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Many people try to reduce their body fat to lose weight and look better. But weighing yourself on a traditional weighing scale and working out a weight loss plan from there is an unproductive way to work towards the results you’re looking for. Traditional scales don’t take into account the different weights involved in muscle, fat and bone throughout our bodies. The best way to understand where you are currently in terms of the fat on your body is to have a DEXA body composition scan. Below we’ve explained in more detail what a DEXA scan is, how it can help you understand body fat better and we have included some top tips to help you work towards reducing body fat. 

What is DEXA body fat measurement? 

A DEXA body scan can accurately tell you your body composition – that is, how much body fat and lean mass you have. DEXA body scans give you tangible data about the difference between the fat and lean mass (including muscle) in your body. Getting an accurate body fat measurement will help you to clarify whether your excess weight is due to fat (unhealthy) or muscle (healthy. Carrying excess body fat, especially in the upper body, can increase your risk of diabetes and heart disease. Due to its accurate body fat measurements, DEXA body scans are considered one of the best ways to measure body fat. Getting an accurate result about the level of body fat you have is the first and crucial step to reducing your body fat in a healthy, maintainable way.

BMI vs LMI and FMI

Your BMI (body mass index) uses your height and weight measurements in relation to each other to measure your body fat. However, just like the scales, it doesn’t discriminate between fat and muscle. Your LMI (lean mass index) and FMI (fat mass index) are much better indicators of fat and muscle and only available via a DEXA scan.

What is healthy?

Another useful piece of information that a DEXA body scan report can produce is to rank your body fat percentage, against the rest of their Bodyscan clients. This database is made up of nearly 4,000 clients from across the UK. What you’re aiming for is a high percentile ranking on your lean indices and a low ranking on your fat indices. 

How to reduce your body fat

The most effective way to shed and maintain a reduction in body fat is to follow a lifestyle which incorporates healthy eating and regular exercise. A healthy diet is key to maintaining your fat loss, so try to incorporate lots of natural foods including lean meats, fish, vegetables and fruit. A combined approach to your exercise regime will include a mixture of cardio based exercises such as running, walking, cycling and swimming, and resistance exercises including weights. 

It also helps to get plenty of sleep. Try aiming for 7-8 hours of sleep each night, giving your body the rest time it needs to recover and for muscles to grow.

For more information about Bodyscan and DEXA body fat measurement, contact us today.

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It’s the age-old question: which is more important when you’re trying to cultivate a new, healthier you – exercise or diet?

Put simply, diet is a more important component. If the food and liquids that you are putting into your body aren’t sufficiently beneficial, or they’re just downright unhealthy, you’re wasting your time going for that jog, walk or session on the rowing machine. 

However, the real answer to the above question is that exercise and diet are almost equally important because one spurs the other on. 

Daily exercise brings a wealth of benefits, one of which being that it inspires you to ingest the right, nutrient-rich foods and liquids. However, a refusal to get up from the couch leads to lethargy setting in, from which the temptation to reach for that takeaway menu intensifies. 

Many people who start out on the road to weight loss try to devise a calorie deficit. Granted, a calorie deficit is going to be essential to shed those pounds if you are overweight. However, if that calorie deficit becomes a glorified form of starvation, you are wasting your time. 

Starvation diets have never been more popular than they are right now. That’s because the health and fitness industry is saturated with “experts” who stand to gain from promoting the latest weight-loss fads. 

The problem is that they are largely unsustainable for the average person. Weight loss – and sustained weight loss at that – cannot be achieved by a fad diet. 

The calorie deficit recommended by many diets is so extreme that irritability and weakness are guaranteed to set in as the day progresses. Many diets also makes scant or no provision whatsoever for exercise. 

Make your goals realistic and achievable

While you may do all you can to persevere with very low calorie diets for a few weeks, the misery attached to feeling hungry means that it is a completely unsustainable long-term vehicle for weight loss. The same sentiment goes for every “amazing new diet” doing the rounds in magazines and on social media. 

The great thing about exercise is that it creates an endorphin release that promotes an intense feeling of physical and psychological well-being. When the endorphins are pumping, you will feel upbeat, positive and capable of eating healthy for the rest of the day, without the need to starve yourself. 

When starting out on a journey towards achieving a healthier, lighter, more chiselled you, engaging in a programme of fat and muscle measurement is a very worthwhile undertaking. 

This will help you to continually gauge your progress, which will mean you are more likely to stick with your exercise plan in the long run.

The best measurement option available is a DEXA body composition scan, which accurately tracks changes in your body’s levels of fat and muscle over time. 

Too many people over-emphasise the importance of what the weighing scales say about their body. 

DEXA doesn’t just provide the data on your body’s fat and lean mass, it identifies exactly where in the body you are carrying it, which in turn will allow you to tailor your exercise and diet structure accordingly. It is a scientific approach to helping you achieve your body image goals.

When it comes to turning your life around, you’re better off pinning your hopes on irrefutable scientific data over fad diets that are doomed to failure.

This article has been written purely for the purpose of search engine optimisation. Our official blog page is  here.

For the majority of strength athletes, gym goers and exercise enthusiasts, protein will always be the number one macronutrient due to its enhancing effects on muscle protein synthesis (that’s gainz to you, bro!)

There have been a number of recent news stories warning of the dangers of eating too much protein and suggesting that we have become obsessed with this particular macronutrient. (Remember when fat was the dietary whipping boy?)

These stories have linked excess protein with nausea, kidney stones, osteoporosis, diabetes and cancer, but it’s not entirely clear if they are the result of the protein itself or, for example, the saturated fat or salt in the foods that contain the protein, such as cooked or processed meats.

While the list of dangers are sobering, the problem with so much food research is that it is usually done on sedentary populations who, let’s face it, suffer the gamut of health problems from doing too little and eating too much of just about everything.

So what exactly is ‘high protein’ and for whom might there be benefits?

The UK recommendation for protein is 0.75 grams per kilograms of body mass per day (g/kg/d), which equates, on average, to around 55g for men and 45g for women.

However, it’s universally agreed that regular exercisers, particularly those involved in strength sports and resistance training require a much higher protein intake than the baseline in order to effectively support their activity demands and fuel increases in muscle mass.

This is especially true when people are following a calorie-restricted diet in an attempt to reduce body fat because a calorie deficit increases the likelihood of losses in lean tissue, something we see at Bodyscan every day.

It has previously been thought that individuals pursuing strength activities, such as lifting weights, should be consuming between 1.5-2g/kg/d of protein in order to meet the protein requirements of the exercise activity and promote optimal muscle protein synthesis. Other research claims that 2g/kg/d is the ‘maximally beneficial’ limit of protein intake and any more provides no extra benefit in terms of body composition and strength. Indeed, the extra calories provided by the excess protein have been assumed to have a negative effect on body composition (ie, an increase in body fat).

However, recent research looking into daily protein requirements for resistance-trained individuals suggest that 2g/kg/d is not the upper limit. Far from it.

American studies led by Dr Jose Antonio suggest that protein intakes of above 3g/kg/d appear to increase fat-free mass and strength, with a simultaneous decrease in fat mass when compared to lower intakes (between 1.8-2.6g/kg/d).

Chronic high protein ingestion of 3.3g/kg/d for six months has been shown to have no negative effects in terms of fat gain or kidney function when compared to a lower intake of 2.5g/kg/d. Even a hyper-energetic diet consisting of more than 4g/kg/d (5.5x greater than the recommended daily amount) had no negative effects and did not result in significant negative changes over time or between groups for total body mass, fat mass, fat-free mass, or percentage body fat, when compared to a lower protein control group (consuming 1.8g/kg/d). This was despite the high protein group consuming significantly more protein and calories than the control group for a period of eight weeks.

Consequently, these recent findings seem to suggest that it is beneficial to consume protein amounts higher than 2g/kg/d, especially when calories are restricted, as the research shows improved preservation of muscle tissue combined with greater reduction or minimal gains in fat from intakes of more than 2g/kg/d.

These emerging findings suggest that for non-sedentary populations, and in particular strength-trained athletes, 2g/kg/g could actually be the floor, rather than the cap, for protein intake, especially when gains in lean mass are the primary focus.

You may like to check out a further discussion of protein requirements and a protein calculator at Fitness Savvy.