The bathroom scale is a standard tool for anyone trying to get into better shape. Many either fear or anticipate what that little scale will say. But can the scale tell you the whole story? While it may be a good idea to keep tabs on your weight, it is also important to understand what makes up your weight. Body composition refers to the proportion of fat you have, relative to lean tissue (muscles, bones, body water, organs, etc). This measurement is a clearer indicator of your fitness. No matter what you weigh, the higher percentage of body fat you have, the more likely you are to develop obesity-related diseases, including heart disease, high blood pressure, stroke, and type 2 diabetes.
Overfat Versus Overweight
Your body mass index (BMI) is a measurement that takes your height into account. Health professionals use BMI to calculate whether a person is underweight, normal weight, overweight, or obese. For most people, BMI is closely associated with the amount of body fat they carry. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. The problem with BMI is that it does not work for everyone. Some people’s weight and height measurements put them in the overweight or even obese category while, in reality, they are lean and muscular. On the other hand, some people’s BMI indicates that they are healthy, when they are actually overweight, with little lean tissue and too much fatty tissue. So, whether or not your BMI indicates that you are overweight, it is important to find out if you are carrying too much body fat.
Our office uses body composition analysis with a Quantum II machine. This machine measures not only percent body fat and percent lean muscle, but also determines cell health, current energy levels, and determines if your body is carrying toxins, which need to be neutralized. Using values from this test as a baseline is a great way to begin programs of weight loss, exercise and supplementation. Follow up testing on a regular basis will measure progress, and also can serve as a guide for any needed changes or adjustments to the programs.