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How a DEXA scan can prove your calorie calculator is working

It is difficult to obtain an accurate body fat measurement, which can be particularly frustrating when dieting. The scale might not move, but progress can be made in other measures, such as waistline or muscle composition. Especially as the weather becomes warmer, many people are looking to get fit for the summer (when quarantines will hopefully be lifted).

Therefore, it is necessary to take a scientific approach to measure your weight loss capability as you count calories and hit the gym.

What is a DEXA scan?

One method of accurately measuring body fat involves a DEXA scan. A DEXA scan is, on a basic level, a bone density scan. This is a pain-free, non-invasive procedure that uses spectral imaging to reveal a person’s bone density.

Other data that can be gathered by the scan is skeletal maturity and, yes, body fat composition. In the UK, DEXA scans can be obtained fairly easily – convenient, considering they are the most accurate measure of fat and lean mass. They can also reveal visceral fat, a fat that surrounds the internal organs and can increase your chances of contracting diabetes or colon cancer.

What happens next

Once the scan is complete, clear data is then provided on your weight loss journey and the potential next steps that you will need to take. In addition to counting calories, you can learn which problem areas that you would need to focus on.

Follow up scans can then be done over the course of many months, each providing more data on your fitness and personal health and well being. For this reason, the beginning of your diet is typically the best time to have a DEXA scan done; it would allow you to take a snapshot of yourself at ‘ground zero,’ prior to the calorie counting.

And remember…

Most importantly, a scan can teach you that it is not necessarily weight you want to lose, but instead fat. Overall, a DEXA scan could be exactly what you need to kickstart your weight loss journey and become a healthier, happier you.

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