Body Composition Scales: Are they accurate?

Do body composition scales accurately track fat loss?

Did you really just put on 6% body fat in a couple of days?  Most probably not.  The human body is extremely complicated and accuracy of body composition results require absolute consistent protocols when taking your measurements.  

Here at Wise Women Fitness, we use the Tanita Ironman BC-1500 Segmental Body Composition Analyzer as a way to measure body composition in order for clients to track their progress, namely through muscle mass and body fat %.

These scans are meant to be a benchmark only and not the holy grail. 

This post is a bit long, but I encourage you to read through it in its entirety.  

Having
an understanding of how body composition scales work will help you understand fluctuations you may get in your scan results.

Let’s begin…

Independent research at several major universities (including Columbia University in New York City) has confirmed that in clinical settings, the Tanita Body Composition Analyzer is accurate within +/- 5 percentage of the institutional standard of body composition analysis–Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DEXA).

While Tanita’s Ironman scale results are repeatable to within +/- 1 percent variation when used under consistent conditions, its findings shouldn’t be taken as gospel. As with all measuring tools, there are surrounding factors that can have an influence on the reading taken at the time.

It should be made clear that there is only one method of calculating body composition that is close to 100% accurate, and that is an autopsy.  Tanita believes its method to be the most convenient and accessible to accurately predict body composition.

So before you freak out when you next step on the scanner, as your results show a different story from what you had expected, this email will give you insight into how it works and the factors that can affect the reading (positively and negatively).

The Tanita scale uses Advanced Bioelectric Impedance Analysis (BIA) technology. When you stand on a Tanita monitor, a very low, safe electrical signal is sent from four metal electrodes through your feet to your legs and abdomen, and the hand-held electrodes will provide extra readings for each leg, arm, and abdominal area.

The electrical signal passes quickly through water that is present in hydrated muscle tissue but meets resistance when it hits fat tissue. This resistance, known as impedance, is measured and input into scientifically validated Tanita equations to calculate body composition measurements.

Therefore, temporary changes in the body can result in temporary changes in body composition results.

Once you understand how the readings can change in such a short space of time, you’ll see why just one snapshot scan doesn’t always tell the full story.

Factors to consider when interpreting your Tanita stats:

Exercise

Depending on whether you weigh in before or after working out, will have an influence on the results, especially the body fat % reading. During exercise, water is concentrated in the exercised area to supply nutrients and remove waste products. After exercise, impedance decreases and so does body fat – i.e. you will look leaner after you train. Additionally, your body temperature increases when you exercise which again reduces impedance and decreases body fat %.

Body temperature 


If the body is exposed to warmer temperatures, the skin temperature increases, and body fat % decreases. Generally, lower body temperature means an increase in impedance, which means lower fat-free mass (i.e. less muscle, more fat). A study showed that sauna exposure increased body temperature and caused a 1.7-3.2% reduction in body fat. And after being in an icy room, body temperature decreased and body fat increased by 1.3-4.2%. And while body temperature from the cold exposure returned to normal after 30 mins, body fat % did not return to a stable state even an hour after cold exposure.

So bear this in mind if you’ve just trained or been in a warm environment, you’re likely going to have lower body fat and on the flip side, if you’ve just been outside and haven’t had time to warm up, your body fat % might appear increased.

Taking a shower or bath

This increases blood flow and decreases impedance and so body fat % again decreases. A study showed that taking a shower before getting on the scanner resulted in a reduction in weight and body fat. From this study, one lady over a period of 7 days lost overall weight and body fat % (0.1kg-0.7kg and 0.5%-1.9% respectively)

So if you’ve just had a shower, chances are you’ll be lighter and leaner.


Eating

Eating decreases impedance through the ingestion and digestion of food. A study showed with meals eaten over the course of the day impedance is impacted and body fat influenced by up to 8.8% for females and 9.9% males.

The more you eat over the course of the day, the more chance you have of the reading not showing a true reflection of the results in front of you.

Toilet, clothing, and poop/urine do not affect impedance (resistance) BUT are considered as fat mass because electricity does not flow through them. So if you haven’t been to the toilet you’ll get a different measurement compared to scanning after going to the toilet.

Body fat decreases immediately after going to the toilet (reduced body weight used as the amount of fat mass). So consider this too as a factor.

Menstruation

Ladies, your results will have a larger variability than men due to periods. Weight is increased in the luteal phase (day 14 onwards in the cycle) due to the accumulation of total body water (increase in progesterone). This results in a decrease in body fat %.

However, diet at this time (increased sweet/salty food cravings) may cause accumulation of fat mass, increasing body fat %.

Therefore, weight and body fat can change quite a bit during the luteal and menstrual phase. Changes are so individual so it’s best not to scan during the luteal/menstrual phase and try to scan when in the follicular phase (day 1-14 of the cycle) if possible.

Weight

Weight is a big factor in total body water. For the most accurate results, it’s better to remove clothing and ensure no food is ingested (fasted is best) and you’ve been to the toilet. i.e. with clothes body fat % will increase.

So in an ideal scenario, you would do the scan without any clothes on, fasted and when you’ve been to the toilet – and for women only when you’re in the follicular phase of your cycle.

However, in practical terms, this isn’t always possible. Therefore you just need to have the factors outlined above in your mind as you’re stepping on to be scanned.


In closing, if your results have taken a sudden turn for the worse, it might not be that you’ve put on all that body fat in a short space of time (and equally you probably haven’t gained 3kg of muscle in a week either!)

The best way forward is to try and be as consistent as possible with the scans (time of day / when you’ve eaten / time of the month etc.) in order to get as accurate of a measure as possible.

Follow a consistent measuring schedule and your hydration fluctuations throughout the month will average out.  Then you will then be better able to assess any real change in your body fat percentage over time.

I hope this post helps you to better understand your body composition scan results.

Yours in health,

Lynn


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Think and Succeed

Think and Succeed

 

Ever since Napoleon Hill wrote his groundbreaking book, Think and Grow Rich, successful people have been using mastermind groups to up-level their accomplishments and create opportunities for themselves and for others as well. Perhaps you have heard of mastermind groups but are not sure what they are and how you could benefit from them.  

What is a mastermind?

In the words of Napoleon Hill, a mastermind is “Coordination of knowledge and effort, in a spirit of harmony, between two or more people, for the attainment of a definite purpose.”  

Basically, a mastermind group is a group of people who communicate regularly with each other for the purpose of helping each other reach their goals.

The idea of mastermind is taken from the habits of highly successful people.  

Napoleon Hill noticed, for example, that Andrew Carnegie belonged to a mastermind group, which consisted of about fifty men.  He surrounded himself with these men for the express purpose of manufacturing and marketing steel.  In fact, he later attributed the entirety of his fortune to the power he gained from this group of people. Likewise, most of Henry Ford’s success became noticeable after he became close friends with Thomas Edison.  Coincidence?  Not likely. 

These examples simply show the power that comes from being surrounded by people who are interested in thinking outside the box and are committed to reaching not only their own goals but helping you reach yours as well.  

What are the features of a successful mastermind?

While every mastermind group will have its own individual characteristics, there are some elements that should be present in order for the group to function at the highest level possible.  These include:

·   A leader. A leader is an essential ingredient for a mastermind group.  Without someone to provide direction and keep the session in line with the agenda, time could be wasted in unproductive chatter.  This person may also provide individual coaching for members outside of the group sessions.

·   Member commitment. Because a mastermind group is only as strong as its members, participants must be committed to being active in the group.  The success of a group depends on the willingness of each member to work hard not only on his own individual goals but also on the goals of the other members.  

·   Cost. Most mastermind groups require members to pay a fee to participate.  The value of this feature is rooted in the fact that people tend to value what they have invested themselves in.  The old cliché, ‘You don’t get something for nothing,’ rings true.  When members must pay a fee for the privilege of participating in a mastermind group, they are likely to take it more seriously.

Why do masterminds work?

When highly motivated people join together to reach goals and make things happen, the result is often an up-leveling of success for everyone.  Finally, you are not just relying on your own ideas and your own internal motivation. By making yourself vulnerable to the group, you are subjecting yourself to their ideas, their motivation, and accountability.

Your goals become their goals.  And their goals become your goals.  Sometimes you need to be pushed.  Sometimes you can’t see what is in front of you.  Sometimes you need someone else believing that you can do something, even when you are beginning to doubt yourself.  
And of course, sometimes all it takes is being surrounded by successful people who are high-energy, highly positive and highly motivated to stay in the driver’s seat of their own lives.  And if these people see you trying to crawl into the back seat of your own life, they will drag you back and make sure you stay on top of your game.

Who can benefit from a mastermind?

Do you have goals that you want to reach? Then you can benefit from a mastermind group.  Perhaps you want to set a goal of working out a certain number of hours each week. Maybe you want to finally get a handle on what you eat, but you aren’t sure where to find the motivation that it takes to break ingrained habits. It could be that if you had a group of people counting on you to show up and be strong for them, you might be stronger for yourself.

A great place to try out the benefits of a mastermind is in a small group fitness program.  All the essential elements are there waiting for you.  

Harness the power of this decades-old success principal, and get back in the driver’s seat of your life.

Yours in health,
Lynn


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No time for healthy eating?

No time for healthy eating?

…”Those who think they have no time for healthy eating will sooner or later have to find time for illness.”   – Edward Stanley

The truth is, we are our worst enemy because we like to live for today and throw our cares for tomorrow.

This means we enjoy that extra large bag of chips and jumbo soda, and let tomorrow take care of itself.  Then, if we get sick, do we ever go back and regret the bag of chips?

Hardly likely.

We’ll blame the weather or the guy next door who kept us up all night with his loud music.   It’s never our fault, right? Wrong!

There is always a price or prize to pay for everything.  If we eat right, then we get the prize of good health and a fit body.   If we eat wrong, then we pay the price of illness, bad hair, nail, skin, and teeth.

You can look beautiful by eating less preserved food, and more fresh produce.

Remember…you are what you eat.

As always, yours in health,

Lynn


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food

Why are we so stubborn about our Health?

Why are we so stubborn about our health?

…“Today, more than 95% of all chronic disease is caused by food choice, toxic food ingredients, nutritional deficiencies and lack of physical exercise.”

 – Mike Adams, author, investigative journalist, educator

Why are we so stubborn about our health?

The idea of living without major illnesses is pretty simple – eat right and exercise daily. Yet, we fail miserably. Does this mean great tasting food is bad for you? The fact is, we are often blown away by heavy marketing released by major food companies that use a lot of preservatives and whatnots just to get the food to taste good. We should learn to be more selective and save ourselves from a life of chronic medical problems.

Imagine, eating an orange can give you a healthy dose of Vitamin C that would prevent the common cold. Instead, we choose to drink carbonated orange juice with an expiration date well into the next year. What kind of orange stays fresh for a year?

Go fresh and enjoy life as it was meant to be enjoyed.

As always, yours in health

Lynn


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photo collage

Welcome Tina Glasmann

Welcome Tina Glasmann

Introducing our newest WWF team member, Tina Glasmann.
 
Originally from Greensboro, North Carolina, Tina, her husband, and fur babies made their way to the Tampa Bay area in 2017 via Dallas, Texas.
 
Her 30-year background in the fitness industry includes a group fitness certification from AFAA, a personal trainer certification from NASM, as well certifications from Les Mills, Silver Sneakers and EnhanceFitness, a National evidence-based fitness program for older adults.
 
Tina is not just a personal trainer and fitness instructor.  Her corporate background includes building and running her own successful office furniture distribution business for 10 years from 2000-2010 so she brings along with her a keen sense of business development, management, and business systems.
 
As a breast cancer survivor, Tina’s passion for health and fitness has evolved to a deep desire to help other women realize the powerful impact fitness can have on their health.  
 
I am thrilled to have Tina on our team and I look forward to watching her share this passion with the ladies of Wise Women Fitness.
 
Yours in health,
Lynn

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handling-holiday-stress

Holiday Self-Care 101

Holiday Self-Care 101

Now that we’re into the Christmas rush, it’s so important to practice good self-care.  To help you stay merry and bright, here are a few things to remember: 

~*~ Plans change.  People disappoint.  Traditions expire.  Release your expectations for the holidays and be open to surprise. 

~*~ Just because some people are fueled by drama doesn’t mean you have to attend the performance.

~*~ The calmer you are, the more time slows down, and the easier (and more joyful) it is to get everything done. 

~*~ Your presence is the best gift of all. 

~*~ Don’t try to please everyone.  Everyone is a whole lot of people.  

~*~ Every time you hear “home for the holidays” let it remind you to come back to the comfort and joy of your own Presence. 


During this busy holiday season, we can help you stay on track at Wise Women Fitness.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay calm, and don’t forget to take care of YOU!

Yours in health,

Lynn

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

weight training for women

“I don’t want to bulk up!”

“I don’t want to bulk up!”

Is this your reason for not lifting weights?  I know, I know. You don’t want to bulk up, you just want to “tone.”  Is this your reason for not lifting weights?  If I had a dime for every time I heard this excuse…

If you think another hour on the treadmill or elliptical is going to “tone” you up, think again.

There’s only one way to tone muscle and that’s to use it.  You build muscle by contracting it to overcome the resistance of some force: gravity, your body weight or a dumbbell, for example.  The work of overcoming that resistance causes micro-trauma in the fibers, and it’s the repairing of that micro-trauma that builds muscle.

Plenty of women still believe the myth that lifting weights will make them bulky and shredded.  Trust me, unless you are willing to spend hours in the gym, monitor every bite you take and probably take male hormones and steroids, lifting weights will not make you bulky.

Very few women have the genetic make up and discipline it takes to bulk up.  Weight training will, however, make you stronger, leaner and healthier.  Here are the top three reasons you really need to begin lifting weights.

  1. Muscle burns calories and boosts metabolism.  Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. Even at rest, muscle is burning calories just to maintain and remodel muscle proteins. The real metabolic benefit of weight training doesn’t come just from adding muscles, though; it comes from using them. The process of repairing exercise-induced micro-trauma is energy-intensive, meaning you burn more calories than if your muscles weren’t repairing themselves. Because of the active nature of muscle fiber, a more muscular 150-pound woman will burn more calories than a less muscular 150-pound woman because a greater percentage of her weight is made up of active, calorie-consuming tissue.
  2. Weight training builds bones.  Bone tissue is continuously being broken down to supply the body with minerals and rebuilt to provide structural strength. When bone is subjected to stressful forces–like bearing the weight of the body or overcoming the resistance of weight training–it responds by producing more bone tissue. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than 50% of women and 20% of men over the age of 50 will suffer a broken bone due to osteoporosis sometime in their lives. You can improve your odds by building strong bones with weight training. As an added bonus, the improved muscle function can also help you maintain your balance which helps prevent falls from happening in the first place.
  3. Weight training slows the aging process and fights diseases of aging.  Weight training increases the mitochondrial content of muscle tissue.  Mitochondria are the powerhouses of the cells, helping generate the energy that fuels cellular activity.  With age, our mitochondria can begin to malfunction, resulting in wider cellular damage and visible signs of aging.  A number of studies have found that regular exercise including resistance training can slow or even reverse the malfunctioning of mitochondria.  Resistance training has also been shown to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, lower resting blood pressure and improve blood lipid profiles.

A healthy weight training routine engages all the major muscle groups, trains the muscles to the point of fatigue to maximize the rebuilding process, and allows 48-72 hours of recovery time between training sessions.  The benefits of weight training are available to you whatever your age when you start and no matter how inactive you have been. A personal fitness trainer can help you design a safe and effective weight training program just for you.


At Wise Women Fitness, we take your health and fitness seriously, one baby step at a time.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay educated, and stay informed!

Yours in health,

Lynn

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

couch potato

Couch Potato Excuses

What’s your excuse?

One of the biggest excuses I hear from ladies on why they don’t exercise, “I don’t have time.”

Well, my answer to that is, who does these days? I get it.  We’re all super busy with careers, family, some days it seems endless.

While I do not have children, I sometimes work crazy long hours each week , it seems I am chained to technology 24/7 and consequently,  I don’t always feel like exercising. 

BUT, what I have found is that the act of physical fitness enables me to continue my work with tons of energy AND at a “mature” age. 

We make the time for things that are important to us. 

Schedule exercise in and STICK TO IT.  Adapt and be flexible if the routine sometimes needs to be changed. Cut out the unimportant crap — surfing the net, watching television etc.  Cut out the excuses!


At Wise Women Fitness, we take your health and fitness seriously, one baby step at a time.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay educated, and stay informed!

Yours in health,

Lynn

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

Failed-resolutions-resized-600

New Year’s Resolution? What Resolution?

New year’s resolution?  What resolution?

Every year, if you set a goal, follow a process and then quit, why do you think it would be different next time? First, don’t beat yourself up about it. Sometimes it takes many attempts before something clicks and you figure out how to live a healthy and fit lifestyle for the long-term. Just remind yourself that your health is very important and you can do this, no matter how many tries it takes!

The bottom line is that whatever forced you off track last time, will more than likely surface again. To overcome that roadblock, you need to develop a strategy for overcoming obstacles posed by work, kids, fatigue or lack of time.

Here’s some tricks to make sure any setbacks don’t actually set you back:

1. Fail to Plan or Plan to Fail

Outline any obstacles that have surfaced in the past or that you expect will surface in the future.  Once you have outlined the potential obstacles, then you can determine your strategies for overcoming them. You will be prepared – no surprises. For example, if you previously found work or family responsibilities got in the way of you achieving your goals, your strategy may be to book your workout appointments into your schedule like you would any other appointment. You will carve that time out for you, your most important asset! You would not cancel a business appointment with an important client or cancel your yearly physical with your doctor.  Likewise, you can’t cancel on your health! Another strategy may be to hire a personal trainer who will force you to stick to your exercise appointment or ask a friend to join you in a commitment to walk every day at lunch.  Another example may be that at about 2 months into your program, you always get bored with what you are doing and eventually give up. So instead, you outline a list of new activities you will try every 2 months.

2. Focus on Action Goals vs. Weight Loss Goals

Instead of setting weight loss goals, which can often take longer than we want, instead focus on what you need to do to achieve your goals. So instead of saying I’m going to lose 10 pounds this month, instead set the goal that you will do 12 strength workouts and 12 cardio workouts this month and drink 10 glasses of water everyday. Or set a goal that by the end of the month, you will be able to run for 10 minutes non-stop or you will participate in a local 5K or be able to run or walk a mile in one minute less than your current time. Action goals you can control directly whereas, weight loss goals can sometimes have you questioning whether the effort is worth the reward when you’re working so hard and not seeing the results as quickly as you like.

3. If You Hate it, Don’t Do It

If you absolutely detest the activity, it’s not going to be long before you start talking yourself out of your workouts. Find an activity that you enjoy and you’re going to be much more likely to maintain your commitment.

4. Be Realistic

Set goals that you know you can commit to even when life is crazy. Instead of saying you’ll exercise seven days a week and then one week, you only complete four workouts and you feel like a failure. Rather, four workouts are better than what you were doing before so you should be ecstatic! Instead, set a goal that you know 100% without a doubt, that you can commit to it and if you do anything more, it’s a bonus!

5. Don’t Quit!

Sometimes the outward changes take longer to surface. You need to understand that when you are exercising consistently, you are building an athletic machine that is developing enzymes, capillaries, mitochondria and the ability to exercise longer and harder without getting fatigued. You are increasing your body’s ability to mobilize and utilize fat as a fuel. These biochemical changes are happening internally and you can’t see them but they are making you a better fat-burning machine. Soon you won’t know what’s happening, but you’ll overcome plateaus and you’ll start looking and feeling better and dropping fat quickly! Stick with it!”


At Wise Women Fitness, we take your health and fitness seriously, one baby step at a time.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay educated, and stay informed!

Yours in health,

Lynn

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.

hype

What has happened to the fitness industry?

The “New” Fat Loss/Fitness Industry

This is a POWERFUL guest blog post, courtesy of fellow fitness professional, Dan Wells.

What’s wrong with the fat loss industry? Lots of things. This one really lit a fire 🔥 under my a*s this week.

A certain Free Challenge program is making its way around the country. What is happening is destroying the industry. It’s destroying people’s relationships with their food and their image and is leaving a scattered trail of people who are now worse off then when they first started, here’s why……

Challenges are great, sometimes. The big problem is it creates an all out extreme effort and restriction mentality. This is translated through extreme caloric restriction and going to extremes with workouts, going 6 days a week and sometimes 2 times a day because the general public is taught that more exercise is better and less food is better and if they hit their goals, they will win a prize. This could be furthest from the truth and I believe is a contributing factor to why people fail in the long run.

Challenges are destroying people’s mindsets and are only perpetuating ideals that ultimately lead to unhealthy, non-sustainable lifestyle and ultimately, huge failure rates with massive rebound mentality. Even if a facility promotes not going to extremes, the average person rarely understands that extremes are not necessary for great results and ultimately do what they “think” is best, eating 1200 calories, working out to extremes.  I know this doesn’t work any better, I get my clients better results in just 3 days a week than 4, 5 or 6 days a week without going to extremes.

The free 6 Week challenge costs around $500 and if the contestant reaches a specific goal (which are very unrealistic) they get their money back.  Imagine what this is doing to people. A facility where I live ran it and only 3 out of 20 some reached their goals, eating 1200 calories and extreme exercise 6-7 days a week. For women especially, this is not only damaging their mindset but also their hormones and metabolism which is important to fat loss for women.

All while some guy is making millions of dollars off of this pretending to be some pariah helping save people’s gyms or helping them make money at the expense of real people who have real goals and real hopes.

I understand this post might not be well received by some.  But I am a professional who has mastered the long term sustainable results game with out going to extremes. Who has seen and fixed hundreds of damaged women and men and understands that workouts for fat burning is the least important thing to focus on. (Workouts don’t actually burn fat like most people thinks it does.) What matters more is what happens the other 23 hours out of the day.  It is my duty to call bullsh*t and stop looking the other way.

We need to do better, we need to teach lifestyle, learned strategies and behavioral modifications. We need to stop with the rah rah and give people what they really need, not orange lights, HR monitors, recycled meal plans or promises of 1000 calorie burn workouts. Not burpees to death just because they are tough.

Instead, quality training and nutrition that evaluates and meets each individual where they are at, and then progresses them from there. Yes, that’s hard to do and that’s where most places stop. That’s just not good enough anymore, at least not in my book.  People’s lives and health are at stake here and too many places are playing God but can’t deliver what it takes to truly improve people’s lives, mindset, health and fitness. It’s time for change, it’s time for the industry to get better not worse.  I’m not saying don’t do challenges, just recognize the psychology of the general public, and prevent them from going to extremes.  I know I started my business to change people’s lives and that means going beyond the norm and standing for quality not quantity.


At Wise Women Fitness, we take your health and fitness seriously, one baby step at a time.  Want to learn more?  Come visit us and take a tour of the studio.

Until then, stay healthy, stay educated, and stay informed!

Yours in health,

Lynn

Click here to read what some of our ladies are saying about WWF.