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Case Study: Measuring Your Health

Ever step off the scale and wonder if a weight increase was due to gained fat or muscle?

A couple weeks ago, I was frustrated that my scale was showing the same weight, yet I could see my progress in the mirror and on the mat. That’s when I had a DEXA scan, and I’ve since learned how few people know about it.

If you’ve read any of my other case studies, you’ll know that I use numbers to make a lot of decisions in my life. I love DEXA because of the awesomely detailed and accurate information it can provide. A couple days ago, we learned why smart scales don’t cut it for measuring body fat; not coincidentally, data from a DEXA scan was used to make the point.

Now that I’ve built it up, I bet your wondering what kind of information you can get from DEXA.

  • whole body breakdown into lean pounds, fat pounds, and bone mineral content (BMC)
  • lean pounds, fat pounds, and BMC for each leg and each arm, your android (abdominal) and gynoid (hips/thighs) areas
  • lean mass symmetry, fat mass distribution, bone density, and more

Forewarning, your body-fat percentage will likely be higher than you expect. I was in shock on my first consultation. DEXA includes all the fatty tissues in your body, even those in your brain (around 3 pounds). If you weigh 150 pounds, that’s an instant 2% increase in body fat.

What’s this data look like? Well, I’m glad you asked.

Without further ado, here are my DEXA results as an example.

Personal note: I lost 18 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle! That’s a 28 pound re-composition and a decrease of 9% body fat! Woo!

Ok, now you’re excited. How can I get my own DEXA scan?

If you’re in the Chicagoland area, I highly recommend DexaFit, where I have my scans done. Otherwise, if you can’t find a local center online, call your local orthopedic doctor or hospital. Ask about bone densitometry—DEXA scans are used to diagnose osteoporosis around the country. Its actually what they were designed to do. :)

Posted in Case Studies.

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