We live in a weight obsessed society, but is it time to re-evaluate the value of the number that pops on up our scales?
It is well known that the Body Mass Index (BMI) reading is not the most accurate assessment of a healthy body composition as it does not take into account how much an individuals muscle mass contributes to their total weight. Despite this, BMI is the tool that many doctors use to classify someone as obese.
Jumping on the scales each morning isn’t the most accurate way to see if your body composition is in a healthy range. Just like the BMI reading, your kilograms on the scale just give you your total body weight.
This is where professional body composition scales come into play. These scales work by sending a gentle electric current through the body. The scales can determine the amount of water, fat and muscle that is in the body according to the amount of resistance that the electrical current has to travel through. It is not just the total body fat percentage that you get, but it can also tell you where it is distributed in the body, and how much fat is considered to be visceral fat (the bad fat that sits arounds your organs). In addition to this, it determines, hydration levels, calorie requirements and metabolic age. You get a complete picture of what your body is composed of and you can accurately track if your weight loss/muscle gaining program is working.
What is interesting with this type of measurement is that we see a lot of what we a call a ‘skinny fat person’, in other words someone who appears to be very thin, or a healthy weight, but the weight that they do have is mainly fat and very little muscle. On the opposite end of the scale we also see a lot of people who look like they are larger or stocky, but actually have very little body fat and a lot of muscle.
Muscle is what we want as it keeps us strong, powers the metabolism and slows down the ageing process.
Now for those of you who say, but I have a ‘body composition’ scale at home, don’t be fooled by it’s so called accuracy. Many of these models that don’t have a hand held component can only send the electrical current through the legs. It doesn’t measure the fat and muscle in the abdomnal region or the upper body. It takes the reading from the legs as estimates the composition for the entire. So for those with an ‘apple’ shaped body with lean legs annd higher abdominal fat, your body fat may be under estimated. Like wise, those who carry weight on their thighs, but have a very lean mid section, their body fat may be over estimated.
At Niyama naturopathic we offer complete body composition readings so that you can truly understand is going on inside your body. This analysis is included in all initial naturopathic and nutritional consultations. If you don’t need a complete consultation, and just want to have you reading done, then pop in for a 20 minute consultation for $35.
Come on, lets see what you are made of…