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What is Body Composition?

Body composition is simply the amount of lean body mass and body fat that makes up total body weight. The lean body mass (LBM) includes the bones, muscles, water, connective and organ tissues. Body fat includes both essential and non-essential fat stores. Essential fat includes organs and tissues such as nerves, lungs, liver, brain, and mammary glands. The non-essential fat is primarily within adipose tissue.

Why do I need my body composition analyzed?

Total weight on is own is of little importance and far too many people base their diet regimen on what they see on the bathroom scale. Irrespective of total weight, if lean and fat proportions are within established recommended limits then one has a significantly reduced risk of suffering from many health problems associated with being seriously overweight or obese:

Equally serious, however, is the problem of having too little body fat since adipose tissue is vital for normal organ function. The dramatic increase in anorexia nervosa, bulimia and a “fear of obesity” over the last decade demands an awareness of correct body composition.

It is clear then that the total body weight does not provide an accurate reflection of an individual’s state of health. A weight-lifter may be classified as seriously over-weight, according to standard height/weight tables but yet have perfect body composition. Conversely, a person may have a “normal” weight according to standard tables and yet be over-fat.

If you are embarking on a weight loss program, it is essential that you are aware of your Body Composition.

Often, diets will result in loss of mostly lean body tissue and water. By tracking your body fat, you can closely monitor what body composition changes are actually happening. Just knowing how many pounds you have lost is insufficient. The goal of any weight control program needs to involve adjusting a person’s exercise and dietary habits to reach the ideal percentage of body fat.