Gaining control of your body composition is a key step towards weight loss and overall improved health. Your body composition refers to the makeup of your body, including how much lean body mass compared to fat that you have. Knowing and understanding your body composition is critical for not only your weight loss objectives but also your overall health.
The Role of Body Composition for Weight Loss
It’s important to monitor your body composition when you’re trying to lose weight, as losing fat isn’t the same as losing weight. Your body composition is comprised of muscle, bones, organs, and fat. It’s important to focus on losing fat while maintaining muscle. To achieve your goals, you’ll need to properly fuel your body with nutritious foods, establish an exercise plan, and monitor your body composition.
The Benefits of Maintaining Lean Body Mass
Maintaining lean body mass is an important component for a healthy lifestyle. Lean body mass includes your muscle mass and bones, and is typically measured through bioelectrical impedance analysis. Having enough lean body mass is beneficial to your overall health because it helps to:
- Boost Metabolism – Lean body mass helps you to burn more calories, which can help to support weight loss.
- Increase Strength and Endurance – Lean body mass increases your strength and overall exercise performance.
- Support Healthy Bones and Joints – Lean body mass helps to support your bones and joints, which can contribute to reducing risk of injury.
How to Monitor Your Body Composition
Monitoring your body composition is a good way to track your up-to-date information about your weight and body fat ratio. Different methods of monitoring your body composition include:
- Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis – This test measures water in your body and sends safe, low-level currents through your body to measure your body composition.
- Skinfold Calipers – This method measures body fat by using the pinch method. Skinfold calipers pinch or press the skin and measure how much fat is accummulated underneath.
- Dual-energy X-ray Absorptiometry – This test uses low-level radiation to measure body composition and can determine the percentage of your body composition.
The Bottom Line
Your body composition is critical to your overall health and weight loss objectives. It is important to monitor your body composition to make sure that you are not just losing weight, but specifically reducing your fat mass. Working with a professional such as a nutritionist or personal trainer can help support and guide you towards your goals.