Body Composition 101

Body Composition 101

What is Body Composition?

Body composition is a fitness analysis method used to describe what your body is made of; water, muscle, and fat.

Weight loss journeys often begin by setting goals to lose a specific amount of weight, such as 10 pounds. While setting a goal like this can be a great first step, it’s not specific enough. There are other factors in your body that can cause your weight to fluctuate by a couple pounds such as water retention. Monitoring your progress on a scale will not necessarily tell you if the weight you lose is just fat, or if it is valuable muscle.

If you shift your weight loss mindset, you will increase the odds of successfully changing your body. Focusing on your body composition instead of your weight helps you escape the pressure of a bathroom scale. Using the knowledge of what your body needs to succeed will help you achieve your results quicker than you imagined.

Goals to Changing Body Composition include:

  1. Reduce Fat Mass
  2. Increase Lean Body Mass

Focusing on changing your body composition as compared to strictly losing weight will help you stay focused on your journey. You will focus on adding muscle to your body while simultaneously losing fat. This will help you to achieve longer lasting results for the future.

Measuring Your Body Fat Percentage

Instead of monitoring your progress through a number on the scale, body composition analysis instead focuses on overall results.  Understanding your progress with metrics like lean body mass, will help you achieve results quickly and logically.

What is the Framework of Your Weight?

Using a scale to measure your weight doesn’t determine if you are healthy or not. Risk factors are unique to every body type. A more accurate measurement of physical fitness is body fat percentage.

Below are examples of body compositions of two different people that are about the same weight.

Bill has a body weight of 154.0 pounds and a body fat percentage of 28.3%. There are large differences between the bar for Body Fat Mass and SMM (Skeletal Muscle Mass). Due to these differences, Bill likely falls into the category of what is popularly called “skinny fat.”

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Ted has a similar weight to Bill but has a body fat percentage almost 13% less than Bill! This is because, unlike Bill, Ted has average amounts of muscle and fat for a 5’10” person.

Body fat percentages tell you more about your body than a scale ever will. Focusing on getting rid of the unhealthy fats in your body, as opposed to muscle and water weight, helps you understand your own personal health on a whole new level. The examples of Bill and Ted above show exactly what a scale fails to reveal – body composition! The same height and body mass index (BMI) does not mean that your body composition will be the same.

We talked about the goals of body composition changes earlier: increasing Lean Body Mass (LBM) and decreasing fat mass.  By taking your body fat percentage you can decipher which of the two goals should be your main focus. Body fat percentages are unique to you and your body type.  Oftentimes with weight we compare ourselves to other people by their height and assume that we should weigh the same.  Knowing how your body responds to a balanced diet and exercise will help you focus on your own unique needs. Realizing your body is uniquely yours helps you take charge of body fat percentage created successful long-term results. 

Take control of your health today! Come visit our facility for a body composition analysis. Our certified trainers will help you understand your body fat percentage and start you on the path to transformation!

For more information be sure to visit www.paloaltofit.com/inbody.