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What is Body Composition and What Does It Mean?

Posted Mar 23 2011 7:29am

Image credit by healthintotality

When it comes to looking at your particular body shape their merely isn’t just one factor you need to consider there are quite a few.

BMI which stands for body mass index is becoming a bit outdated now. The reason being is it only takes into consideration two factors your overall weight and height so if you are a certain height and weight and have a high muscle to fat ratio.

You could be considered obese another thing we don’t tend to think about too much is visceral fat.

People tend to think just because you are thin you may have no cause for concern but the reverse is true even though you can have a medium frame size you can still have high levels of visceral fat.

This is another reason where the BMI tends to fall over, people have been put into EMR  (electro mechanical resonance) machines, and you can actually see their visceral fat even though they have a reasonable frame size.

When we tend to be going through a process of trying to lose excess weight we can tend to become a bit paranoid about getting on the scales and not seeing many movements, which at times can play havoc with our emotions.

However, I would say it is far more important to look at overall physical changes rather than what the scales say. It’s the simple things like taking your measurements of your arms waist, etc and seeing if there any changes as well as how well your clothes fit you.

What body composition consists of

  • Body water
  • Bone density
  • Muscle mass
  • Visceral fat
  • Body fat

Ideal body composition

Let’s take a brief look now and see what these particular measurements should be.

Body water

According to a site that sells body composition monitors and is known the world over an ideal amount of body water for a healthy male is between 50 and 65 percent for a female it is 45 to 60 percent.

Why is water so important then? Because it is a very large percentage of what we are made from our bodies are made from between 50 and 65 percent of water. Not only that it does have some quite important functions in the body.

It helps with the following:

  • Regulate body temperature
  • Removing waste products from our bodies
  • The transport of nutrients, oxygen and glucose to our cells
  • Moving metabolic waste from the body as well as toxins

Overall you’re looking for a higher body water percentage if yours is particularly low then you need to drink more water because being dehydrated isn’t that good for you.

If you are dehydrated, you may experience the following symptoms.

  • You might have nausea
  • Suffer from headaches
  • Constipation
  • Your overall body temperature may be higher

Bone density

There isn’t a particular ideal reading for this measurement but the higher it is the better. Why is that you may ask? The reason quite simply is this when you exercise and start to build muscle your bone density starts to change as well. A result of that is healthier and stronger bones. It’s also quite important to have plenty of calcium in your diet to encourage bone growth.

Muscle mass

There isn’t a measurement for this either, but it is a fairly important one the reason being is muscle is active tissue and unlike its counterpart fat it does nothing. Hypothetically fat is like a couch potato that sits and watches a lot of television, whereas muscle is active tissue as it tends to grow the more you exercise it. The more muscle you tend to have the better as this will use up calories which fat doesn’t. Fat just adds to more fat.

Visceral fat

There isn’t a particular measurement for this as well, but if you have some body composition monitors scales then there is a reading that will tell you what it needs to be.

What is visceral fat? Visceral fat is the internal fat which tends to cover muscles as well as your organs the only way you would be able to see this is if you had a full body scan in aEMR machine.

The important thing to note about this is it is, one of the more bad fats, and if you have it, can lead to problems later in life such as diabetes and both fat and thin people can have it so don’t be fooled if you have a reasonable body frame.

Body fat percentage

This is your overall body fat, which encompasses not only visceral fat but all the fat in your various parts of your body fortunately there is a healthy range for people to follow, which is as follows.

If you haven’t got some body composition monitors scales, then it might be worthwhile investing in some so you can monitor your progress, and it’s quite fun and exciting watching the numbers change as you get fitter and healthier.

Post from: Weight Loss Blog (Lose That Tyre)

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