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Losing weight, but are you losing muscle mass too?

There’s no end of diets and weight loss strategies that promise that you’ll shed x number of kilos in y number of days. ‘Look sexy by Christmas,’ they shout from magazine covers at the supermarket checkout. ‘Drink our shakes and drop two dress sizes by Sunday,’ they claim. And yes, you probably will lose x number of kilos and you might even fit into that dress you bought on sale even though really it was straining more than a little at the zip. But what’s that rapid weight loss really made of?

What are you really losing?

Recent research has shown that rapid weight loss leads to much more muscle being lost than a more steady approach to reaching your ideal weight. It is suspected that this is because when you are on a very low kilojoule or crash diet, the body is forced to break down extra muscle tissue to create the protein and sugar that is missing from your food intake. As a result, crash dieters can lose up to 50 -80 % of their weight loss as muscle within as little as a fortnight!

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Are you burning fat or muscle?

But I’m skinny now, so why does it matter that I’ve lost muscle?

Maintaining and increasing lean muscle mass as part of your weight loss strategy is important for two key reasons. Firstly, muscle is better at burning off kilojoules than fat, which means that if you have less muscle, your body will use less energy! And that weight you just lost? Well, you can expect to see it creeping back on once you start eating normally again – and probably some extra weight too just to really give you a kick in the guts! Secondly, a body with a good proportion of lean tissue just looks better. So if you want to look good in the buff as well as in your bargain sale dress, making sure your muscle mass is maintained is just good sense.

So, how can I tell if I’m losing muscle or fat?

A DEXA scan is an easy and accurate way to determine both your body composition and where your body is storing fat. Body Measure In Crows Nest can tell you if you are storing dangerous visceral fat around your vital organs like your heart, pancreas and your liver, and let you know what your ideal ratio of body fat to lean tissue is. You can then use this information to reach both a healthy weight AND low body fat. At Body Measure we have recorded muscle loss to fat loss with ratio’s as high as 4:1 – so we have had clients that have lost 5 kg’s of body weight, with 4kg being muscle and only 1kg of weight being fat. This is clearly not ideal. By identifying this early we can make changes to the clients training and nutrition to pushed their bodies to fat burning and Muscle sparing.

The fact is that there are no quick fixes to achieving true health. An active lifestyle and plenty of exercise are vital to reduce visceral fat around the abdomen, no matter how skinny you are on the outside. And when it comes to weight loss, slow and steady so that you can protect your body’s vital muscle mass is the way to go. It might not be as rapid, but it will last a hell of a lot longer. So, eat foods that are good for your body (we know the ones), pick up some weights and commit to making changes for the long term to achieve your health goals. As you start to make changes, regular DEXA scans can show you the changes in your body composition and allow you to tweak your diet and exercise to achieve the results that you are after and say goodbye to the weight loss-gain cycle and yo-yo dieting.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest, Sydney, for your DEXA scan to ensure your are burning fat, not muscle!

Call 02 9460 8502 to book your appointment.

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It’s what’s on the inside that counts: The risks of hidden fat

Do you have a secret killer hiding deep within your abdomen? Visceral fat, or abdominal fat, might be out of sight, but it really shouldn’t be out of mind. Visceral fat is implicated in a wide variety of health problems – much more so than the visible subcutaneous fat you can pinch between your fingers.visceralfat-dexascan-sydney-crowsnest

What’s the problem with visceral fat?

This hidden fat can be quite literally strangling your heart, liver and kidneys. It is highly toxic and releases a stream of dangerous poisons into your body. Visceral fat can also affect your mood by increasing production of the stress hormone, cortisol, and reducing levels of feel-good endorphins.

Visceral fat is linked to many serious illnesses. These include metabolic disturbances, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. In women, it is associated with breast cancer and the need for gallbladder surgery. Emerging research is even showing associations between excess visceral fat and dementia.

How to identify visceral fat?

One of the biggest problems with visceral fat is that it is hidden out of sight inside the abdomen. There is a significant portion of people with normal weight – estimates are as high as 25 per cent of people of normal BMI – who have dangerous amounts of visceral fat, a phenomenon commonly known as Skinny-Fat or TOFI (Thin Outside, Fat Inside). Waist circumference is also a crude and often misleading metric. Traditionally used methods such as skin-fold testing also only measure the subcutaneous fat on the exterior of your body – and while this fat may be annoying and less than desirable from an aesthetic point-of-view, it really doesn’t have anywhere near the bearing on your overall health as abdominal fat.

The best way to identify the amount of hidden visceral fat is through a body composition scan, such as a DEXA scan. This will tell you HOW MUCH is in your body and WHERE in your body that fat is being stored.

What can you do about visceral fat?

The great news is that visceral fat responds really well to diet and exercise, particularly high-intensity exercise. Increasing exercise and improving diet also results in lower blood pressure and better cholesterol levels. Contrastingly, subcutaneous fat can be frustratingly difficult to shift, but fortunately it is not considered as much of a health threat.xercise-dexascan-bodycomposition-sydney-crowsnest-visceralfat

But how can you know that your efforts are making a difference if you can’t see the changes? Being able to zip up your jeans might indicate lower weight, but it doesn’t guarantee that you’ve lost that risky abdominal fat. This is where regular body composition scans come into their own, ensuring that you are monitoring your results and staying motivated to maintain your healthy lifestyle changes. Reducing abdominal fat and increasing your lean muscle mass is one of the best things you can do for your longevity, so it’s worth sticking with these health changes for the long-term.

Don’t become a statistic in Australia’s obesity crisis. Open your eyes to what’s going on inside your body. Start by identifying how much fat is surrounding your internal organs and take the necessary steps to improve your health and fitness. Maintaining an ideal weight with a high proportion of lean tissue to body fat doesn’t just mean you’ll look better on the outside. It means you’ll look better on the inside too – and we all know that it’s what’s on the inside that really counts.

Visit Body Measure in Crows Nest for your Dexa Scan and body composition details, and find out how much visceral fat you are carrying!

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Direction to Health

Physiotherapist Emma Esslemont recently discovered the huge benefits of getting a Dexa Scan at Body Measure in Crows Nest. Mainly, she loved the fact she was given perspective and direction as to what is needed to be ‘healthier’.

She also asks the question: If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

Check out her experience below:

Last weekend I went and got a DEXA Scan & it was probably the most interesting & worthwhile $85 I have spent in a long time.

Why?

Chronic disease is literally taking over the world. If it’s not heart disease its diabetes or cancer; obesity or depression. It’s all around us and it’s pretty scary.

This really hit home recently for me following a conversation with my mum. My parents are in their mid 60’s and both have had a pretty clean bill of health. Many of their close friends however have not been so fortunate. In the last 6 months my godfather passed suddenly from a heart attack (he had underlying heart disease), my godmother is battling breast cancer and another close family friend recently found out she had a brain tumour. Bad things happen in 3’s so I have my fingers crossed that that’s the last of the bad news.

A DEXA scan is the most accurate test to measure our body composition and bone density. Our bodies are comprised of fat, bone, muscle and of course our vital organs. In the past body mass index (BMI) has been the measure of choice in the medical world. This uses your weight and height to calculate whether you are normal, overweight, obese or morbidly obese. The shortfall of this is that people who have a lot of muscle such as sportsmen & athletes were falling into the obese category because it doesn’t account for differences in muscle mass and fat mass.

The DEXA scan addresses all of this allowing an accurate measure of body fat, lean muscle and bone density. It takes out ‘water weight’ (the mass of our bladder and bowel) and also is capable of breaking down measurements into different regions. This is particularly important medically as higher levels of visceral fat in the abdominal region (yep I’m talking beer bellies and muffin tops) is a huge risk factor for many chronic diseases such as heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

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Doctors, personal trainers and nutritionists can then use this information to implement prevention strategies into one’s lifestyle. People with lower bone density will benefit from weight bearing & resistance exercises to strengthen the bones while people with high visceral fat may need to address certain aspects of their diet.

Considering that the fitness industry is BOOMING at the moment; there’s boot camps, running groups, gym franchises popping up EVERYWHERE we really don’t seem to be getting any healthier. Australia is one of the ‘fattest’ nations in the world!

Why?

I honestly believe that it’s because so many of us are not aware of our unhealthy we really are. Health and wellbeing isn’t as simple as exercising every day, sure this helps (and I highly encourage it) BUT many other aspects need attention, especially diet and nutrition. Having this scan, and having a visual image of my body composition which is then mapped against normal values for my age group gives you a little perspective and also gives you direction as to what you need to do to be ‘healthier’.

I’ll leave you with this thought.

If you knew you were at higher risk of developing chronic disease would you change your lifestyle?

It’s $85 that could quite literally save your life.

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DEXA SCANS – GET ACCURATE BODY COMPOSITION!

With summer around the corner many of us are working hard towards getting that beach body. We all know the deal. Increase lean mass and decrease fat. But how do we know if all our hard work is working? How do we know what our current body composition is? How do we measure our progress toward our goals?

The Answer is by getting a DEXA scan. A DEXA scan machine is one of the most accurate ways to measure your body composition and how your training and nutrition is affecting your body.

Adam Meredith at Body Measure is Sydney’s leading expert in Body composition Measurements. DEXA machines measure your Body Fat %, total lean tissue, total fat mass and Bone Density! The Body Measure Machine however does more!

Body Measure is the latest state of the art Dexa Scanner and was the Dexa Machine used in Channel 7’s “Bringing Sexy Back”. Sexy back double pic The Body Measure DEXA SCAN is the only scanner in the world that visualizes Visceral fat (the fat around the stomach organs that is correlated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease) and Intramuscular fat (that is the marbling you have in your muscles!) With Body Measure DEXA we don’t miss any of the fat. In fact Dexa is accurate to the gram!

DEXA scan image
Male scan
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Female scan

When we asked the biggest advantage of using Dexa – Adam Meredith replied: “The biggest thing I see when doing clients before and after scans is that a large proportion of clients will burn significant amounts of muscle and not fat as they lose weight, despite lifting weights at the gym. With Dexa I can pick this up quickly and we can change the clients training and nutrition to promote fat loss rather than muscle loss. The other great advantage is that we can work out a client’s Metabolic Rate, and also calculate how much fat they would need to lose to be at their ideal weight! But the most important feature is that this DEXA scanner can show clients their Visceral Fat levels. It’s surprising how some clients can look apparently normal but when we scan them we find large deposits of Visceral Fat. It’s really important to see this fat and for clients to get rid of it because we know this fat is associated with bad things like Diabetes and Cardiovascular disease’’  

Dexa is extremely safe and uses extremely low levels of XRay (in fact it’s about 1/35th of the daily exposure you get from x-rays if you spent the day at the beach). Each scan takes about 5 minutes and the results are immediate! Adam will go through your scans so that you understand exactly where you are at. If you want to get a baseline of where you are at, or work out how much fat you need to lose, or check if you have any visceral fat, or you want to get the most out of your training call Body Measure on (02) 9460 8502

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Visceral Fat and trying to lose weight!

Did you know that having visceral fat can make losing body fat even harder?Man and woman body fat

Although almost everyone has visceral fat in their body, some individuals have a lot more than others.  By eating foods that are filled with fatty or sugar based substances, the visceral fat in your system will promote weight gain.

Visceral fat, is the bad fat around the organs of your stomach and can lead to problematic issues like diabetes and heart disease. So right there is a good reason to change your body composition and lose this bad fat.

But visceral fat is also a major player in weight gain.  Unlike other types of body fat, visceral fat alters the way that our body divides food and then stores fat cells. So that you metabolism is geared toward storing fat, rather than using it as a fuel source.  Additionally, this specific type of fat is one of the main causes of insulin resistance, which directly results in extra weight gain.

Luckily, there are many different ways for you to lose visceral fat and avoid weight gain all together.  Whether it’s through nutritional supplements like vitamins and supplements, regular exercise or a healthy diet, visceral fat can be reduced to healthy levels.

But, what if you don’t even know if you have visceral fat in your body?  The answer is much easier to find than you might think; especially with one quick and simple visit to Body Measure in Crow’s Nest, Sydney. Body Measure are Sydney’s leading experts in body composition.

The most exact way to get instant visceral fat results is by getting it measured with a Dexa Scan.

One of the most advanced measuring systems in the world, a Dexa Scan will provide you with tangible results.  Body Measure dexa Scan is the only machine in the word that can visualize the visceral fat in your body.

This state of the art body composition analysis only takes 5 minutes.

We will explain your results on the day and give you an in-depth review of the final outcome.

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Visceral Fat and Cardiovascular Disease

Cardiovascular system and visceral fat

Not to be confused with the fat that lays directly beneath the skins surface, visceral fat, is fat stored around the organs in the stomach.

What a lot of people don’t realize about visceral fat, is that it is directly involved in cardiovascular disease.

In fact, a recent study at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts, has shown that obese people with  visceral fat have a 44% higher chance of contracting a heart condition or cardiovascular disease. 

Also known as stomach fat, visceral fat has been scientifically shown to clog the main arteries in the body, reducing healthy blood flow.

Moreover, visceral fat due to it inflammatory properties sets up an environment that worsens atherosclerosis (hardening of the arteries) further increasing the likelihood of cardiovascular disease.

Visceral fat is also processed by the body’s liver which consequently turns it into unhealthy cholesterol that flows through the blood.

Low visceral fat

Understanding body composition is really important for your health. Science is now showing that the location of a person’s fat that has more impact on health, than the actual amount of fat.

The good thing is, you can get rid of visceral fat. Through a healthy diet, nutrition consumption like fish oil and regular exercise, visceral fat can be reduced to healthy levels.
The most effective and accurate way to measure your body composition to determine visceral fat levels is by getting yourself measured with a Dexa Scan. Dexa Scan is the gold standard for body composition.

Many of our clients come to Body Measure, Sydney’s most accurate dexa scan, to have their visceral fat levels measured. Then after intervention, such as dietary changes and exercising we  re-measure their exact changes in visceral fat and body composition.

Body Measure is Sydney’s most accurate way to measure your body composition.