Computerized Body Composition Analysis
METHOD: We use an electrolipograph analyzer which functions on bio-electrical impedance
Determining how much a person weighs is a simple matter of stepping on the scale. Overweight people are overweight because they have excess subcutaneous fat (the fat just under the skin), but fat can be hidden inside the body!
As children and young adults, we are generally lean and active. As we mature, we often become less active, muscles atrophy and begin to get marbled with fat. This can occur with no change in weight or body shape. As the capacity of the muscles to get internally fat is exceeded, fat begins to deposit outside the muscles, under the skin. By the time a person is 5 pounds overweight, he may also be at least 13 pounds overfat! Don’t confuse weight with fat! The scales can’t give a percentage of weight as fat and weight as lean body mass- muscle, bone and organs.
A healthy body needs some fat for normal physiological functioning. Fat is stored in bone marrow, muscles and organs. This is essential fat and is needed for the hormonal and immune systems to function. Storage fat is used as fuel.
Women carry four times as much essential fat as men. This additional fat is important for childbearing and other hormone functioning and should account for at least 10-12% of a woman’s total body weight. The normal healthy range of total fat for a woman is 18-26% (increases with age). Men should have a total body fat of about 8-18%.
Methods for assessing body composition have been available since the 1950’s. None are 100% accurate, but there are a variety of methods that estimate body fat content.
The bio-electrical impedance method is the method used by LIFEWISE. The test is based on the body’s resistance to an imperceptible radio frequency current. The subject lies down and sensor pads are placed on his wrists and ankles. Electrodes are clipped to the pads and a painless radio frequency is applied briefly. The readings are fed into a computer along with other pertinent information, such as age, sex, height and weight. The results are printed out.
The results are based on the fact that lean tissue contains 70-75% water and conducts electrical signals with less resistance. Fat tissue contains only 3-13% water.
Analyzed by this method, a person can learn their % of pounds of body fat, pounds of lean body mass, body water analysis, and basal metabolic rate (BMR). Cost for the analysis alone is $20.00 and is accurate within 2%. The test is done during the initial free consultation for those interested in a weight loss program. Those interested in monitoring their body composition may purchase these alone, without having to join the program. Those on the program receive a body composition analysis with each 8-10 pounds lost. These analyses are included in the cost of the program.
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