What the doctors say

August 1, 2015

Whilst I'm on this journey, I want to be very definitive in terms of how much fat I have lost, and for that matter, how much muscle I've gained. You can use scales in a rudimentary way, you can even use fancy scales that give you a Body Mass Index (BMI) value. It does this by way of Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA). Yep, we've really stepped into acronym territory here.

Are the BMI scales accurate? Do they work? The general consensus is no, they don't. Body type, level of hydration, body temperature and whether you have exercised recently all affect the reading. So they are really quite useless.

Is there a way to accurately measure where your body fat is at then? I mean how are you going to tell if your fat loss crusade has been effective, if at all?

Enter the Dexa Scan.

The Dexa Body Scan is a machine that runs low-level x-rays across your body for about 3 minutes and provides quite a precise view of your body make up in terms of fat weight/percentage, bone density and lean mass (lean mass is basically anything from muscle to tendons, to cartilage, to  blood, etc). Thanks to Dr Matt Shaw at Bodyscan for conducting the revealing pictures.

So to accurately measure my progress and my end of journey, I'll be conducting a Dexa Scan at the start of the journey, in the middle at the 4 week mark and at the end of 8 weeks. The below is my current Dexa Scan, with some things interesting to note:

  • The yellow bits are fat, glorious fat!
  • I have 21.67% Fat Body Mass. The estimated weight of this fat is 18kg. For men my age and height, I'm deemed to be 2kg overweight. What makes it a struggle for me is where I carry my weight. Bluntly, sit-ups are a struggle.
  • On the BMI scale, I am rated at a 30.1. The World Health Organisation classes this as Obesity Level 1. But that's only by .2 points.
  • A healthy Fat Mass is between 12.5 and 16kg. A lean person is between 8.5 and 12kg. Whilst Athletes usually have 2 - 8.5 kg of Fat Mass.
  • On the upside, my bone density is above average at 1.3 grams per cm2.

I feel kinda naked showing this...

Dexa Scan