Scale Weight is a Lie : Top 5 Reasons Why Body Composition is Important When Trying to Lose weight or Bulk Up

Our body weight is the ‘sum of our parts’; muscle, fat, dry bone/ligaments, water etc. It goes without saying if you go down in weight on the scale and you lose muscle, not fat, you may think you’re making progress however what is really happening is your metabolism is shutting down, meaning your bodies ability to burn fat is decreasing. Leaving you wondering why the weight came back on so quickly!

You may be asking yourself, ” I’ve tried many weight loss programs before but they never last!” There are many reasons for this as you can imagine. What type of weight was lost as a result of your nutrition plan (water, muscle, fat) , where it was lost (limbs, abdominal cavity), hormone imbalances, stresses in life causing old lifestyle habits to return, sleep cycles to name a few. Here we’ll focus on nutrition and its effect on body composition.

1. Is it true that to lose weight, I have to eat fewer calories than my body uses? Not necessarily. Did you know that  participants who attended Weight Watchers for 12 weeks lost an average of 5 percent of their bodyweight, or about nine pounds. However, Steve Ball, assistant professor of exercise physiology in the MU College of Human Environmental Sciences, found that a large percentage of the lost weight was lean tissue (muscle) and not fat.

“Participants’ body fat percentage did not improve at all because they lost a much higher percentage than expected of lean tissue (muscle),” said Ball, MU Extension state fitness specialist.“It is advantageous to keep lean tissue because it is correlated with higher metabolism. Losing lean tissue often slows metabolism.”  What your body is made of is more important than what you weigh.


2.  Is it true that I grow muscle when I work out? Technically no. You actually shred or tear down your muscles during a good workout. Your muscle grows back stronger, firmer and bigger with the quality food you eat (lean protein and complex carbohydrates) post workout and while your resting and repairing during a good night’s sleep.

Your body releases its biggest surge of growth hormone during REM sleep. If you have ample amounts of protein in your system, you’ll take full advantage of the spike and make greater muscle gains. Also, your muscles will soak up protein through the night, so you won’t go into“hunger” mode (where your body can breakdown muscle) as quickly.The more muscle mass you have the higher your basal metabolic rate (BMR), which is your ability to burn calories at rest.


3.  I have a scale at home that tells me my fat % however sometimes I get on the scale and my weight can go up 1-3 lbs in a day when I’m doing all the right things,why!? While they are a relatively cheap option, home scales that measure fat % are notoriously unreliable. Take a huge drink of water and watch your percentage change by up to 10 percent. 


4. So how do I find out if what I am doing is helping me lose fat and maintain or grow muscle? At Solaris Whole Health we use BIA or bioelectrical impedance analysis. BIA is a method of assessing your “body composition” – the measurement of body fat in relation to lean body mass or muscle. It is integral part of our 60 point nutritional exam and health assessment. BIA fosters early detection of an imbalance in your body composition, which allows for earlier intervention and prevention. We measure client’s progress at each session to optimize their weight loss efforts and overall energy and vitality.

Improving your BIA measurement, or maintaining a healthy BIA measurement, can also help keep your body functioning properly for healthy aging and reduced risk to illness. With your BIA results, we recommend personalized dietary plans, nutritional supplements, and exercise to help you support optimal health and well being for a lifetime.


5. How accurate are BIA body composition measurements?  Over 100 independent studies, conducted by researchers over the past 20 years,have demonstrated that bioelectrical impedance analysis can provide an accurate and clinically useful assessment of body composition.  Since 2007, our clients at SWH have had tremendous success in weight loss and increased metabolism using our RJL BIA technology, Inbody 770 and Inbody at home models, metabolic testing and functional nutrition plans. 

The InBody 770, the newest gold standard in BIA technology at our nutrition studio in Bernardsville, NJ. The In Body 770 is used at the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics and University’s around the world. This commitment to our client’s optimum health will take our personalized nutrition and lifestyle programs to the next level!

BIA results reveal shifts in pure fat, lean tissue,water retention/bloating and cellular integrity. Additionally visceral fat or ‘active’ fat will be able to be measured. Visceral fat is body fat that is stored within the abdominal cavity and is therefore stored around a number of important internal organs such as the heart, liver, pancreas and intestines.

Visceral fat is sometimes referred to as ‘active fat’ because research has shown that this type off at plays a distinctive and potentially dangerous role diabetes, heart disease and how our hormones function. Hormones play a key role in finding the right nutrition plan and needs for our clients of all ages.

If you have had a BIA or Inbody test done and would like help interpreting the results and what to do to change them, or if weight loss has eluded you, give us call to get a Jumpstart on your health today!