Body Composition Analysis in Falls Church, VA
Are you overweight or obese? Do you want to lose weight, but aren't sure where to begin? There are many biological factors that influence your amount of body fat, and body composition analysis measures these and many other factors.
Analyzing your body composition - including your body mass index (BMI) - is one way to achieve your weight loss goals. With this analysis, your medical provider can establish a weight loss plan that's best for you.
What is Body Composition Analysis?
A complete body composition analysis typically involves measuring the following:
- body fat percentage: how much of your body is composed of fat
- visceral fat: the fat around your vital organs
- muscle mass: the predicted weight of your body's muscles
- total body water: the fluid in your body expressed as a percentage of your total weight
- bone mass: the weight of your body's bone minerals
- physique rating: a body type assessment by amount of muscle and fat mass
- basal metabolic rate: the daily minimum calories your body requires while you're resting
- metabolic age: compares your body mass to an average for your age group
- BMI index: the ratio of fat dependent on your weight, height, and gender
- muscle quality: indicates the state of your muscles
- daily caloric intake: this estimates how many calories you can consume within 24 hours to maintain your current weight
- muscle quality score: this assesses your muscle mass
- segmental muscle mass: it rates the muscle mass in your arms, legs, and abdomen
- segmental body fat percentages: this gives body fat percentages for your arms, legs, and abdomen
How is Body Composition Analysis Performed?
These tests measure your body's specific mass, bone density, water content, and other features:
- skinfold caliper: this device pinches your external skin to measure your BMI
- hydrostatic weighing: you submerge your body in water and get weighed on a special scale to measure your body fat percentage
- dual energy x-ray absorptiometry (DEXA): an x-ray device that sends energy through your body and measures the difference in the energy levels entering and exiting your body; can measure body fat percentage and other body composition elements
- bioelectric impedance analysis (BIA): this test sends a small electrical current that travels through your body's water, reporting your body mass, body water weight, skeletal muscle mass, and much more
Your healthcare provider will help you decide which body composition analysis method is best for you.
Why Is Obesity Dangerous?
Obesity presents many risks to your health and quality of life and can even lead to fatal illnesses; recent scientific studies show that a BMI over 24.9 creates very real health risks.1
Some of the most common obesity risks include:
- coronary heart disease
- breast, colon, and liver cancer
- type 2 diabetes
- high blood pressure
- high cholesterol
- sleep apnea
- mental illness like depression and anxiety
How Can I Lower My Weight?
After receiving your body composition analysis results, obtaining a healthy weight involves a combination of lifestyle changes like eating a healthier diet, increasing physical activity, and maintaining a positive mindset.
Your healthcare provider will help you decide and formulate the best treatment plan for you.
Set Realistic Goals
Before starting your weight loss plan, speak to your healthcare professional about a healthy weight for your height, age, and body type.
Crash diets and extreme weight loss schemes will probably not cause long-term weight loss. Pacing yourself, tracking your weight loss through a number of metrics, and keeping in close contact with your healthcare provider can help you achieve your desired weight without the risks of extreme diets or exercise programs.
Eat a Healthy Diet
Generally, a balanced diet that gives you ample energy without adding unwanted carbs or excessive fats is beneficial for your health and weight. Replace sugary, processed, high cholesterol foods with:
- protein-rich foods like beef, chicken, salmon, eggs, nuts and seeds
- low-carb foods like spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli
- monounsaturated fat sources that help lower cholesterol, like olive oil and avocado
Increasing your water intake is also an important element of effective weight loss.
Exercise regimens involving cardio, weight lifting, and interval training forms a calorie deficit and accelerates your weight loss.
Track Your Progress, Don't Obsess Over It
Tracking your progress is a great way of measuring your success, but don't let it take over your life or negatively affect your mental health.
Losing weight can be a huge challenge. The stresses of dieting, exercising, attending appointments, and tracking numbers can take a serious toll, especially when you're balancing family, work, and other responsibilities. The ups and downs of weight loss can make you feel angry, sad, or confused.
If you feel overstressed by your weight loss plan, follow these tips:
- ask your family and friends if they can support you when needed
- rest between workouts and don't push yourself past your limits while exercising
- take days to rest, relax, and unwind from negative thoughts; do activities that you find relaxing and restful, like long baths or reading
Reserve Your Appointment Now
Analyzing your body composition is a great way of identifying your biological elements, which can aid your weight loss goals. Fat loss and lowering your BMI is a good way to improve your health and mood while reducing your chances of future health problems.
1. Carslake, David, et al. "Confounding by Ill Health in the Observed Association between BMI and Mortality: Evidence from the HUNT Study Using Offspring BMI as an Instrument." International Journal of Epidemiology, 2017, doi:10.1093/ije/dyx246.
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