What’s the best way to measure body composition?

Body composition is the ratio of fat to muscle to water and bone in your body. What’s the best way to measure this is a question we were asked recently on a Q& A podcast we recorded.

There are four ways you can measure body composition;

  • BMI
  • DEXA scanner, which will scan your body and tell you what percentage you are fat
  • Good old-fashioned scales
  • Skin fold caliper measurements that measure the amount of fat that you can pinch in certain areas of the body.

These measures are all fine and well, and sometimes you do need a start point; how much do I currently weigh, how much fat’s in my body, these are important, particularly where that fat is located. If it’s around the middle, then it’s around the organs, and that’s an unhealthy place to carry fat. But I prefer to focus on how you feel, and that’s the question I always ask people when they want to know more about their body composition.

If you are plainly carrying too much weight for health reasons, then that’s obviously something you want to address. Equally, it might be a lack of muscle, and you want to build up more muscle to prevent falls and just be more functionally fit. But how do you feel? I mean, look in the mirror. Are you happy with what you see? Based on your perception of what you see, not what you think other people want to see or compared to fitness models and whatever else it might be, do you feel happy with how you are?

In the context of the fact that to get a very rich and shredded body, whether that’s for men or women, you must make a great many sacrifices. There’s a lot of food you can’t eat, a lot of drinks you can’t go near, and for most of us, it just isn’t desirable or necessary to look that shredded.  Have a look in the mirror. Are you happy with what you see? Are you happy with what you feel?

Are you functionally fit? That’s a real key one for me. Can you lift your suitcase off the conveyor belt or off the escalator or the carousel in the airports? Can you carry shopping? Do you get exhausted when you carry a laptop bag home from work? These are all things that I’ve heard of. It’s important that you are functionally fit. Are you able to keep up with your friends and your family? Do you have enough energy to do what you want in the day? Do you have good mental health? Is your body composition affecting how you sleep or how you feel about yourself in an adverse way?

These are all important aspects of body composition.  Rather than looking at what the scales say, which can be something to beat yourself around the head with, or worrying about a DEXA scan, unless you’re very overweight, focus on what you can achieve with your body, rather than the aesthetics of how it looks, something I talk about in my TedX talk, Why Fitness is More Important Than Weight.

That’s it from this week. It’s a bit more esoteric than normal, but hopefully that was helpful for you. If you’ve got questions or feedback, drop me an email to leanne@bodyshotperformance.com.

Bodyshot Body Composition Package

We have brought together everything you need to optimise your body composition, in one package. The Body Composition Package includes the DNA test for diet and fitness combined with a non-invasive blood test panel for 7 key markers including thyroid, lipids (fats), vitamin B12 and HbA1c (diabetes).

Once we’ve received the results of your DNA and blood test, we arrange a suitable time for the consultation which takes place online and lasts approximately 60 minutes. In the consultation, we analyse your results, explain what everything means and draw up a personalised action plan.

Our Body Composition Package includes an eBook that talks you through the Body Composition Signal and gives you loads of tips, information and a resource you can keep coming back to. The eBook is a concise summary of everything we’ve learned from the hundreds of clients we’ve helped to optimise their body composition.

What you get:

  • DNA test for diet and fitness
  • Custom Blood Panel
  • eBook
  • 21 Day Course of Goat Milk Kefir
  • Consultation with a Health Expert

If you’d like to know more about this package, please click here.

What’s your Health IQ?

If you’re reading this, you’re are probably in a reasonably senior position, running your own business or have a busy life running the home and juggling other responsibilities. Either way, you’re busy. The convergent pressures of work and family life have probably meant that the time you did have to spend on health and fitness has disappeared. Why not talk to us and see how we can help.

Click here to take our test.

Leanne Spencer is an entrepreneur, coach, TEDx Speaker, author of Remove the Guesswork, and founder of Bodyshot Performance Limited. Bodyshot is a health and fitness consultancy that helps busy professionals get more energy by removing the guesswork around their health, fitness and nutrition. Visit www.bodyshotperformance.com or email info@bodyshotperformance.com to register your interest in our services and connect with us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

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