Guide to Basic Body Composition
Percent Body Fat Body/Fat Percentage
- Percent Body Fat is a reflection of how much of the body’s weight is made up of fat.
- It is calculated by dividing the weight of body fat mass by total weight.
- It helps to track progress whether trying to lose weight or gain muscle.
- This percentage can be applied to set percent body fat ranges.
- The healthy ranges are around 10-20% percent body fat for men and 18-28% for women.
Lean Body Mass/Fat-Free Mass GuideLean Body Mass is sometimes used interchangeably with Fat-Free Mass.
- Lean Body Mass is the weight of everything in the body that is not fat.
- This includes muscles, organs, bones, and body water.
- Lean Body Mass is not the same as muscle.
- Lean Body Mass is a collection of different types of body tissues that includes muscle.
- Lean Body Mass plus Body Fat Mass make up entire body weight.
- If the Lean Body Mass value is in pounds subtract this number from total body weight to get an approximation of Body Fat Mass.
- Divide this number by body weight, results are percent body fat.
- Lean Body Mass is closely related to the total number of calories the body needs every day.
- The Lean Body Mass forms the core of the body’s metabolism, and this number can be used to help determine unique dietary needs.
- No more basing nutrition off the 2,000-calorie diet. This is a poor one-size-fits-all approach to food intake.
Skeletal Muscle Mass Guide
- Skeletal muscle is one of four major muscle types and governs all the movements that are consciously controlled. Everything from texting to deadlifting a barbell.
- It is the muscle group that grows/builds when exercising.
- Increased Skeletal Muscle Mass translates into increased strength.
- When trying to build up the body and grow in size, this is the value to track and watch increase over time.
- However, muscle is not just for strength.
- Muscle is made up primarily of protein and can act as protein storage.
- When the body is under severe stress like a traumatic injury, the recovery process is triggered and needs added protein, up to four times the amount.
- When the body is not able to get the proper amount of protein from a normal diet, the body begins to get what it needs from the protein storage/muscles.
Basal Metabolic Rate/BMR
- The Basal Metabolic Rate, or BMR, is the number of calories that the body needs to maintain Lean Body Mass. It is a significant component of overall metabolism.
- An individual with more Lean Body Mass will have a higher Basal Metabolic Rate.
- This is the reason why a 250-pound athlete needs to eat more than a 150-pound sedentary adult. Because the athlete has more Lean Body Mass.
- BMR can help make a healthy diet plan designed for fat loss or muscle gain by helping understand how much energy/calories from food the body needs.
- Multiplying the BMR with activity factor will estimate Total Daily Energy Expenditure or TDEE.
- Using the TDEE as a baseline an individual can develop a nutritional plan based on body composition goals.
Body Water Guide
- Body Water includes all the water in the body. This means everything from:
- The water in the blood
- Water in the organs
- The water inside the bones
- Intracellular means inside the cells and includes the water in the organs, muscles, composing 2/3 of total body water.
- The remaining 1/3 is extracellular outside the cells and includes the water in the blood.
- When the body is generally healthy it maintains a healthy balance of intracellular to extracellular water with a ratio of around 3:2.
- When the balance becomes unbalanced or falls apart water monitoring becomes important.
- For example, individuals with severe health problems, like kidney ailments/failure, are unable to rid the body of extracellular water. This causes a buildup of water and requires removal through procedures like dialysis.
Dry Lean Mass
- Lean Body Mass includes everything that’s not body fat and includes body water.
- When all the water has been taken out what remains is known as Dry Lean Mass.
Lean Body Mass – Body Water = Dry Lean Mass
- This amounts to the protein content of the muscles and the mineral content of the bones.
- Most Dry Lean Mass will be found in these areas.
- Water monitoring can help track real, physical changes in the body.
- Lean Body Mass contains body water, and body water levels can be influenced by different factors like a recent workout or being low on carbohydrates.
- Changes in body water are considered technical changes in Lean Body Mass.
- When building muscle, the body is actually building new physical protein stores and reflects in Dry Lean Mass.
- An increase in Lean Body Mass can signal muscle growth, or not.
- However, an increase in Dry Lean Mass is a more favorable indicator that there is muscle growth.
- Two major categories of body fat.
- Subcutaneous fat is the fat under the skin and is the type that can be seen.
- The second type is called visceral fat.
- This fat collects inside the abdomen and wraps around the internal organs.
- Just because it cannot be seen does not mean it is not there.
- If it is there it is something definitely worth knowing about.
- This is because visceral fat is not just extra pounds but an active organ that secretes harmful hormones into the body that triggers never-ending inflammation.
- The more visceral fat, the greater risk of inflammation.
- Inflammation over time places added stress on the heart that can lead to cardiovascular problems.