There is nothing more scary than weighing yourself on the scale. It is really frustrating that after having chosen a healthier life, and this is what we mean by routines, diets and exercises, the scale continues to show the same number in your weight. But don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that exercising and eating right won’t improve your body composition .
You have to keep in mind that body composition is what determines which part of your body is fat and which is not. It is an indicator of the health and fitness of the body, and helps you lose unnecessary body fat and build muscle mass.
Discover how to improve body composition according to science .
What is body composition?
Body composition refers to everything in your body. This is divided into two: the fat mass and the fat-free mass . The first is made up of all the fatty tissue in the body, while the second is everything else: muscles, organs, bones, and fluids. When both compositions change (at the same time), you may not notice the change in your body weight .
This means that if you start to exercise, you can gain a kilo of muscle in the first month, at the same time that you lose a kilo of fat by burning more calories from exercising or from a balanced diet. Since fat free mass increased by the same amount as fat mass decreased, your body weight will not change. That is why it is important to know and evaluate your body composition , instead of constantly worrying about your weight.
How can body composition be assessed?
There are many methods for evaluating body composition . Some are very simple and easy to use, while others are advanced and complicated. The more precise methods are usually more expensive and are only used in research centers or medical centers. However, there are some simple methods you can use at home to get an idea of whether your body composition is changing.
1. Measure the circumferences of your body
This technique assesses the circumference of different parts of the body . You can buy a tape measure to measure your waist, hips, arms, legs, and chest at home. This doesn’t exactly show if your fat mass or fat-free mass is changing, but it can give you an idea of that.
Decreasing your waist circumference is a sign that you are losing belly fat. On the other hand, if you do exercises with weights, you will increase the circumference of your arms because you will gain muscle.
2. Take photos of your progress
By taking photos of your progress, you can get a clear and complete picture of your body composition . It is difficult to notice the changes in your body at first; however, taking pictures of your body every few weeks or months can be a way to assess how your body is changing .
3. Use devices that assess or measure your body composition
In addition to the above methods, there are devices you can buy to measure your body composition . Many of these devices use a technology called Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA). Its objective is to send electrical currents through your body to know how much currents it can withstand and its information is used to predict the percentage of body fat, such as BodyPedia.
The BodyPedia smart scale has proven to be the first accurate smart scale that can be used at home. More than 10,000 tests comparing with medical devices show BodyPedia Smart Scales have around 97% correlation to the Gold Standard method (DXA).
How to improve your body composition?
As mentioned above, your body composition is made up of lean fat and fat-free mass. This can be improved by decreasing body fat and increasing muscle mass , or both.
A healthy diet and exercise routine are key to improving your body composition .
1. Eat more protein and fiber
First of all, you must consider the number of calories you eat, since if you constantly consume more calories than your body needs, you will gain weight. You should also take into account those foods that you consume in excess.
They are often processed foods, like ice cream, pizza, and the incomparable French fries. These foods are high in calories and do not satisfy you, due to their low protein and fiber content.
Protein is important for the body, and more so if you are an active person, and you are trying to gain muscle or lose fat. Fiber, for its part, can increase the feeling of fullness and satisfaction after eating. You can find it in foods like whole grains, nuts, and vegetables.
Therefore, if you consume more protein and fiber, you will improve your body composition .
2. Get enough exercise
Physical activity is crucial to improving your body composition . This decreases fat mass and increases muscle mass.
We recommend that you use weights to grow and strengthen your muscles and that you exercise 5 days a week for 30 to 50 minutes a day. However, if you want to achieve significant weight loss , it is best to exercise 250 minutes a week.
3. Get plenty of rest and don’t drink alcohol
Sleep is key to improving body composition . Studies show that people who don’t get adequate rest have poor body composition. Therefore, it is a good idea to consider your sleeping habits .
On the other hand, alcohol consumption is another factor that can affect your body composition, since it contains calories and increases fat mass.
Both age and genetics are other factors to consider when it comes to body composition, but these cannot be controlled or changed. Focus on those factors that you can control, such as nutrition, exercise, and good sleep.
Your body composition is affected by how you eat, the amount of exercise you do, and your hours of sleep or rest. However, although it may seem a bit complicated and frustrating at first, we assure you that you will get big changes by following the following habits:
- Take into account the calories, carbohydrates, protein and fiber that you consume.
- Do not take worryingly the weight that reflects the scales.
- Keep track of your progress to see how your body composition is improving.
- If you like it, buy devices to better control your body composition.