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What is the optimum time between scans?

DEXA scan body image

We recommend most clients return for a follow-up scan three months (12-14 weeks) after their first to track their changing body composition.

It is quicker to lose fat than build muscle, so if fat-loss is your priority you should certainly look to return after 12 weeks and check you’re making sufficient progress.

If your re-scan results are good, it will give you reassurance that your training and nutrition programme is right for you and you can continue with more of the same.

Unfortunately for many, re-scan results are a disappointment. But knowledge is power, and you’ll now be able to make adjustments or stop and change course completely. Imagine waiting nine months or a year before you discovered you’ve been wasting all that time.

Typically, disappointment is due to high levels of muscle loss during a fat-loss phase (we regularly see people losing more muscle than fat) and, conversely, big increases in fat with little to show in terms of lean gains.

Uneven muscle gain where certain areas of the body progress faster than others is also common, as is not gaining any muscle at all. This can be due to a number of factors such as a too-low calorie intake (no muscle gain) or the incorrect training programme, intensity or rep range.

It is better to find out now that the desired changes in body composition are not occurring and do something about it.

Another reason for checking-in sooner is to be sure that the direction of travel has been consistent over the entire period. If you have more body fat in January than in the previous June, we’ll never know if it was just Christmas to blame or you wasted seven months doing the wrong thing. A re-scan in September would have provided some insight.

Finally, the constant refrain we hear from new clients is, “I wish I’d done this three months ago so I could see how things have changed.”

Only a DEXA body scan will give you the accurate, consistent, reproducible results that will enable you to optimise your progress.

If you’ve lost some momentum or are just not sure if you’re on the right track, booking a re-scan to see your results will be the motivation you need to kick start your body composition transformation.