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 densitometryâ€”DEXA scans are used to diagnose osteoporosis around the country. Its actually what they were designed to do.