You could turn to your weight or body mass index to get a picture of how healthy you are, but these numbers actually don’t tell you anything about what makes up your body. For a full and accurate picture of how much body fat, muscle, and other types of tissue you’re comprised of, A Healthy You offers body composition analysis. These quick and painless tests can offer valuable information about your body and your health and give you a better understanding of how your weight loss and nutritional plans are working. Dr. Ryan Guthrie provides the most precise tests to measure body composition at this Austin, Texas, practice. Call the friendly staff or make an appointment online today.
All humans are made of water, muscle, bones and fat, but the exact mix of each component in you has a huge effect on your health. Body composition analysis is a set of tests that determine how much of each of these substances make up your body, giving you a better understanding of your weight, health level, and changes to your weight. This can be helpful for making weight loss or nutritional plans by tracking your body composition and how it changes over time.
One of the main tools that people have traditionally used to gauge their health and their target weight is called body mass index (BMI). While this gives you a rough idea of what people your height usually weigh, it does nothing to take into account the differences in body composition that can be vital to understanding your true health, especially if you don’t fall within the normal range of BMI. For example, a professional football player could be 250 pounds of lean muscle, but his BMI would discount this and still label him obese because he weighs more than most people of his height.
Body composition analysis is the best way to get a clear picture of what makes up your body, and especially how much body fat you actually have. Whether you’re trying to fight obesity or fine-tune an athletic physique, body composition analysis will give you the best map available to your goals.
A variety of tests measure body composition, some more informative than others. A simple breakdown of fat versus nonfat can often be measured by gripping fat in several locations with a set of calipers, but this is still not a full breakdown of your composition.
The best method to test body composition divides your body into four components: fat, protein, mineral or bone, and body water. Some of the tests that do this best include:
BIA works by sending a tiny and painless wave of energy through your body and then measuring what reverberates back to the instrument. This machine often looks a lot like a common bathroom scale and is about as quick and easy to use. Because they are so easy to use, some consumer versions of BIA meters are available for purchase, but these can be extremely inaccurate compared to a medical grade unit.
Along with hydrostatic weighing, DEXA is considered one of the most precise ways to analyze someone’s composition and works similar to most X-rays. You will lay on a table and a quick and painless scan from the DEXA machine will be able to tell you the exact composition of your body in minutes. The device can even measure different parts of your body segmentally, and look specifically at the composition of problem areas.
Hydrostatic or underwater weighing is a simple process where you sit submerged in water up to your neck on a special chair that measures your weight. By comparing your weight underwater with your weight on land, your doctor can get an extremely accurate body fat percentage.
If you’re interested in finding out more about your body composition, call A Healthy You in Austin, Texas, for more information, or make an appointment online.