Do you step on the scales regularly? Do you know what that weight means?
Most of us, however, have an obsession with how much we weigh and so will weigh in too often. The scales will not tell us what weight we have lost and this is an important factor. For example, if we are losing muscle then this will affect our ability to keep weight off in the future. Muscle mass is critical in helping us burn fat. There is a place for the scales but I believe that we need more accurate measurement facilities to really know what our weight is saying.
As the common scales cannot tell me accurate statistics, I use a bioelectrical impedance analysis testing system to determine the body composition in my clients. This monitors total body composition and works as a great goal monitoring system.
What the scales do not tell us:
- Our total body fat
Body fat percentage is the amount of body fat present as a proportion of your body weight. Reducing excess levels of body fat has shown to reduce the risk of certain conditions, such as high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and cancer.
- Our muscle mass
This is the weight of muscle in your body. It includes the skeletal muscle, smooth muscle (cardiac and digestive muscle) and the water contained in these muscles. Muscles play an important role, as they act as an engine in consuming energy. As your muscle mass increases, your energy consumption increases, helping you reduce excess body fat levels and therefore lose weight in a healthy way.
- Our bone mass
Indicates the amount of bone (bone mineral level, calcium or other minerals) in the body.
- Our total body water
Total body water percentage is the total amount of fluid in your body expressed as a percentage of your total body weight.. It is important to look for long-term changes in water percentage and maintain a consistent, healthy total water percentage.
- Our visceral fat
Visceral fat is the fat that is in the internal abdominal cavity, surrounding the vital organs in the abdominal area. Research shows that even if your body fat remains constant, as you get older the distribution of fat changes and is more likely to shift to the trunk area. Ensuring you have healthy levels of visceral fat may reduce the risk of certain diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure and the onset of type 2 diabetes.
- Basal metabolic rate
Basal Metabolic Rate is the minimum level of energy your body needs when at rest to function effectively.. About 70% of calories consumed everyday are used for your metabolism. In addition, energy is used when doing any kind of activity and the more vigorous this is, the more calories are burned. Increasing your muscle mass will help increase your basal metabolism. Having a higher basal metabolism will increase the number of calories used and help to decrease the amount of body fat.
So, before you step on the scales, think about exactly why you are doing so and what you want to know.
Get in touch to book your body composition test…