Rejoice! You can finally ditch those bathroom scales and end your body image battle for good.
If you’ve been living and dying by that number on the scales to track your health goals, then at MeasureUp we’re here to tell you that, yes, they really have been wrong.
Sticking to an exercise and healthy eating regime can be tough enough, without the emotional rollercoaster of watching that number fluctuate on a daily basis.
But at the same time, it’s vital to monitor your progress – otherwise, how will you know if that regime is effective?
The answer is DEXA – dual energy x-ray absorptiometry. DEXA scans are the gold-standard in measuring not just your fat mass, but also your muscle mass and bone density. At MeasureUp we were the first to offer DEXA outside research settings, under the guidance of Dr Jarrod Meerkin, exercise physiologist and expert in body composition, exercise and obesity.
When you’re working hard towards health goals, measuring your progress with scales is misleading for several reasons:
- Your body is made up of fat, muscles, bones, blood, organs and water. Scales measure the weight of all these parts – not just the fat you’re trying to shake. So, if you’ve gone for a sweaty run, dehydration may cause your weight to go down. If you go on a bender, by Sunday night you’ll probably have gained a few kilos. Neither number is a true representation of a change in fat mass.
- Muscle has a greater density than fat. So, if you’ve been training hard and eating like a saint for months, that number might not budge – or even increase. It’s the kind of increase you want, but the scales aren’t going to tell you that.
- Protein is critical for muscle growth. If you haven’t nailed your adequate daily intake, you might be losing precious muscle – not fat. The scales can’t tell you that, either.
Which is why understanding your body composition is the key to long-term results, explains Dr Meerkin.
“It allows you to become more specific in tracking your progress during a weight management or fitness program,” he says.
Here’s what the comprehensive report accompanying a three-minute DEXA scan will tell you about your body composition:
- Total percentage of body fat (plus, where it all is and how much you need to lose): this includes visceral fat, which is the dangerous stuff that increases your risk of several diseases;
- Bone mineral density: bones get weaker with age and lack of exercise. Keeping them strong with bone-loading exercises will reduce your risk of osteoporosis;
- Muscle mass: how much you carry (and if it’s enough): the importance of having muscle can’t be over-stated. It boosts your metabolic rate, keeps you strong throughout life, protects your joints and even burns fat;
- Estimated resting metabolic rate: how many kilojoules you need just to survive when completely at rest;
- Macronutrient split: the total number of kilojoules you should consume every day to reach your goal. This includes how many grams of fat, carbohydrate and protein that should consist of, based on your unique resting metabolic rate;
Our dietician will thoroughly explain your results, which will leave you feeling empowered and in control of your goals.
No more guessing, no more fad diets and no more emotional rollercoaster every time you step on the scales.
Scales are fickle things, so chuck them out and book a DEXA scan at MeasureUp today!