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For a healthy weight loss regimen, you need to measure weight differently

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Weight loss resolutions typically fade, if not disappear

One of the main reasons? The number on the scale.

If the number goes down but you feel weak or fatigued, you’re likely burning away lean muscle. Conversely, you may be frustrated if the needle hasn’t moved after weeks of rigorous workouts, but you don’t realize that you’re increasing muscle mass and bone density.

Both scenarios can be discouraging, but that’s because most diet regimens don’t focus on the ratio between body fat, bone, and muscle mass, better known as total body composition.

Whether you’re following a nutritious diet plan, fasting, or just simply cutting out “foods that make you fat”, you may not be taking a healthy fat-to-muscle ratio into account.

Focus on your fat-mass ratio, not just the fat

“Fat” itself gets a bad rap. The reality is your body needs a healthy amount. Vitamin A, vitamin D and vitamin E are fat-soluble, which means they can only be absorbed by the body with the help of fats. All fat is high in energy.

Blaming fat for weight or other health issues can lead to reliance on outdated methodologies such as body mass index (BMI), measuring with skinfold calipers or other techniques such as hydrostatic weighing and bioelectrical impedance analysis.

Total body composition is calculated by considering water, fat, bone mass, and muscle mass to determine your body fat percentage. Understanding this gives you a better picture of your overall health.  

As a result, keeping track of your journey to a healthy body composition is critical for illness prevention. You can also easily tailor your exercise and nutrition program to your unique body composition and see real progress toward optimal health.

How to measure your body composition

The DEXA (Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry) scan, a test that measures bone density and body composition, is more complete, accurate, and beneficial to smart weight loss than any other instrument available. You'll have a more thorough guide to losing the proper kind of weight by focusing on the most critical aspects of weight loss - specifically, body fat.

A DEXA scan measures bone density and tissue mass using a low-dose X-ray. It produces a “fat shadow” image, showing fat distribution in the abdomen, arms, legs, and pelvis. Not only does a DEXA scan provide fast results, but it is also widely accepted as the gold standard for obtaining a comprehensive analysis of body composition. 

It is the most precise, complete, and consistent method (it includes regional body fat data). You and your doctor can tailor a healthy weight loss program using DEXA scan results and treatment over time.

DEXA body composition technology, most crucially, offers findings for regional body fat (trunk, arms, legs, pelvis, and android/gynoid regions). A DEXA scan can also detect visceral fat, often known as belly fat, which is linked to a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes. 

“For years, I've said that DEXA is one of the most powerful pieces of equipment that I have in my office.” Said Dr. Lars Boman, Medical Director of Because Health. “It's very simple, it’s painless and the results are immediate.”

It is used by elite sports labs and medical institutions all over the world to get an accurate readout of body tissue quantitation, such as:

• Your body-fat ratio 

• Where excess fat is located 

• Your muscle gains and how they affect your general health 

• Bone density and osteoporosis risk

Test results do more than help your weight-loss plan. Your DEXA scan can also help to detect long-term health risks for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other common health problems that result from dietary and lifestyle choices.

The DEXA Scan is just the start of your journey. It is critical to have a trained medical specialist capable of reviewing the results to develop a personalized plan based on your health goals. A results-oriented approach, tailored to your own unique body composition, will use the data as a baseline to develop a variety of programs to help you live the healthiest lifestyle possible.

The DEXA scan is available at Because Health’s Longevity Clubs. The test is simple, non-invasive, fast, and results are available immediately. Find out more in the next article in our series or schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today.

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