How do we Determine Weight?
The basic bathroom scale measures our entire weight and this includes fat, muscle, organs, bones, water, etc. Since the scale measures everything we are made of, our weight can fluctuate significantly throughout the day. Body weight can change anywhere from one pound up to an amazingly twelve pounds in just 24 hours. For instance, after a sweat producing workout, there will be weight loss. However, later in the same day, closer to the evening a weight gain could be seen.
One of the main reasons for weight fluctuation is water. Drinking a lot of water at once can cause weight to change. Problems with water retention can also alter our weight. Retaining water can be due to high salt intake or other health concerns such as problems with the kidneys, hormonal changes or cardiovascular disease. Suffering from constipation or not eliminating daily can also cause excess water weight. In addition, not eliminating is the main cause for that annoying belly fat. Finally, weight fluctuations can be due to a change in our muscle mass. While exercising, there is a tendency to gain muscle while burning fat. Often people get discouraged because the scale does not change even though they are going to the gym regularly. This is because muscle weighs more than fat. Knowing what encompasses the weight on the scale will help provide some insights as to why there is fluctuations in our weight.
There are other ways to check our health status besides the scale. The most accurate method is calculating your body fat percent. This is done by taking measurements and calculating out the projected body fat percent. Similarly, a bioimpedance scale which will measure body fat percent by sending a small electrical pulse through the body to calculate body fat. A healthy body fat percent for women is 25-18% and for men the number is lower around 20-12%. The percent ratios are rough guidelines that allow you to take note and consult with your health care practitioner to determine what is an ideal goal for you.
At Rose Wellness we offer body fat analysis with the InBody 570. It not only analyzes how much fat and muscle you have, but it also measures your Total Body Water and divides it into Intracellular Water and Extracellular Water. These values are important for understanding a user’s fluid distribution in medical, wellness, or fitness contexts. With these water values, you can begin to identify and track inflammation, swelling, and even injuries.
Body Composition Testing with the In Body Analyzer
The InBody Scale is the latest in cutting edge technology, which we use for our patients. The human body is composed of four main components: water, proteins, fats and minerals. The InBody Test provides a comprehensive view of body composition balance of these components.
Our InBody 570 uses BIA Technology (bioelectrical impedance analysis). Our test provides comprehensive muscle and fat diagnosis that are essential in monitoring health. The test results show segmental muscle and fat analysis that allows you to clearly understand the distribution and where you need to focus on muscle and fat development.
Most forms of body composition testing are usually aimed at measuring a person’s fat tissue. This can be a very useful tool in guiding fat loss strategies. Some types of body composition testing also assess muscle mass.
How is body composition measured?
There are several ways this can be measured. Some are quite inexpensive, though less accurate, like hand-held devices or bathroom scales. Uncomfortable skin caliper testing is unreliable for people with significant amounts of body fat, and can be unreliable in general, unless administered by someone with a lot of experience. Ultrasound is also used, though it is limited in accuracy because it can only measure external fat, and not internal fat. Some methods are very accurate and reproducible but extremely expensive like DEXA scanning (using a form of x-ray), and air or water displacement. Both of these are typically only available in hospitals or research settings. At Rose Wellness, we use the InBody 570. It measures body water, muscle mass, and body fat by passing three frequencies of current through your body between eight contact points. This allows an extremely accurate measurement of body fat comparable to DEXA scanning but at a fraction of the cost and in a fraction of the time.
Why would I want to have my body composition measured on the InBody 570?
The available tools for measuring weight are either less reproducible (i.e., take the test 5 times in a row and get 5 different results), less accurate (as compared to DEXA scanning), or less complete (only give an estimation of fat and/or muscle for some parts of your body). This is not to say these are bad tools to use in certain circumstances (since much of the time they are complimentary when working with a trainer, etc.). It just depends on how much you need to rely on the information that you get, and whether accurate results are important. Many of us, especially women, experience 2-3 lb weight fluctuations from day to day. This can make it very difficult to rely on a method that can’t differentiate between fat, muscle, and fluid. It was exactly this reason that we at Rose Wellness decided to embrace the InBody 570 technology. It has the ability to differentiate between intracellular (in muscles) and extracellular (fluid retention) water. This is not only for weight loss, but also corresponds to protein intakes, chronic inflammation, and injury. Better information allows you to make better decisions about what you are currently doing to achieve your specific goals.
Should I get tested?
First, let’s talk about who SHOULDN’T be tested. Anyone who has an implantable electronic device that can’t be turned off shouldn’t use the InBody (or any other device using bioimpedance). Also, if you are pregnant, I don’t recommend being measured. I have not seen any research indicating that testing is harmful to developing babies, but it still doesn’t seem like a good idea. Besides, your test will be very inaccurate as there is no way the InBody 570 can tell the difference between YOUR muscle and your baby’s muscle.
So who will benefit? Anyone who is interested in accurately monitoring how a fat loss strategy is working will find the InBody 570 highly useful. It has a graphing function that shows you what is happening with your body fat over time. Periodic measurements can also be very helpful for those participating in our Weight Loss Program. For individuals who are starting or participating in a weight/fitness training program, the InBody 570 is a valuable complement. You will be able to accurately measure your progress with segmental muscle mass – separate readings for each leg, arm, and your trunk (abs, chest, back). If you use a personal trainer, this can be helpful information to use. Finally, your body composition data can also be helpful to monitor adequate protein intake, as muscle loss is common when you don’t get enough protein, especially when dieting.
How accurate is it?
InBody reports 98% correlation with DEXA scanning and superior reproducibility.
How often should the test be done?
We recommend a gap of atleast 4-6 weeks between tests. That’s because it takes about that long to really differentiate significant changes.
In order to have the most accurate measurements, these guidelines should be followed:
- Do not exercise or eat 2 hours prior to your test.
- Empty your bladder just before your test.
- Wear shorts and a tank top or tight fitting t-shirt.
- It is optimal, though not required, that women be measured while not having their periods.
Other Reasons to Use the InBody Analyzer
- The InBody Analyzer gives you real and accurate values and numbers to calculate many things throughout your body. This device helps you see your body mass index number, your body fat percentage, and even what your right arm weighs in comparison to your left arm. These values are real and accurate and will not be skewed like with some other methods. It is giving you accurate values to look at and compare from visit to visit.
- The comparison between the left and the right side of your body is a great benefit that people do not consider. You can see your weight in your left arm compared to the weight in your right arm. You are also able to do this with your legs. People do not think about things like this often. It is that little extra thing that you can look at and compare that makes all the difference. There is no need to guess on numbers when you are accurately seeing everything in front of you.
- The InBody Analyzer gives you motivation and a focus point. You are getting great information and you know the information is accurate. You also know that you are comparing both sides of your body and then from there you know the next steps to take. For example, one could discover that they need to focus a little bit more on the nutritional side of health because their visceral fat number was up a little bit. They need to also increase upper body strength because it is lower in comparison to other parts of their body. If you’re one of those people who just goes to the gym and do not really know where to go or where to focus, this would be the perfect tool for you.
Call our office at (571)529-6699 and ask about our Body Composition Analysis and Weight Loss Packages and get started on your journey to optimal health and wellness. For a limited time, 15% Off Weight Loss Packages.