Updated: May 3, 2020
What is Body Composition?
Body Composition is the percentage of fat compared to lean body mass. Lean body mass is made up of your muscle, internal organ, bone, connective tissue and water.
Body Fat is your fat mass. A healthy amount of body fat (essential fat) is needed to keep the normal functioning of the nervous system, brain, liver, heart and lungs. There is also the nonessential fat , triglycerides which are stored in the muscle, surrounding vital organs and adipose tissue. For men, the essential fat range is 3% - 5 % and for women 12% - 14%. Women have a higher fat need for menstruation, lactation and to support child bearing. Click on the link to see The American Council on Exercise fat percentage recommendation:
A body fat higher than the recommendation can put you at risk for a number of health problems. These include coronary artery disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, hormone imbalance, high blood pressure and more…
As the name implies, skinny on the outside and fat on the inside. The medical term is MONW (METABOLICALLY OBESE NORMAL WEIGHT). People whom have a disproportionate amount of adipose fat (in most cases belly fat) compared to lean muscle mass . This can be unhealthy and lead to cardiovascular problems.
How To Measure Fat Percentage.
There are several ways to measure your fat percentage. One of the simplest ways that is fairly accurate is to do a skin fold test using a skin fold caliper. The one that I use can be found on amazon. Click on the link to get it https://amzn.to/2KvpCTv. The American Council On Exercise sure you how to measure and calculate you fat percentage. Use this link to calculate:
Some bathroom scales advertise they can measure body fat using a technology called bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). Most of them uses your gender, height age, weight to plug into an equation. The down side is a lot can affect the results like when last you exercised, how hydrated you are and what and when you last ate.
Hydrodensitometry or under water weighing. This is a highly accurate method. It entails getting undressed and sitting in a chair that is submerged in water. Your weight under water is recorded which Is used to calculate your fat percentage.
Air displacement plethysmography
You are undressed and go into a BOD POD which totally encloses your body. It is an egg shaped computerized chamber. It is also considered to be extremely accurate.
MRI or CT scans
Intra-abdominal fat can be measure using the cross sectional images. This can be expensive!
Important to try to measure yourself under the same conditions every time!