I'm 26 & 5'5" (6weeks postpartum). I weigh 180lbs, BMI of 29 & 27% fat. My goal weight was 140 till I started doing some math. If I lose 40lbs of fat I'll only have about 9lbs of fat left. Not what I want, not aiming for body builder status. So my question is how accurate is fat% using measurements & what should be a good goal weight?

1 Answer 1


Fat percentage by measurements is towards the lower end of the scale dor reliable and accurate.

The order generally goes (with the caveat that the tester must be trained/experienced)

  1. DEXA scan
  2. Underwater weighing
  3. 9 site caliper (there are also 7 5 and 3 site methods, with accuracy decreasing)
  4. Measurements
  5. Bioelectric impedence (note: while it can be inaccurate, the same machine will generally give the same error rate, so it can be used to track trends).

As far as goal weight, that is going to be highly personal, and somewhat irrelevant. I would rather have someone pursue a picture of what they want to look like. An arbitrary weight goal may be unhealthy, unattainable or not allow you to enjoy life. If you are happy with how you look and are fit enough to enjoy life and your pursuits, that is a goal to shoot for. Only worry about a specific weight if it matters for something else.

  • Very much in agreement on target weights. Until you've been exercising for a bit, you don't really know what your body's comfortable weight range is given muscle mass increases and body fat decreases.
    – Eric
    Jun 22, 2017 at 15:09
  • -1 due to lack of sources and an incomplete list.
    – Mike-DHSc
    Aug 31, 2017 at 22:52

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