Gaining weight can be really frustrating.
And frankly, most people aren’t interested in losing weight, they’re interested in losing fat. When you lose weight you can lose fat but you often you will lose muscle as well. Without a concentrated effort to lose only fat, muscle loss can be a problem that accompanies weight loss. This is why knowing your body composition can be an important element of the weight loss process. Whether you want to gain weight or lose weight, having knowledge of your body composition will help guide your progress.
Our bodies are composed of fatty tissue as well as lean tissue, like our muscles. We also have the weight of bone, water, and other things (like stool) in our body. By doing an accurate body scan, one that specifically measures each component, you can accurately tell which parts of your body are contributing most to your weight. For example, if you lose 5 pounds you want to lose 5 pounds of fat not 5 pounds of muscle. But how can you really tell?
You may have had your body fat measured in the past. Skinfold, bio-electrical impedance (BIA), water weighing and x-ray are all ways to measure your body composition. A body scan, like DEXA, is the simplest, most reliable method available today for the average person. Bio-electrical impedance is very popular and it does provide an at-home or gym way to monitor progress, but the detail and accuracy of a DEXA body scan can’t be beaten by impedance scales, like In-Body.
DEXA stands for Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry. It is a body that is more detailed in its calculation of fat mass, lean mass, and bone. During a DEXA body scan, two energy levels are passed through the body and the composition of body tissue is then analyzed. This x-ray scan allows for regional calculations of body fat and lean mass in addition to an overall body fat percentage.
Since DEXA body scans actually measure the components of your body, including how much fat and how much muscle are in the different areas of your body, you can see if targeted fat loss is being achieved. Not only can you identify discrepancies in muscle from side to side, but you can also see if you are carrying extra weight in your belly versus your hips. Even those that are normal weight can be carrying too much fat in the midsection. DEXA allows you to see the exact amount of fat nestled around your organs--which is the fat that will lead to damaging health concerns. This increased fat around the midsection is known as central obesity or visceral body fat. Central obesity produces inflammatory fat and is a risk factor for chronic medical conditions. A weight circumference greater than 35 in women and 40 and men is one of the signs of metabolic syndrome, the leading cause of major medical diseases today. Even with a normal waist circumference, you can have increased visceral fat and therefore an increased risk of major metabolic diseases like heart disease, diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, and even cancers.
Testing your body composition annually is important part of the aging process, but if you’re looking to make immediate changes testing once a quarter or even up to once a month can be very beneficial. Especially while you are losing weight, a regular DEXA body scan will help you monitor your progress at FAT LOSS and take the focus off of WEIGHT LOSS. With a proper nutrition plan and exercise regimen, you can have the body your desire AT ANY AGE.
AT AgeWell we have a DEXA body scanner that can be used at your convenience to calculate your body composition. To learn more or schedule your scan today...