Body composition- What is it? And how is it measured?

What does it mean ?

The definition of body composition is: “the percentages of bone, fat, water and muscle in the human body”. All of these factors can be measured.

Body composition is a word commonly used by professionals working in medicine, fitness and health. This term is used frequently because it is an important indicator of health.

What is body composition?

Body composition is one method of gaining insight into physical health. It provides a wide range of information about the state of your body. This gives you valuable insight into how you can set risk prevention goals and/or maintain your body’s balance. In this sense, it is similar to using body mass index (BMI) as a health indicator. However, BMI is notoriously unreliable at the individual level.

Body composition, on the other hand, includes measurements such as fat, muscle, water and bone. By considering all these components, this approach is much more accurate.

How is it measured?

Tanita makes body analyzers that can show you all of these measurements. Tanita body composition monitors give you fast and accurate body composition results using the latest advanced Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology developed by Tanita over the past 25 years. These body analysis scales give you a true indicator of your inner health, and when monitored over time, can show the impact of any fitness regimen or weight loss program.

How does Tanita’s bioimpedance technology (BIA) work?

All Tanita body composition monitors use advanced bioelectrical impedance analysis technology. When you sit on a Tanita monitor, a very low and safe electrical signal is sent from four metal electrodes through your legs to your hands and abdomen. On segmental models, the four hand electrodes will provide additional readings for each leg, arm and abdominal area.

The electrical signal travels quickly through the water that is in hydrated muscle tissue, but encounters resistance when it hits fat tissue. This resistance, known as impedance, is measured and entered into scientifically validated Tanita equations to calculate body composition measurements. Depending on the monitor, body composition measurements are provided in less than 20 seconds.

Multi-frequency bioelectrical impedance analysis technology?

Tanita multi-frequency monitors are capable of measuring bioelectrical impedance at three, five or six different frequencies. The additional frequencies provide an exceptional level of accuracy compared to single frequency monitors and also make it possible to estimate extracellular water, intracellular water and total body water. This information is essential to provide a detailed insight into your personal health status and to indicate health risks such as severe dehydration or edema (water retention).

What does it help us with?

A bodybuilder and a professional sedentary person can be the same age, height and weight. Their BMI would show no differences. However, one’s weight consists mainly of muscle and the other’s fat. Therefore, they have different:

  • Exercise needs
  • Nutritional needs;
  • Health risks;
  • Fitness goals

If he knew his body composition, the above would be very clear. The sedentary professional can start exercising while measuring their body fat percentage and muscle growth. A scale might show that their weight remains unchanged (very demotivating), while they are actually gaining muscle and losing fat. Knowing your body composition makes real progress clear.

The bodybuilder can use a segmental body composition monitor to measure the condition of different parts of their body. This allows them to identify muscle imbalances or identify areas that need additional training.

Body composition analysis

The result of the body composition analysis provides information about physical well-being. By doing an analysis you will get an in-depth assessment of the components of your body composition. Whether these components are in a healthy range depends on many factors. It varies by gender, age, weight, to name a few.

Also keep in mind that different sports have different body composition requirements: a marathon runner will have much less muscle mass than a bodybuilder.

Set your goals

After you get an overview of your body composition, set specific goals for hydration, fat, and muscle. Then, when you’ve started your workout, monitor your body composition. It is important to continuously track your progress as you progress.

Find the right balance

Once you clarify your goals, set specific goals for hydration, fat and muscle. Then, when you’ve started your workout, monitor your body composition. It is important to continuously track your progress as you progress.

What you need to know

What you see in the mirror is not the full picture and it is not recommended for your health or for effective training to force an unnatural body weight. Instead, by monitoring and evaluating changes in your body composition, you will get to know yourself:

  1. Using a Tanita monitor you can establish your baseline for each of your body composition measurements, then regularly monitor changes to gain a comprehensive view of how your body is working. With professional help, you’ll be able to assess how your body responds to training and injury recovery and improves your performance.
  2. As you train more, your weight may plateau even as your body fat percentage decreases and muscle mass increases. This will ultimately change your hydration level and basal metabolic rate (BMR).
  3. Motivation is the key to success, whatever you want to achieve. Not only do Tanita monitors give you a true understanding of how your body is responding to your training or exercise regimen, they are designed to be used by multiple people. So why not get other family members or a running friend to join you and start the journey to a much healthier life together?

What about my diet?

It is essential to have a customized diet plan to ensure proper refueling and recovery, especially during intense workouts. The starting point of any nutrition program is knowing what your daily calorie needs are when you are resting. This is your basal metabolic rate (BMR). Tanita monitors calculate your BMR, which you can use as a basis for your diet. Then you can add more calories depending on how much physical activity you do each day.

Eat right

Fad diets may help you lose weight, but they are only a short-term solution and may not provide you with all the nutrients you need. A balanced diet has enough protein for tissue and cell replacement, enough carbohydrates for energy, and the right amount of essential fats for building cell walls and regulating metabolism. Your body also needs a range of vitamins and minerals and at least two liters of water or other low-calorie drinks a day.

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