Weekly Check-In: 31% Body Fat

I’m switching it up this week. Instead of looking at the numbers on the scale, I’m going to post my body fat percentage which is 31% as of the last time I had it professionally checked. I knew my body fat would be high, and was actually expecting it to be a lot higher, but I’ll take 31%.

It will do for now as I have something to compare it to when I finally get to below 25% body fat. That’s my first BF % goal. Then I’d like to stay around 10% to 15% body fat consistently. If my body fat is 31% now, that means it must have been in the forties or even 50s before. Yikes.

How did I have my body fat measured? I went into the local Bally’s Total Fitness here in Tampa, FL. It’s located on Hillsborough Avenue and is the bigger of the two in the area. I walked in and asked for my BF to be tested. It was free, but then again, it wasn’t. I had to endure a tour of the gym and listen to the trainer pitch me on joining even after I told her that I wouldn’t be joining because I do my own thing at home. She was actually really pleasant and almost convinced me to attend a 5 AM bootcamp class for free. Almost!!!


So she weighed me, measured me, I held some X Box controller looking thing, and then she did some math. She also told me my BMI, but I don’t go by BMI since it’s a crock of s*!t. BMI strictly takes your height and weight then spits out some BMI number. It doesn’t take into account body fat, muscle or anything else. That means that if you look at Ronnie Coleman’s (the 1 million-time My Olympia) BMI,, he would be obese. I digress.

I’d like to eventually get a more official body fat percentage check. Maybe the one where you go into an egg-sphere or where you are under water. That would be nice.

For now this will do. I’ll actually be doing a visual self-check every day/week. No one knows my body better than me, so I’ll be inspecting it to see if there is fat reduction.

My body fat is 31%…mad higher than I’d like it to be, but we have to start somewhere.

What’s your bodyfat percentage?

About the Author

My name is Israel Lagares. I used to be the kind of guy that was always in shape, but over the last few years I've fallen off tremendously. This site is my final attempt to get back into shape. So far I've lost 70.4 lbs. Check out my weight loss chart, weight loss videos and progress pics. Follow my journey, those of others, and read our thoughts on various health topics. Share your thoughts, experience, and journey here on FMU.

Community Thoughts (24)

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  1. Hey Israel,

    I have some calipers somewhere but that is dependent on someone else taking measurements. I think body fat would probably be better than weight for measuring progress, especially if you are doing some form of anaerobic exercise (toning or bulking) as you weight might not change as fast as your percentage of fat. Anyway that’s what I’ve heard.

  2. John McMahonNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel,

    Feel good about the 31%, my last BF was 38%. Keep up the good work and that number will come down! Also, the Bod-pod (the “egg-sphere” you mentioned above) is awesome. My wife works at the Mayo Clinic here in Rochester, MN and their healthy living center has one. It’s as accurate, if not more so, than being submerged in water and a hell of a lot easier. Agreed about BMI, such a crock.

  3. MuataNo Gravatar says:

    Is, if the trainer didn’t use calipers on you, then your body fat % could be lower. The hand held BF% machines use the same technology (bio-impedance) as the Tanita scales. They are notoriously known to not give consistent results.

    In addition to looking in the mirror, use a simple tape measure to measure your neck, right bicep (mid-way point,) chest (across your nipples), stomach (across your navel), hips (across the middle of your butt), right thigh (mid-way point), right calf (mid-way), right wrist and ankle.

    These weekly measurements will excite you even more than the weight on the scale!

    As far as the BMI is concerned, it’s not that much of a crock when applied to the obese. Yes, if you’re a muscular athlete, then the BMI fails miserably.

    However, it is a good “guide” to use as you lose fat. No, it’s not the best, but when I was over 300+ pounds, having a BMI of 40+ was a good indicator that I was morbidly obese.

    Keep up the good work Is, and try measuring yourself …

    • Thanks for the info Mu, but for the majority of people (not pro athletes) over 300 lbs a good indicator of being morbidly obese is that you weigh 300 lbs and have tons of fat. A BMI of 40 isnt going to cause any revelations. lol.

      I’ll respectfully stick away from using BMI as an indicator of anything during my weight loss journey. Maybe once I get to a lower BF%, I’ll check my BMI to see if it indicates if I am obese or not. I recall when I was in military shape, 6 foot, 215 lbs. They said I was too fat. lol. Meanwhile I was like at 10% BF and was a beast on the chin ups, push ups, and running. But I digress (yet again)…

  4. Israel
    It is awesome your fight to loss weight, i have given up last time i tried. My fat perecentage actually is between 30 to 35…
    Just need to lose more pounds,

  5. Lately I’ve been moving away from the whole ‘measuring’ thing. Freeing oneself from the scales and measuring tape can be quite liberating sometimes.

    Good luck with your goal though, based on your body type at 10% body fat you’d be a ripped machine!

  6. Excellent!
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  7. SteveNo Gravatar says:

    My last body fat check was over the summer, and it was 39%. UGH!!!! Hoping to change that though.

  8. Freeing oneself from the scales and measuring tape can be quite liberating

  9. ShawnNo Gravatar says:

    That’s a great idea. I should check my BF % soon.

  10. AionNo Gravatar says:

    You should buy some calipers and do it yourself. You could do experiments, such as eating a lot for a week and measuring your gut. Or ‘not’ eating for a week and measuring your gut. Just some fun things!

  11. KamNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel. Great work with your website and all your progress. I’m a trainer and I work with a lot of clients who have big goals like yourself. You are 100% correct to not look at the BMI scale since it’s not an accurate indicator of ANYTHING. Trainers don’t ever use the BMI scale anymore. The sum of your 5 skinfold areas, your waist circumference and your weight TOGETHER, are the most accurate measures of body fat in relation to height and weight.

    Bioimpedance is also a poor measure of body fat because it can vary from day to day, even hour to hour! On Friday afternoon I can be 12% BF and 16% on Saturday morning. It’s a very very wide margin. It’s a great sales tactic to get people to buy personal training, but it is not consistently accurate.

    Keep track of your body measurements (tape measure). Forget the scale: You can gain a few pounds of muscle that won’t reflect on scale and might make you think that you’ve regressed when you’ve actually gotten better. If your body measurements keep improving and you’re getting stronger, then you’re on track. Keep up the great work.

  12. Brad MillsNo Gravatar says:

    Hey Israel, long time no chat brother! I started at ~190 lbs & 33% body fat in May 2009, just finished my 2nd round of P90X and now I’m ~162 lbs & 13% body fat.

  13. tetembakNo Gravatar says:

    to loss body fat i will run and run -lol-
    and drink much mineral water everyday..

  14. FrancoisNo Gravatar says:

    Thanks for this nice post.This process of shedding fats is amazing.I have tried it out last time.Thanks again.If you need to know more about weight loss tips, please feel free to visit our site.

  15. Ryan M HallNo Gravatar says:

    Great to see you’re using body fat instead of numbers.

    I lost around 100 lbs of fat a couple of years ago, and some of my biggest surprises came when I would drop a pants size, or notice that I looked skinnier, but found that I had only lost 6-7 lbs, thanks to muscle gain and water weight.

    Good to hear that you’re setting goals and actually doing it.

    Awesome site by the way, absolutely love it. It sounds like you got your mind set and you’re doing it. Way to go man!

    oh, yes, my body fat, recently had it checked at 18% – Fast Food Summer – now have dropped another 10-15 lbs of fat and am back to muscle gaining. I’m floating around 13% now. My goal is 8-10%

    Keep up the good work.

  16. NickNo Gravatar says:

    Excellent post, and a very important topic.

    “Ideal weight” and BMI are very misleading benchmarks, especially for people who exercise. As you correctly point out, a champion bodybuilder would be classed as “Obese” even though he has virtually no body fat on him!

    This stupid situation is what happens when people follow something blindly, without applying common sense. Unfortunately, the results of BMI are then used for important things like job applications and life insurance quotes.

    Here’s a little hint for the folks who invented the BMI methods: muscles are HEAVY, Einstein!

  17. I have a scale here at home here that has a couple of sensors on it that tell me my body fat % and “% water” not sure what that is about. Anyone know how accurate these things are?

  18. ScottNo Gravatar says:

    I keep reading over and over again that it is important to be consistent with how and when you check your BFI. Same method, same time of day, etc. Apparently, there is something to this.

  19. IsaacNo Gravatar says:

    Good on you for getting into the swing on losing more weight (fat mostly) thats great! I myself have dropped 20kg fro mlast year and feel like a different person. Admittingly i had quit smoking and was bulking so it was semi on purpose but stil li gained a ton of fat and was the strongest id ever been. Now im running heaps, still doing weights, body-weight stuff also, martial arts and eating healthy. Probably the most accurate way to have bf tested the the DXA scan. Last scan i had revealed 18% total bodyfat includes internal and extermal. Getting your R1 subsection reading healthy is very important as thats an indication for heart disease the higher than number the greater the risk. Im 11% in that area which i was very happy about for now. My goal is to get to around 12% total bodyfat by dxa and maintain that <15% whist slowly building lean mass. Good luck.

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