What Is Body Composition? Are You Healthy and How to Measure It? The Percentage of Fat, Bone, Water, and Muscle in Your Body

What is Body Composition?

What is your body fat percentage? How healthy are you and how can you tell? A measure of your body's fat, bone, water and muscle.

Body composition is the percentage of your total weight that is made up of fat.

Your body fat composition is estimated by dividing your total fat pounds by the sum of your weight.

Most diet hopefuls talk about their weight daily.

How often do you even hear someone mention their body composition percentage? Probably never.

Relationship to Your Health

Body Fat Percentage's Relationship to Your Health

New studies have determined that fat loss or improving body composition is more important than loss of weight for extending a person's life span.

Furthermore, there is a growing body of research linking high body fat to a variety of health conditions and diseases.

The truth is you need to lose body fat, not just weight, to get healthier, and for that reason, tracking body comp should be part of everyone's fitness protocol.

Plus, focusing exclusively on weight does not help you figure out if you are losing muscle or fat.

♥ To accurately determine your success, you need to track body composition along with your other losses.

For example, if Mary lost three pounds this week, how else are we going to determine that none of it is muscle tissue and that her metabolic rate is not going to suffer?

The Testing

What Is Body Fat Testing?

There are many methods to help you track and test your body composition.

We have even included an online body composition calculator, so you don't have to endure the embarrassment of going to another fitness club to have your love handles pinched and prodded.

Your Progress

What Is Body Fat Progress?

Don't be surprised if your weight increases with the addition of dense muscle tissue as your body composition percentage, and size, comes down.

And expect the process to be slow.

♥ No matter what method you use to monitor body composition, consistency is the key to gauging the percentage of change.

Importantly, it is best to take measurements at the same time each day, but whatever time of day you measure your body fat, try to allow about three hours after rising, eating or hard exercise.

Water Weight

Water, Weight and Body Composition

Water retention can throw off your body composition numbers.

♥ Hydration levels can be affected by many different variables: food, sodium, water intake, stress, prescribed drugs, caffeine, exercise, climate, and so on.

♥ For women, body composition results can also be skewed by menstruation cycles due to natural retention of water and hormonal changes.

Men and women should both aim for eliminating as many variables as possible when taking their body composition tests by placing themselves under similar conditions.

It also helps that you take your measurements over an extended period to assess long-term improvements, not just weekly.

Other Resources

Body Composition Resources

Help Me

Get Body Composition Help

Using the latest science and research, the team at changingshape.com offers plans developed by certified nutrition and fitness professionals. Join the changingshape.com calorie counter app free today.

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