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The Scales Never Lie

Posted on 7th April 2011 in Gossip, Interesting Stuff
Written by: Jen Dugdale

If anyone’s as set on losing weight as I am, I would recommend splashing out on some all singing, all dancing bathroom scales.

Mine were purchased off the web and made their way to my desk this morning. But these are no ordinary scales. Oh no.

Not only do they measure weight, they also measure body fat %, hydration %, muscle mass %, BMI and BMR (metabolic rate). Now most people wouldn’t know, or care for that matter, what these are all about and why they’re important. But I’m going to tell you anyway – it’s my duty as part of a foodservice agency team to keep you in the know with nutrition/fitness tips and info!

The most important thing to remember is that getting healthier isn’t just about losing weight, something I have past struggled to get my head around. So here’s what my fancy new scales have to say about the importance of body analysis…

Body Fat % – Increasing or decreasing lbs on the scales is not telling you the whole truth. If you’re losing fat but gaining muscle at the same time, then the likelihood is that your weight won’t decrease at all. More importantly, don’t assume that losing lbs is a good thing. If your body fat % is still high, then you can only be losing muscle!

Hydration % – The water in your body makes up 50% of your total weight and is the most important component. You may have a normal body fat %, healthy weight and BMI, but your body hydration level could be insufficient. It’s definitely worth monitoring to make sure you’re in the green zone.

Muscle mass – Muscle decreases between the ages of 20 and 90 so it’s important to replace that muscle, so monitoring muscle mass % during weight loss is hugely important. Your body burns around 110 calories more for each kg of muscle gained and muscle building also helps keep your bones strong and joints flexible.

BMR – Metabolic rate (I never understood this one) is the rate at which you burn calories during everyday activities and bodily functions (e.g. your heart beating). Amazingly this makes up 60-70% of the calories used by the body. So the better your BMR, the more calories you will burn just being alive! This number will be influenced by diet and exercise as well as other factors like height, gender and age.

BMI – We all know what BMI is – the correlation between your height and weight that determines if you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Again though, without knowing the above information, your BMI may be misleading. I’m sure Gavin Henson’s BMI is off the chart, but a big percentage of his weight will be made up of muscle (this is something BMI can’t measure!)

So there we have it. The swanky scale’s guide to health and wellbeing! If you fancy picking some up for yourself, I got mine at – The Homedics ToeTouch Scanner Analyser Scales for £14.95. Bargain!