July 29, 2011

Body Composition Testing

I have been wondering for some time just what exactly my body fat percentage is - I had a suspicion that this might be a metric that would help me gauge whether I have in fact reached a healthy body weight. (I am still 2 pounds shy of "Normal" according to the BMI - meaning I an technically overweight).


Between writing this post and putting it up, I dropped a bit of weight - now at 161 - and officially a "Normal" BMI!

I have also, since my surgery, been mindful of the need to preserve lean body mass whilst losing fat - my strategies to achieve this have mainly been weight training and a low-carb eating plan. I was interested to see whether I had been successful - because it is entirely possible to achieve a "healthy" weight by BMI standards, but to actually be quite unhealthy in terms of body fat percentage.

A month or so ago I paid about $100.00 for a iDXA scan which provides a fairly accurate picture of fat, lean and bone - broken down by body area. My bone density was fantastic - indicating that I am very unlikely, even into old age, to suffer from osteoporosis-related fractures. This folks, is a benefit of the weight-bearing exercise I did all day, every day for about 20 years. Carrying 120 pounds of extra tissue around is a workout!

My body fat percentage is 36% - which is in the "Healthy" range for a woman of my age. Who knew?! I actually AM "Normal"!  It's by no means the body fat percentage that you would see in an athlete of my age, but not bad for someone who was considered morbidly obese less than 18 months ago!

The guy who ran the scan also talked a lot about nutrition, and he definitely promotes, for athletes AND for the rest of us, a high protein, high-quality fat diet with lots of vegetables and minimal grains, almost no sugar. He thought I might do better with closer to 120 grams of protein a day. I haven't really been tracking my intake recently - with vacations etc - but I do notice that when I push the protein I shrink a bit, even when I am not losing pounds.

Here are some images provided after my scan:

My body fat and lean tissue

My body fat% and where I stand in terms of health:

What the American College of Sports Medicine recommends (with respect to body fat%)

My Bone Density Results:
Pretty interesting stuff!

And hey! I'm NORMAL!!! I have PROOF!


  1. That is so neat! Totally awesome!


  2. Wow...what a great tracking tool! You have come a long way!

  3. That is wonderful news! And worth the $$$...thanks for sharing your results.

  4. this is too cool. congrats on being normal. :D