Friday, 12 September 2014

Full text - Body Composition DEXA Scan

This is the full text of the curtailed Facebook post from this morning:  

I recently read an article in Breaking Muscle written by a coach of elite level female athletes. He said that most people massively underestimated their body fat percentage. His athletes, who train multiple times a day, operate at around 15% to 18% levels of body fat. The scales I use had me consistently coming in at around 20% body fat. I knew this had to be wrong as I do not train, eat or look like an elite level athlete so decided to inform myself properly by collecting hard data and numbers with which to work and not just guesstimates. With this in mind I decided to undertake a body composition DEXA scan at the Edinburgh Clinic - the only place locally that offers this service. These were my results:

Total mass: 76.3k 
Lean mass (ie soft tissue plus organs): 54.3k
Skeleton: 3.1k (this was a surprise)
Fat : 18.9k 

This puts me at a 24.9% body fat. I was looking for under 25% so just squeaked in :). Strangely the fat measurement was the least interesting of the results to me. I am fairly tall, with broad shoulders and long arms and yet my skeleton weights only 3 kilos. No more excuses for being ‘big boned’ anyone. Your skeleton makes up a minimal amount of your bodyweight. My bone density was very good. No osteoporosis for me, but it is always good to have a baseline measure for the future. The most interesting thing for me, however, was my lean mass. In my late teens and early twenties I was very sporty and I constantly weighed about 10 stone/140lbs/64 kilos. I currently weigh 12 kilos more than that and had this idea that regaining the bodyweight of my early twenties was, with work, an attainable goal. However now I have these numbers I know this is unrealistic. Currently my lean mass and my skeleton make up almost 57.5 kilos. If my goal were 64kg then that leaves me with only 6.5 kg of body fat - a drastically low and unhealthy level. Even at a weight of 70 kilos my body fat would be sub 18%. A healthy and realistic goal for me, I now know, would be 72 kilos which puts me in the very respectable 20% body fat category. The fact is, I weigh more now than I did in my twenties because I am more muscular. I am stronger and I lift. This has been the true revelation of arming myself with information. 

In light of my results, if anyone else is interested in following in my footsteps, The Edinburgh Clinic has agreed to offer Combat Ready Gym members an exclusive 20% discount. The scan is normally £190 so you will get almost £40 off. When you book use the code DXCFIT. If you can manage it I would highly recommend it, especially if you have a weight loss goal. This will help you understand your body and give you concrete information with which to work.


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