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Why Body Composition may tell you more than BMI

Although you might have heard of body composition, you may not understand what it refers to and why it may be important to improve our health, fitness and optimum nutrition.

What is body composition?

Body composition tells us what the body is made up of, looking at everything from water, body fat to lean tissue mass. So, what are the differences between body fat and lean tissue mass? Body fat is found under the skin or around the organs. Although some body fat is essential to provide us with energy, protect organs and regulate important hormones, some people can have an excess of non-essential body fat. This may cause a variety of issues, including obesity, fatigue, type II diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

Lean tissue, on the other hand, refers to our bones, muscles and organs. These are the things which burn calories for energy, which body fat does not do.

Body composition measures these elements to tell us what our bodies are made up of. It shows us changes in fat, muscle mass and body fat percentage. This helps us understand the risk of certain health conditions due to our personal body make up. Our individual composition lets us put together plans on how to reach our weight loss, fitness and health goals going forward.

What about BMI?

Many of those considering measuring how healthy our weight is will start by calculating their Body Mass Index (BMI.)

However, BMI is worked out as someone’s weight divided by their height squared. BMI does not measure how much excess fat we hold opposed to bone and muscle or vice versa. This is why some sporty people like rugby players, body builders or weightlifters for example may be incorrectly classified as having an unhealthier BMI and someone who looks thin on the outside though is actually fat on the inside has a BMI sitting in the healthy zone.

Measuring body composition, on the other hand, is a far more effective way to analyse body measurements including body fat percentage, water percentage and lean mass.

So, if you are looking to improve your health and fitness, it may be better to focus on body composition over BMI.

In addition, being able to track measurements, as you lose fat or develop muscle plays a crucial role in reaching your personal nutrition goals, planning your fitness regime or reaching optimum performance.

How to measure body composition

One way to measure body composition in a non-invasive way, is through Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Though your bathroom scales may have this technology built in, due to the thickness of the soles of the feet, they do not give you the best results. The best and most accurate forms of BIA are available from professionals such Bridgford & Bingham Nutrition where light electrodes can be applied to areas of the body with thin skin such as the ankles and wrists. In addition you will receive a full Body Composition Report which you will be taken through step-by-step.

To book your personal Body Composition Assessment please contact

Nina Thomas I Registered Associate Nutritionist I Bridgford & Bingham Nutrition I 07958765337 I I

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