Our next area of specialty is Body Composition and Metabolic Analysis. When it comes to understanding our bodies, it becomes very beneficial to understand the numbers, or the facts, as we like to call them. When we know what the facts of our bodies are – weight, fat mass, body fat percentage, lean mass, bone density, resting metabolic rate, oxygen output rate – we are able to understand where we need to focus our efforts and energy.
Let’s start with Body Composition – there are many ways to measure Body Composition – using calipers, using measuring tapes, using biometrical impedance, using water displacement, etc. The problem with most methods is inaccuracy or inconsistencies, meaning they are different each time you measure. It doesn’t take a statistician to understand that data is only appropriate if it is measured in a consistent manner.
We use the GE Lunar Bone Density Dexascan, which uses extremely low dose radiation to scan your body composition. By using x-ray, we eliminate nearly all of the human error – the inconsistencies – and we also get a much more accurate data. Because of this we are very confident in the accuracy and precision of the data we receive, so we are able to make decisions very confidently based on what the data is showing us.
For example, we are able to see lean vs fat mass in the body and we can tell if the data improves over time. If we don’t see improvement, we are able to modify your plan so that we can get the results we need. We are also able to measure things such as your visceral vs subcutaneous fat. Visceral fat is the fat found on your organs and is the really dangerous fat (as it impedes the organ’s ability to function) and subcutaneous fat is the excess body fat we are able to see on our bellies, hips, arms and thighs. If visceral fat is high we know we need to incorporate more exercise, if subcutaneous fat is high we know we need to improve nutrition. If both are high we likely need to work on both!
Bone density is another very important metric – one that medical professionals typically aren’t concerned with until you are over 50 years old. However, once you hit 50, it’s much harder to correct than if you learn sooner. If we monitor bone strength frequently throughout life, we don’t risk discovering weak bones once you are too frail to do anything about it – we know all along and can make the proper adjustments as needed.
A brand new area of focus for us is metabolic health, and this has more to do with how your body processes food as energy and is associated with things such as your blood pressure, your hormone levels and other nutrient levels in your blood. By using our device called the CardioCoach, we are able to zero in on your current metabolic health by analyzing your respiration. We can determine your resting metabolic rate, your V02 Max, your oxygen consumption rate, and more. Again, these are facts about your current health that will help us determine your specific needs. We can determine your specific nutrition needs and your optimal heart rate for maximal fat loss.
When it comes to these kind of tools, people sometimes become hesitant – they don’t want to know what their body composition is or what their body fat percentage is. Typically it’s because we’ll have very concrete proof that we need to make changes. What we have to understand is that it’s the first part of a process to improvement. There is absolutely no shame in being short of where you think you should be. More over, you will definitely never get to where you want to be if you continue being afraid of these metrics. The sooner we understand where we are, the sooner we can start to implement changes and the sooner we can start to improve. And trust me, it’s likely much easier to improve than what you think.
So if you seriously want to get healthier, start by getting the facts. Start by analyzing your body metrics, and then we can put together the most appropriate plan for you, which will get you results in the most efficient and effective way possible.