Body composition is everything in your body and is divided into different compartments, including fatand fat-free mass. The fatty massconsists of all the fatty tissues in the body, while fat-free mass consists oforgans, muscles, fluids, and bones. When both compositions change in the same frequency, you may not realize the deviation in your body weight.
It is frustratingto exercise and take a healthy diet, but your weight does not change. However, since your body weight isn’t deviating doesn’t mean your effort is in vain. Your body composition might be improving, especially when exercising, and you can gainabouttwo pounds of muscle in the first month. At once, you may shed two pounds of fat due to burning more calories via exercise. Of course, whenbattling obesity, being fit is a great concern. However, it should not be complicated; hence, this blog gives scientific ways to access and improve body composition.
Ways of Tracking Body Composition
Determining Body Circumference
Oneway of assessing your body composition is by tracking the circumference of various body parts.A doctor might have measuredyour waist circumference with a flexible tape measure, but you can also assess other parts like arms, hips, chest, or legs at homeusing a cheap, flexible tape measure. The change in circumference may not reveal an exact fat mass or fat-free mass but can give you an idea. For instance, a decrease in waist circumference is typically a sign of losing belly fat.
The fat occupies more space than muscle;thus,your waist circumference may reduce when losing fat even if the weight doesn’t change.When using weights to exercise, increased arm circumference might mean that you are gaining muscle in your arms. Therefore, it is necessary to measure the same way always so that the results are more accurate.
Use Devices That Measure Body Composition
Some devices use a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) technology to measure body composition. BIA transmits small electrical currents via your body to investigate how much the body resists the current. This information predicts your body fat percentage. However, most devices are inaccurate, although it is good to know your actualbody fat percentage.
Research reveals that the standard handheld BIA unit reduces body fat percentage by 8-10%compared to more accurate research tools. However, taking water and foodbefore using these devices can yield inaccurate results. Notably, the BIA device is used in the morning before eating or drinking anything.
Taking Progress Pictures
Progress picture is another known strategy to understandyour body composition. It is challengingto notice deviations in the body from one day to another. However, having pictures of your body for a few weeks or months is a great wayto measure its progress. It only gives you a general idea and not an accurate one.
Ways of Improving Your Body Composition
Physical Activity and Exercise
Exercise and physical activities are other vital components of improving body composition. They usually increase the number of calories burnedand necessitate optimal muscle growth. This point is vital because the body composition is improved by reducing fat loss or increasing muscle mass. The body muscles need controlled exercises,especiallyweight training, to grow and get stronger. However, many varieties of exercise can help with fat loss.
The American College of Sports Medicine research found that 150-250 minutes of exercise per week may result in a considerable weight loss. If you exercise 5 days per week, this results in 30-50 minutes per day, though they propose 250 minutes per week or more to promote significant weight loss. Although these recommendations aim at bodyweight, it is vital to know that some forms of exercise will build muscle while still losing fat. As such, thinking about your body composition is more important than concentrating on your body weight.
First, considerthe number of calories you consume since they are among the most vital factors to check, although not the only valuable thing. If you frequently consume more calories than your body utilizes, it might increase weight gainor fat. Similarly, consistent consumption of fewer calories results to weight loss. It is also necessary to consider the foods you overeat.Junkfoods like pizza, chips, and ice cream are usually beneficial tothe brain. These foods containsome calories and don’t often keep you full due totheir lowerfiber and protein content. Therefore, consider whether you are taking enough fiber or protein after determining the number of calories consumed.
Protein is essential for everybody, but you might need more if you attempt to gain muscle or lose it. Often, protein is more filling than fat or carbs. The body also burns more calories processing protein than other nutrients. Fiber has many health advantages and can elevate the feelings of fullness after consumption. It can be obtained from different plant-related foods, including whole grains, beans, vegetables, and nuts. However, men up to 50 years are recommended to take 38 grams offiber daily, while women to take 25 grams daily. Incredibly, below 5% of majority age groups in the United States take enough fiber. Maintaining body calories, fiber, and protein check-ups is a good starting place if you desire to boost your body health and composition.
Additional factors beyond exercise and nutrition may affect body composition. Studies show that people with sleeping disorders have worse body composition than those with good sleep quality. Also, alcohol consumption may affect your body composition since morecaloriescannecessitate fat gain. Research indicates that individuals who take excess alcohol increase the risk of obesity. Hence, it is vitalto concentrate on making changes to these factors to improve body composition.
Stepping on the scale only reveals the total body weight. However, you can obtain a more accurate picture by considering your body weight, muscle, and fat mass. Two simple strategies to assess the body weight over time include getting progress pictures at regular intervals and determining the circumference of various body parts. You can also buy BIAdevices to track your body weight, though not all are accurate. Your body composition is affected byexercise, sleep, and nutritional habits. Notably, individuals should check and analyze theirbody composition for at least six months to stay on track with their goals and maintain easier weight management.