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The importance of Sleep on muscle gain.

Does sleep have any effect on your muscles?

Our Sports Scientists hear all the time from clients that their sleeping patterns are poor. Late nights out, working late, mind racing when your head hits the pillow etc. Can you relate?

It is very well known and documented that sleep plays a crucial part of humans’ general health and wellbeing. However, does sleep have any effect on muscle gain, retention or loss? Let’s dig deep and find out!

A number of studies have identified the importance of sleep on human hormonal balancing. When we sleep, our body releases anabolic hormones such as Testosterone & IGF-1 to aid the body in the recovery process. When sleep is insufficient, the release of these hormones is reduced which may lower the bodies’ ability to repair muscle or thus build muscle. So if you are doing regular strength training, but your sleep is compromised you could end up not getting those gains!

Studies have also shown that sleep is vital to make sure we don’t experience muscle atrophy (muscle break down). Lack of sleep will elevate hormones in our body, specifically CORTISOL. Cortisol is a stress hormone and when its elevated it has the effect of breaking down muscle tissue. This hormone is very Catabolic and reduces the rate of protein synthesis and inhibits muscle tissue growth.

So Elevated Cortisol = harder to gain muscle!!!

To reap the rewards of our hard work in the gym, you must get your sleep right.

The time in which we sleep directly influences cortisol levels as well! A number of studies have identified that individuals who slept during the day could not significantly reduce Cortisol levels when compared to people who slept during “regular” night hours. The conclusion of these studies stated that there is a direct correlation to cortisol secretion and our bodies natural clock (Circadian Rhythm) and it seems that catching up sleep the next day might not offset a bad night’s sleep.

To summarise, sleep plays a HUGE role in the growth and maintenance of muscle mass. LACK of sleep will contribute to breaking down your hard earned muscle! Sleep provides a state of recovery and repair for the body, allowing the “good” anabolic hormones to be secreted into the bloodstream and reducing the release of “bad” catabolic hormones.

Put your sleeping habits to the test with a DEXA scan and our experts will provide you with the advice you need to get to your goals!

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It’s not too late to get your dream summer body!

It’s a common saying – summer bodies are made in winter. And maybe with the whiff of wattle in the August air, you’re thinking that it’s nearly spring and you’ve left it too late to get your dream beach body.

Well, we’re here to tell you that it’s not too late!

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Losing body fat and building lean muscle tissue before summer hits its stride is completely achievable, especially when you have the inside advantage of a DEXA scan to give you an accurate picture of your current internal health. This information can allow us to recommend some simple dietary and exercise tweaks that will help you achieve your health goals.

Six steps to a healthy summer body

  1. Come in for a baseline DEXA scan. In a few short minutes, we can give you a detailed and accurate picture of your health. Our scan results will let you know your weight, body fat percentage including intramuscular fat versus visceral fat, bone density, and lean muscle mass.

2. Using this information, we can calculate your optimum calorie intake and ideal protein requirements. Getting enough protein is important for building and maintaining lean muscle mass, but too much can contribute to undesirable weight gain. Using the information that a DEXA scan gives you, we can help you to strike the right balance.

3. Exercise the right amount – not too little, but also not too much. Over-exercising is one of the most frequent factors that prevent our clients from achieving their goals. Exercising too much can increase production of the stress hormone, cortisol, which can cause your body to stockpile fat.

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4. Lift your way to lean. Strength training is hands down the most effective way to get the lean body everybody wants. Weight training doesn’t mean getting bulky muscles, even when you are lifting heavy weights.

5. Get a follow up DEXA scan to track your progress, and keep you motivated. Keeping track of your results is one of the best ways to give you the motivation you need to stick to your eating plan and exercise routine. Even if the number on your bathroom scales isn’t shifting, we can show you the reduction in body fat and the increase in lean muscle tissue.

6. Just keep going. Persistence is key to success. Stay focused on your goal of being fit and healthy so that you can enjoy all the amazing activities that Sydney summer has to offer. Make a list of everything you want to do and get out there this summer and DO IT.

So don’t sit there thinking that you’ve left it too late and you might as well just hide away in the air conditioning once summer arrives. We can give you all the information you need to get your health on track and will support you along the way. Call us today to book a DEXA scan package and roll on summer!

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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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The Skinny on Fat! Are you as healthy as you think you are?

Are you TOFI?
Are you TOFI?

There’s no doubt that one of the greatest health challenges of our time is obesity and all the associated medical problems that flow on from being over one’s ideal weight. But it’s not just the obese that need to worry.

Are you TOFI?

Studies are showing that a significant percentage of the population that are ‘skinny’ are actually carrying dangerous amounts of visceral fat inside their abdomen – that is, Thin Outside, Fat Inside (TOFI), or Skinny-Fat. Medically, it is known as Metabolically Obese But Normal Weight (MONW), and it is thought to affect anywhere from 10 to 25 per cent of people with a normal, healthy weight.

These hidden fat stores, typically inside your tummy and around your organs, can contribute to a range of health problems including insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes, elevated liver fat, heart disease, dementia, cancer and more. Furthermore, a recent study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that there was actually a higher mortality rate in adults who were a normal weight at the time of becoming diabetic than adults who were overweight or obese.

What causes TOFI?

Being TOFI is primarily a symptom of being physically inactive and as all ways genetics plays a part. The typical TOFI is always being told how ‘lucky’ they are to be able to eat whatever they like, not exercise and remain slim. But the regular indulgence in heavily processed foods and sugary drinks, combined with a sedentary lifestyle is having an impact, even if it’s not visible. This particularly becomes apparent when the ageing process kicks in and hormone changes cause muscle mass to decrease, the metabolism slows and the so-called middle age spread starts make those jeans a bit harder to do up.

How to tell if you are a TOFI

First of all, you need to take stock of your lifestyle. If you don’t exercise as regularly as you should, chances are you probably have unhealthy fat deposits hiding beneath the surface. Being physically inactive is one of the biggest causes of visceral fat build up. Other factors such as poor diet and stress can also cause visceral fat to be deposited. Measures such as Body Mass Index (BMI) and waist circumference are crude metrics at best and are not a good indicator of the visceral fat, nor the quantity of this bad fat, that you may be storing.

Measurements such as skin-fold testing are also inadequate, as they measure subcutaneous fat, and cannot measure the hidden fat in your tummy, around your organs. Subcutaneous fat does not carry the same health risks as fat on your insides. The best way to find out what’s going on inside your tum is with a DEXA scan which will reveal your body composition. This quick and painless technique can show your hidden fat within 5 minutes.

OK, so I’m TOFI – What should I do?

Your Dexa Scan will reveal if you are TOFI. Once you know your true body composition, you can then take steps to get leaner, lose fat and build muscle mass. The best way to do this is through increasing activity, particularly weight bearing exercise, interval training and by reducing processed foods in the diet. Maintaining not just your ideal weight, but also your ideal body composition with a low body fat percentage is one of the best things you can do to prevent lifestyle diseases like type 2 diabetes that are placing such a burden on our medical system.

The Experts at Body Measure have the only type of Dexa scanner in the world that actually shows your fat that is on the inside of your body. If this bad fat is found they can advise you on the best, safest and fastest way to get rid of it.

Regular, ongoing Dexa scans to assess your body composition and to track your fat loss can play an important role in keeping you motivated and on-track. You can actually see the fat around your organs disappear! One of the biggest causes of people not sticking to new healthier lifestyles is the lack of visible results and this is especially the case for hidden visceral fat.

You can’t always see the changes from the outside, so let us show you what’s going on inside your abdomen and keep you committed to maintaining your lean tissue and muscle mass.

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Finding motivation in fat facts- Bringing Sexy Back!

When Paula Beckton was selected as a contestant on Channel 7’s Bringing Sexy Back, she weighed 101 kilograms. However, Paula had convinced herself that the figure was only a number. It was only when she had her first DEXA scan, and was confronted with the facts about her body composition behind it, that Paula had what she called her moment of truth:

“The DEXA scan revealed the true me. Knowing and facing the damage I was doing inside was really important and a pivotal point. You don’t actually know that when you weigh yourself on the scales at home. Seeing the DEXA scan imaging of the amount of fat I had on my body was quite confronting, I think on the show I said that it was “really gross” and I can’t deny that it was shocking. I could see how much my weight gain had affected my health and how poor a role model I was being for my children.”

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Paula reviews her Dexa Scan on Channel Seven’s Bringing Sexy Back

 

Starting her journey with a DEXA scan and being provided with detailed body composition data was a key motivational tool for Paula. “Having a DEXA scan at the start really sets the pace and allows you to be very clear on what your starting point is and what you want to get away from being.”

As most overweight people who’ve tried to make lifestyle changes know, it can be tough. Maintaining motivation and momentum to lose weight is difficult when the number on your bathroom scales is barely shifting.

Paula was able to bypass this frustration, thanks to regular DEXA scans to review her body composition. The scans empowered Paula with critical information on maintaining momentum, keeping her focused on her journey towards a more ideal weight.

“When you lose weight, you sometimes don’t see yourself how much weight you have lost. You might think, oh, I’ve only lost 12 kilograms, but with the DEXA scan showing me what that loss of 12 kilograms actually means in regards to health and not just weight, it really gave me a mental edge to continue to work towards my goals,” says Paula.

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Paula’s weight loss transformation!

 

Thanks to Bringing Sexy Back and the insights provided by DEXA scans, Paula has been able to make significant lifestyle changes – all while managing the regular challenges of daily life.

“I made this work, I wasn’t locked away for three months. I had all my usual responsibilities as a mother, a wife, and a business owner. I worked, I cooked, I cleaned and did all the normal things that a working mother of four kids does. My exercise regime consisted of 20 minutes in the morning on a cross trainer as that was all the time I had available to me, so I made the most of those 20 minutes every day.

“I had tried and failed at so many diets in the past – otherwise I wouldn’t have reached 101 kilograms! I knew that this time around any changes would need to be sustainable in the overall context of my life.”

With four children, Paula was motivated to improve her own health so that she could continue to be present in their lives and able to keep up with them. “My kids’ obvious pride in me being healthy is a great feeling and knowing that their little arms came closer and closer together when they hug me is fantastic.”

Yet, with juggling four children and a busy work life, Paula had to recognise that one of the most important factors in her success was self-motivation and a willingness to put herself first.

“I had to commit to myself that there would not be anything that was going to stop me, not even the repertoire of excuses I had from past efforts. I needed to make the right choices for myself, and not just for the kids.”

The experience of appearing on Bringing Sexy Back and the empowering information from the DEXA scans, has been a life-changing experience for Paula.

“I have made a healthy lifestyle change and it was such a wonderful opportunity. I would strongly encourage others to take the steps to jump start their new life and embrace living, truly living, a new healthier lifestyle towards health and fitness.”

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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!

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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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Body Measure Dexa Scanner explained on Channel Seven’s “Bringing Sexy Back”

Bringing Sexy Back has broken the mould on the misinformed belief that weight loss is the key to health. The reality is that fat loss, not weight loss is the best measure of a person’s health improvement.

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In order to measure this, Bringing Sexy Back chose the most advanced DEXA Scanner in the world, the Medix DR supplied by InMed Pty Ltd, the same one used at Body Measure.

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Our DEXA or Dual Energy X-Ray Absorptiometry, uses a very small amount of X-Ray, less than 1/30 of normal daily background radiation, to differentiate and quantify tissue and bone based on their densities.

In other words, if you had 30 Dexa Scans back to back (which would take 2.5 hrs) you would receive the same radiation as a day at Bondi Beach!

Using high resolution digital detectors, the machine scans in overlapping sweeps to create a very detailed image of a person’s body composition.

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The images produce show the bone, fat mass and lean mass, and the total body composition in percentages. The composition image provides the greatest detail of fat and lean distribution through an individual.

Fat is shown with colour ranges of red (highest density and concentration of fat) through to a very pale yellow (lowest density and concentration of fat).

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The superior resolution of the Medix DR system allows every pixel of fat through multiple depths to be visualised rather than just “painting” entire regions and averaging results like other systems. In fact, our Body Measure DEXA Scanner has twice as many detectors than any other DEXA Scanner available in the World, giving it unparalleled accuracy.

A particular advantage of DEXA is its ability to determine and monitor changes in body fat percentage, muscle mass and bone density. This technology has an enormous scope of conditions or which it can be applied.

Such examples include: bone mineral density screening for osteoporosis, muscle loss screening and, as used on “Bringing Sexy Back”, body fat screening which has the potential to revolutionise the way we look at weight and fat loss.

The clients od Body Measure love it because it gives them a base line from which to compare how exercise and nutrition affects their bodies.

Many times with our clients certain nutritional and exercise regimes are not effective for their unique bodies. We will often see a lot of muscle loss, rather than fat loss after a 3 or 4 week campaign. With this information gained from the worlds most accurate DEXA Scanner one can manipulate their exercise and nutrition protocols to promote fat loss and muscle building. This is what makes DEXA Scans so effective and efficient when it comes to changing ones body composition.

Reduction in fat mass decreases the risk of heart disease, of type 2 diabetes and other health issues related to obesity.

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Weight loss without fat loss does not have the same impact. Never before has this superior technology been readily available to the general public, to ensure that they are losing fat and not muscle.

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Metabolism – Energy Burned Whilst Doing Nothing

Your body is constantly burning kilojoules just to stay alive, even when you are watching television or sleeping! Knowing your Basal (Resting) Metabolic Rate is useful when trying to lose fat and gain muscle. You essentially get a baseline of the minimum kilojoules required just to live.DEXA scan image

There is a lot of hype out there about metabolism and things that supposedly raise or lower ones metabolism,most of them are false. A reliable way to work out your Basal Metabolic Rate is to accurately know your lean tissue mass. Lean tissue mass ( so that’s muscles and organs ) are the biggest users of kilojules.
There are a lot of Metabolism formulas on the internet which ask for your height, weight etc. in an effort to estimate of your lean tissue. The best way to determine your lean tissue is to get a DEXA scan. DEXA scans show the total lean tissue, fat and bone on your body. Once you know the lean tissues in kilograms, a formula can be applied to determine your Basal Metabolic Rate. Bodymeasure, Sydney’s leading experts in body composition can accurately measure your lean tissue and calculate your metabolic rate for you. Once this has been done, you have an accurate baseline from which to determine the kilojoules you should consume from your diet and the kilojoules you should burn off from exercise. 

Because Basal Metabolic rate is determined by lean tissue, the good news is through working out you can increase your lean muscle mass and therefore raise your metabolism! Regular DEXA scans will show you how much muscle you are gaining from your workouts so you can accurately know how much your metabolism has increased.

Body Measure are Sydney’s experts in body composition.

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Diabetes and Visceral Fat

Fat and thinDid you know that one of the leading causes of diabetes worldwide is the extra fat that is stored in your stomach and is literally suffocating many of your vital organs?

Both a genetic and developed disease (that is, a lifestyle disease), diabetes is a condition that is a direct result of the body’s inability to control a healthy sugar level.  In fact, the main reason for the occurrence of diabetes is due to the failure of insulin production.

Having extra fat, namely visceral fat, in the stomach region of the body produces a discharge of unhealthy elements that are a direct correlation between system inflammation and a metabolic breakdown.

During the onset of diabetes, the first sign of the hazardous disease is referred to as insulin resistance.  When insulin resistance occurs it does so because of the body’s decreased awareness of insulin cells. What happens is the body produces lots of insulin but the cells that register the insulin no longer register the insulin. So the body is forced to make more insulin. Eventually what happens is that the pancreas falters and then stops producing insulin.

Body composition is the link to diabetes. Having fat on the arms and legs for example is not associated with a risk of diabetes. Having fat in the abdomen is however.

The link between diabetes and excess visceral fat is so definite that it has been scientifically proven in terms of an abdomen’s diameter.  Men that exceed a stomach radius of 102 cm and women passing 88 cm are at a much greater risk of developing the disease than those individuals that have a proportionate body composition.

Because visceral fat can directly result in a body’s lack of insulin production, it is crucial to the body’s health and longevity to maintain a healthy lifestyle and be aware of what is happening around the waistline.

An incredibly accurate way to measure the fat in the waistline is to get a Dexa scan at Body Measure, Sydney’s experts in body composition measurement.

Symptoms of Diabetes

  • Weight loss
  • Frequent bathroom use
  • Extreme feeling of fatigue
  • Blurred vision
  • Constant thirst and hunger

Fortunately, through a healthy diet, fish oil intake and regular exercise, the visceral fat throughout the stomach and body can be reduced to healthy levels.

Without question, one of the best preventative maintenance options for you and your visceral fat is to come to Body Measure in Crow’s Nest, Sydney and get it measured with a Dexa Scan. And learn how to decrease visceral fat, if you are found to have unhealthy levels.

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Visceral Fat turning Men into Women!

man boobsIf you look around at men at the beach you will notice that there are more and more men these days with man boobs. This is something we used to see in older men but now its becoming more common in general and more common in younger men. So what’s going on!

Well the culprit for this phenomenon for many men is Visceral Fat.

Visceral fat also known as belly fat is the fat that is inside your abdomen. This fat is a bad fat and is responsible for things like diabetes and cardiovascular disease. But what many people don’t know is that is produces and enzyme called aromatase.

Aromatase converts testosterone into estrogen. That is it converts male hormones into female hormones. Visceral fat produces so much aromatase that its literally feminizing men, by robbing them of testosterone.

So a man’s body composition is what makes them produce too much aromatase or not. It’s not the amount of fat on the body but rather where it is that makes all the difference.

Through a dexa scan at bodymeasure, Sydney’s most accurate body composition experts, men can find out where the fat is in their body. If a lot is found in the abdomen there is a high likelihood that aromatase will be very active in their system. If this is the case they will have higher than normal levels of estrogen (a female hormone) in their body.

Symptoms of high estrogen in men

  • Tiredness
  • Brain fogginess
  • Weight gain
  • Fat on the chest, man boobs
  • Depression
  • Lack of enthusiasm for life
  • Low sexual drive

Body Measure provides you with the only Dexa scan in sydney that can actually see your visceral fat and where its specifically located.

The scan takes five minutes and will provide you with immediate results.