I Got Dunked! My First Hydrostatic Body Fat Test
Yesterday I got my first hydrostatic body fat test. Since my Whole30 ended I’ve been anxious to know what my body fat percentage is and I’ve been wanting to get an accurate body fat test. Every time I’ve been measured on my doctor’s body fat test scale, I’ve been very disappointed with the results. How could I lose nearly 20 pounds to date and yet my body fat has only dropped from 33% to 30%? It didn’t make sense to me. My doctor uses a body fat scaled called Tanita Body Composition Analyzer. You step on the big metal scale and it calculates your weight and body fat. On the day I went in to get my bloodwork checked after whole30, I was at 29.9%! I didn’t understand how all the inches I’ve lost since April (including 2 pant sizes) and perfect eating for 30 days couldn’t even get me to a healthy body fat ratio. It was discouraging to think I was eating so perfect yet still considered borderline unhealthy as far as body fat was concerned. I needed to better understand what was going on with me. Frankly, I was worried.
The more people I talked to, the more I learned that the method I was using to test myself was inaccurate. I told my coworkers about my body fat level being at 29.9% and they said there is no way. They even took my measurements (they are clothing designers) and used the Navy Body Fat calculator to show me what my body fat was. According to my measurements, the Navy test said I was at 24%. While that was flattering, I didn’t know what to believe anymore.
I’m a big fan of research and the more I researched the more I learned about hydrostatic weighing and hydrostatic body fat testing. It is considered the gold standard of body fat testing and the most accurate body fat test. They basically place you in a “dunk tank” underwater for 5 Seconds and measure your body fat. And because you’re submerged in water it doesn’t mix up water weigh for fat like a lot of other body fat tests do. Awesome.
I went online to bodyfattest.com which is a mobile hydrostatic body fat test. They pull right up to a location and measure your fat. Sweet. I saw they were going to be at a gym called Crossfit Intrepid in El Segundo this week. I made an appointment and went. When I got there I went into the changing room and hanged into my bikini and got weighed. I was surprised my weight was at 140 pounds because lately I’ve been around 138 in the middle of the day. But I did drink a lot of water that morning so it could have been water weight. And honestly, I didn’t even care if my weight was higher as long as my body fat was down. Then he took my height. Then I got in a bathtub like contraption and sat with my legs out in front of me and put a weight belt over my knees. Then it was time to get dunked!
For the dunking part I had to plug my nose, lean back, and completely submerge myself in water while blowing all the air out of my body until I had nothing left. Then the guy would tap the tank and I would know to come up. I had to do it enough times until he got two consistent readings. I ended up doing it three times. It was a little weird blowing out all my air like that but I did what I had to do.
After that I got dressed and they shared my results with me. The hydrostatic body fat test showed that I am at 23.5% body fat…23.5%! This is a difference of almost 7% from what my doctor had me at! That was such exciting and relieving news to me. I almost wanted to cry tears of happiness! I told the tester that my doctors scale had me at 29.9% and he said there’s no way. Last week my trainer at the gym and all my coworkers told me there’s no way I’m 29%. I thought they were just being nice, and maybe for some reason I just have a hard time losing fat. I am SO happy to learn my hard work IS paying off and this is not the case. Music to my ears! Here are my ratios by the numbers:
Body Fat: 32.85 lbs, 23.5%
Lean Body Mass: 107.35, 76.55%
I asked the guy Brian who did my body fat test a lot of questions. I told him about my doctor’s body fat test and where I was at and he said he had me in a very different place. My doctor had me aiming to be between 24-26% body fat and right now I’m even below that. WOW! I am just so thrilled beyond words. My whole life I’ve struggled with high body fat levels and now I’m finally reaping the benefits of my hard work. I’m just so happy. I just can’t believe it. Never in my life have my body fat levels been considered “good.” This is just the best news ever. Now I’m very anxious to get my blood work results back from my doctor and see how my cholesterol is doing. I will continue to keep you all posted on my progress!
So what’s next? Well, I am going to continue to stay on the clean eating path and participate in the Whole Life Challenge for the next 7 weeks. From there I am going to work on toning up and getting strong. I am okay with gaining weight if it means I will become leaner but right now I’m just going to soak in and enjoy the progress I’ve made to date. Onward!
What about you? Have you ever had a hydrostatic body fat test? How do you measure body fat? What do you think is the most accurate? Post in the comments and let me know!