body composition analysis

Things You Should Know Before Attempting Health Management Using Body Composition Analysis

Sometimes, we are totally taking care of all the possible aspects that could affect our body composition, but unfortunately, the body content percentage does not seem to improve. You might be taking the recommended proportions of food, doing the right exercise, and still not being able to reduce fat and increase lean muscle mass. Here are a few factors that can affect your strategy and make it a failure. Taking extra care and avoiding these can help you achieve your goal successfully in a shorter time span.

Not Sleeping Enough

We think that sleeping is just a luxury or something that adds a break during the daily chores of life. However, a simple sleep does a lot more good to your body than you understand. During your sleep, the good hormones come flushing down from the brain to the body and give the optimum balance to your hormones, enzymes, and metabolites making the body fit once again. Thus, your sleep is like a refreshing system for your body. The stress hormone, cortisol, and testosterone are regulated by sleep and the Growth Hormone is released which is particularly important for young children. All these hormones maintain the protein content i.e., the muscles in your body.

Chronically Stressed

A person with chronic stress would have a uniquely disturbed body composition. This usually happens in cases of depression or anxiety caused by external factors. The hormone that plays a major role here is Cortisol which increases with the increase of stress levels. The normal cortisol levels in the blood vary in the morning and the evening. In the morning, it is 5-25mcg/dl while at around 4 pm, it is 3-13mcg/dl.

Exercise But Poor Eating Habits

If you only do suitable exercise to become physically fit but do not control the portions of nutrients you are taking, the body composition would not improve. Similarly, only focusing on a diet without shedding calories and melting fat from exercise leads you nowhere. Both these things are simultaneously important.

Imbalanced Blood Sugar

This is especially for people who do not have their diabetes in their control. It can also be a possibility for people who are prediabetic but are not diagnosed yet. This leads to uncontrolled and excessive glucose levels in the blood. Eating too often or taking in too mu7ch sugar decreases the sensitivity of the insulin, leading to unwanted weight gain and loss of muscles.

Exercise Routine Not Match Body Composition Goals

Sometimes, your body only needs to develop more lean muscle mass and keep the fat content the same. Other times, the body has excess fat and that needs to be burnt. So both cardio exercise and stretching/fitness exercise, like crunches and sit-ups should be incorporated into the exercise schedule according to the body composition demands.

Others

It is very important to cut down the intake of alcohol and quit smoking because these are totally contrary to a healthy lifestyle. Decrease the consumption of fatty food, high cholesterol food, and oily food. Focusing on the consumption of good fats and good cholesterol is the goal while maintaining optimal body composition. People who suffer from certain chronic or acute disease conditions should always refer to their physician before attempting body composition regulation.

How To Set a Body Composition Goal That’s Right For You:

Most of the time, when we refer to a healthy body, we focus on physical appearance. We see if it is in shape and physically fit. Some people also just assume that an ideal body weight means a person is totally healthy. However, this is not the case. You need to keep in mind a lot of other factors. Body composition is a very important term that tells you what your body consists of. The percentage fat content, lean muscle mass, and water content make up our body. If the limit of fat exceeds the standard amount for males and females, they have to focus on fat reduction. Other times, gaining muscle mass and reducing fat, both are important.

Obese: >25% (Men); >32% (Women):

How is body composition related to obesity? Yes! The body fat percentage is the factor of a determination here. If a person looks in shape, that does not necessarily mean that he or she is fit.

  • Physical appearance

Physical appearance is often used as a prominent indicator, however, it is a wrong pick point. A person who looks fit apparently might be obese because of the high-fat content and low lean mass. However, physicians and nutritionists further analyze and test only those individuals who have a round shape of the body. This means they have more fat accumulation towards the lower abdomen and the back.

 

  • Possible health benefits/advantages

This point should always be kept in mind that physical appearance technically does no good to your o0dy. If you have a low muscle content and your fat content makes up your ideal body weight, it means that only the figures are ideal but the body composition is actually at its worst. So the main goal should be to balance the body composition.

 

  • Possible health issues and struggles

People who have a high-fat percentage and low muscle weight are more prone to cardiovascular disease and metabolic diseases. This includes coronary artery disease, atherosclerosis, arteriosclerosis, blood pressure, type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus, hypercholesterolemia, and many more diseases.

 

  • Body composition goals to focus on

The purpose of body composition-based weight control is to take notice of the body fat and lean muscle mass and then begin the step-by-step ideal weight management strategy. The point is to preserve the muscles and lose fat. This is done by doing suitable exercise, reducing fat intake, and increasing the protein content in the diet.

“Overfat” 20-25% (Men); 28-32% (Women)

“Overfat” and “Under fat” are the two new terms introduced to define the fat content in the body and if they are above or below the normal or standard values. If you have too little fat in the body such that there are no or very few energy reserves available then you are “under fat”. If you you8 have a lot of fat in your body, then you are probably obese. The figure for overfat is considered 91 when the person has obesity.

 

  • Physical appearance

To differentiate between overfat and overweight cannot be determined by the physical appearance or even by the weight scale alone. It is quite [possible that you have a normal or average weight, but still a high body fat content which means you are obese and need to reduce fat.

 

  • Possible health benefits/advantages

There are no benefits or advantages to using physical appearance for predicting the fat percentage. It is best to avoid inaccurate methods like these and prefer more precise methodologies for body composition determination.

 

  • Possible health issues and struggles

High-fat content in your body means the fat will not only deposit under your skin but also steadily move towards surrounding your organs. This is called visceral fat and implies stress on the vital organs of the body i.e., liver, heart, and kidneys. That is why we say a person has a fatty liver and the decline of the function as a result. High levels of triglycerides in the body push the body towards many other disease conditions. If excess fat is accumulated in the body, it can also move towards the brain leading to the early symptoms of Parkinson’s and even lipoma.

 

  • Body composition goals to focus on

Just as mentioned earlier, the goal of weight management in obese patients is fat reduction along with muscle preservation. The person should cut down calories up to 550-1000 calories per day only. Cardio exercise is very important for dissolving fat and shedding fat-based pounds. At the same time, the intake of proteins should be increased by using pulses, beans, meat, and eggs.

Average Fitness: 15-20% (Men); 23-28% (Women)

For men between the age of 18-25, 49 is the average best fitness level. For women between the age of 18-25, the best fitness level is 43.

  • Physical appearance

Physical appearance is often described as lean, fit, or unfit. If a person is in good shape according to his body weight, we consider them physically fit through their appearance.

 

  • Possible health benefits/advantages

This criterion is again one of the poorest ways to determine if someone is fit or not. It is usually beneficial to measure the body composition of a person using body composition analysis techniques.

  • Possible health issues and struggles

If a person is physically unfit, it becomes difficult for him or her to be accepted by society in general. There is a very swift rise in the importance of physical appearance and physical fitness in the eyes of common people, which is good to some extent. But it has also put a lot of pressure on people who are not able to manage their weight and body shape effectively in the short term. Other physiological struggles include more weight or stress on the vertebral bone and the joints because of excess fat or weight overall. This affects the health of the bones and the joints. Apart from the pathological conditions mentioned above, people who are unfit are not able to handle strenuous exercise, running, and weightlifting when required.

  • Body composition goals to focus on

The focus of the body composition is the same as mentioned above. a 3D Body Scanner like Visbody can be used to analyze the body composition in an effective way. It is the latest software technology that gives three-dimensional information about your body and tells you the fat percentage and lean body mass in detail after which the body water content can be easily determined too.

“Athletic” Fitness: 10-15% (Men); 18-23% (Women)

The body composition varies a little from the regular body composition of a healthy person. In this case, the body is more based on muscle mass. This means that the majority of the weight consists of lean body mass.

  • Physical appearance

The physical appearance, in this case, is very solid and full for both males and females. The chubby feature of the body in the case of fatty mas is not present. If we use a skinfold caliper with such people, the thickness would be very less because the body consists of the protein content or the muscles more than the fat.

  • Possible health benefits/advantages

Such people are healthy because of a near to ideal body composition and have lesser chances of developing any metabolic disease.

  • Possible health issues and struggles

People who have “Athletic” fitness tend to enjoy excellent health and mostly do not face any health struggles as long as their body composition is maintained near ideal.

  • Body composition goals to focus on

Such people only need to maintain their health routines. Doing moderate exercise to maintain muscle mass and taking a balanced diet is the key.

Exceptional Fitness /“Bodybuilder” Range: 3-10% (Men); 12-18% (Women)

  • Physical appearance

This is the “A Class” which usually includes fitness experts and models who necessarily need to maintain their weights and body shapes.

 

  • Possible health benefits/advantages

Just as in the previous class, these people are not only apparently fit, but also have an ideal body composition. They consume whole foods in a fresh form and exercise daily for maintaining their body composition.

 

  • Possible health issues and struggles

There are no health struggles faced by people who have exceptional fitness.

 

  • Body composition goals to focus on

If someone has achieved this level of fitness, it is an excellent level and there is no class above this fitness level. So the only goal is maintenance.

Maintaining Body Composition Successfully:

Achieving an ideal body composition is hard, but maintaining it is yet another challenge. There are a lot of hurdles in maintenance. Sometimes, you achieve a goal and then naturally slack down on the second one, so determination is the key.

  1. If you were overweight and lost a lot of body fat, your body has a tendency to grow back that fat again if you don’t control your diet portions. Keep up your Basal Metabolic Rate by eating healthy and maintaining the ideal body weight at the same time.
  2. If you were gaining size/muscle was your goal, you need to make sure you keep giving the exercise dose to your muscles regularly. Otherwise, the muscle starts degrading down (due to inactivation) and the body deforms in shape because of muscular degradation.
  3. Track Changes in Body Composition Measurement parameters. Even if you have achieved the goal, keep checking your composition from time to time using Visbody.

Conclusion:

The goal of health management through body composition is the reduction of fat mass and the increment of muscle mass. Once the goal is achieved, maintaining it is the new goal. The better the body composition, the more is the physical fitness and fewer chances of disease development or health struggles.

References:

  1. Usa, I. (2019, October 15). Why Your Body Composition Isn’t Improving When You’re Doing Everything Right. InBody USA.
  2. Griffing, G. T., MD. (2020, March 4). Serum Cortisol: Reference Range, Interpretation, Collection, and Panels. Medscape.
  3. USA, I. (2019a, October 15). How To Set a Body Composition Goal That’s Right For You. InBody USA.
  4. NCBI – Overfat and Under fat: New Terms and Definitions Long Overdue. (2017). NCBI NIH.
  5. Orenstein, B. W., & Sohrabi, F., MD. (2012, June 14). How Fit Are You?: A Fitness Test for Adults – Fitness – Everyday Health. EverydayHealth.Com.

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