Having a normal body weight is important to your health. But the number on your scale isn’t the only measurement you need when it comes to optimizing your health. A body composition analysis can help. Here’s what you need to know.
If you’re worried about your weight, you’re in good company. Studies have shown that about 50% of adults in the United States try to change the numbers on their bathroom scale every year, but 74% of American adults remain overweight or obese.
Attaining a healthy body mass is an excellent goal. But the weight your scale reports isn’t the only measurement you need to understand when it comes to losing unneeded fat and optimizing your health.
At NutriHealth Weight Loss with offices in Georgetown, Middletown and Milford, Delaware, our specialists also measure your body composition to provide a clear picture of your health and provide direction on how you can improve it.
Our team is committed to helping you reach your weight loss goals by keeping your calorie-burning muscles and shedding excess fat. A body composition analysis helps you do just that.
Body composition explained and how it differs from BMI
Your body mass index (BMI) is an important health tool calculated using your height and weight. A normal BMI falls between 18.5 to 24.9 on the BMI scale. A BMI of 25-29.9 classifies you as overweight, and a BMI of 30 or greater is considered obese.
While knowing your BMI is useful, the tool can’t tell if you’re at a healthy weight for your specific body. This is because BMI doesn’t take into account muscle mass, fat mass, age, and other important factors that can affect your health.
For example, an athlete could be in excellent health and have high muscle mass. This might give them a high BMI. Likewise, a person could have a healthy or low BMI, but not have much muscle and too much fat, making them unhealthy.
Body composition, on the other hand, offers a clearer picture of your body by considering the percentage of muscle, fat, bone, and fluids in your body. Generally, it’s healthier to have less fat and more muscle mass.
Everyone needs some body fat. The recommended guidelines suggest that, on average, women have a body fat percentage between 14-31% and men between 8-24%. Your fitness levels, lifestyle, age, and other factors affect the percentage that’s right for you.
What a body composition analysis involves
You might have images of measuring body fat using calipers or being submerged in a pool. But the truth is, getting a body composition analysis is as easy as stepping onto our high-tech scale that scientifically measures your lean (muscle and bone) mass, fat mass, and fluids.
It’s important to maintain your normal fluid intake for 24 hours before your analysis, and make sure you don’t drink alcohol or have too much caffeine in the day leading up to your test, as these can affect your fluid levels.
We use our expertise to review the results of your analysis with you, paying special attention to your body fat percentage. Having a higher-than-normal body fat percentage is linked to serious health issues, such as osteoarthritis, diabetes, cancer, hypertension, stroke, and more — regardless of your BMI.
Keep in mind that certain factors out of your control can affect your body composition, like age, genes and body type, sex (women have more body fat than men), and hormone levels.
When your body composition analysis shows areas of concern
At NutriHealth Weight Loss, we know that every body is different. If your body composition analysis shows areas of concern, such as a higher-than-healthy body fat percentage or a lean mass that’s too low, we work with you to create a personalized plan for achieving your goals, which may include:
- Behavioral health strategies
- Dietary changes
- Weight loss medications
- Fitness and strength training
- Improving your sleep hygiene
We use additional body composition analysis to measure your progress. For example, the numbers on your bathroom scale may not change, but your body composition may reveal that you’ve gained lean muscle mass while losing excess fat.
Learn more about what to expect from your first body composition analysis or set up a weight loss or fitness consultation by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone with our friendly office staff today.