hey, on that note, if you are getting skinnier, it is assumend that you are pulling fat from visceral and subcutaneous at about even rates? or is that even known?
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  6. #6
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    I also wanted to add that I find the caliper estimates too low for me, and the scales too high. The handheld scales are too low. I think I'm basically somewhere in between all of them.
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  7. #7
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    I also wanted to add that I find the caliper estimates too low for me, and the scales too high. The handheld scales are too low. I think I'm basically somewhere in between all of them.
    The callipers seem to be pretty much on for me. I used some measurement method on line the other day and it came out the same as my callipers had. I was kind of supprised.
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  8. #8
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Todd_A View Post
    Hey, on that note, if you are getting skinnier, it is assumend that you are pulling fat from visceral and subcutaneous at about even rates? or is that even known?
    That's a good question. I would think that you'd lose and gain it proportionally. However, I know that you need a certain amount of visceral fat to function, whereas subcutaneous fat is unnecessary (I think).
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  9. #9
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    That's a good question. I would think that you'd lose and gain it proportionally. However, I know that you need a certain amount of visceral fat to function, whereas subcutaneous fat is unnecessary (I think).
    Well, as I was asking this, I started thinking about how you don't necessarily loose fat from all parts of your body at the same time. Sometimes it seems to all come from one area and other times from many areas.

    So, from that I would think maybe you dont loose visceral the same way and proportion as other fat. Who knows. I may have to google it. lol
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  10. #10
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Todd_A View Post
    The callipers seem to be pretty much on for me. I used some measurement method on line the other day and it came out the same as my callipers had. I was kind of supprised.
    My problem with the calipers is that I get vastly different numbers if I use one site versus many sites. My core is very lean and my limbs are chubby.
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  11. #11
    Pudgy Limping Moderator ctgblue's Avatar
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    problem is that everyone loses fat a different rates from different parts
    I know guys who get relatively ripped but cannot do a vacuum pose
    I found that, for me, I can still have love handles and get the vacuum pose done, but I will be down to around 10% for this. As soon as I break above 12%, I start to lose this ability almost immediately.
    Then there are a couple of guys I know who look flabby, but can pull off the vacuum.
    FYI, the only way to pull off a vacuum pose is when your visceral fat is low enough to allow you to suck your abs up into the cavity a good ways (I almost went with this last show, but had not practiced it enough)
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  12. #12
    on a 9-month bulk Tiffany_P's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Todd_A View Post
    Well, as I was asking this, I started thinking about how you don't necessarily loose fat from all parts of your body at the same time. Sometimes it seems to all come from one area and other times from many areas.

    So, from that I would think maybe you dont loose visceral the same way and proportion as other fat. Who knows. I may have to google it. lol
    Really? I thought you did lose fat from all parts of your body at the same time, even though it doesn't seem like it. I remember back when I was tracking caliper numbers, I thought I was losing weight everywhere except my thighs. Turns out I had lost the same percentage of fat everywhere, but my thighs still had a lot of fat remaining whereas other areas were quite lean.
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  13. #13
    Registered User Todd_A's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Tiffany_P View Post
    Really? I thought you did lose fat from all parts of your body at the same time, even though it doesn't seem like it. I remember back when I was tracking caliper numbers, I thought I was losing weight everywhere except my thighs. Turns out I had lost the same percentage of fat everywhere, but my thighs still had a lot of fat remaining whereas other areas were quite lean.
    Well, in your case you were at a point where it was all coming off from many places at once.
    I have taken measurements where some changed and others did not. Or some moved more than others.

    Here is something I just read in a pretty good article from USA Today...

    It appears that visceral fat could be the first kind of fat to be lost when you lose weight through exercise, McTiernan says.

    Research by Ross of Queen's University showed that men who became more active lost a significant amount of this fat and reduced their waist size. These studies might help explain why some people who begin exercise programs say their pants fit better, but they're not noticing much weight loss, Church says.


    Here is the link http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/...fat-usat_x.htm
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    Lightbulb Thanks to you all

    Quite an active dialogue I started! Thanks Todd, Tiffany & ctgblue for your information and interest - that does help.

    Since I used to be obese, I'm wondering how I tell if I'm really healthy now. I eat clean and am very active with cardio, sports and lifting. Is there any way of knowing, without having an MRI done, how healthy I am with regard to body fat?
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