Why Body Composition?
It is important, when doing a serious body fat loss, or lean tissue gaining, program, to keep tabs on your body composition.
Both fat loss and muscle/lean tissue gain, are extremely important parts of our “health” issues. I have stated this before but several studies have shown that the top 1/3 of adults in strength have 40% chance of living to 90, WITH HEALTH, and 40% less chance of ever having cancer than the bottom 2/3s IN STRENGTH. Note this doesn’t say that you need to be a bodybuilder; it just states that strength is the most critical factor for Health. Metabolism, stability (not falling), avoiding injuries, and putting off type 2 Diabetes.
Because if you are strong, it is likely because you do exercise that forces your body to adapt to a “healthier state” by burning sugar in your muscles, which makes “space” for new sugar to be stored. Type 2 Diabetes is entirely a self-inflicted disease. Your muscle cells become “full” of sugar (glucose), and the rest floats around in your blood and which causes high blood sugar. It is a rather complicated subject, but Google, “Reversing Type II Diabetes” and read more than one article, and you will see the role of exercise and avoiding lots of sugars (carbs). It is worth your time.
Back to Body Composition; The BodPod
You can buy body composition/ body fat scales, which are relatively cheap. They are not very scientific and are not precisely accurate, but they give you a baseline to improve from and, over time, will show improvements or decline in body composition.
The target is to increase lean tissue (muscle, tendons, bone) and decrease body fat % or total weight.
We have a scientific instrument, The Cosmed BodPod, at Leos Fitness Lab, which is used in studies worldwide for testing body composition.
My 2 cents is that I use two body composition scales at home (and average the numbers), and once every six weeks, I check them against a BodPod session at our gym.
Losing weight can be “unhealthy” if you lose too much muscle compared to body fat. One NEVER wants to lose muscle, but one always wants to lower body fat (unless you are already in the athlete range of body fat which is usually under 10%.)
Wherever you start is unimportant. Where you go is. So no matter how much fat/muscle you have, get a baseline and work towards more lean tissue and less body fat.