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Body Composition Analysis: Your Body's Blueprint for Health

More than 70% of adults have an unhealthy body composition in the United States. Worldwide, the number is around 40%. With such a growing unhealthiness among humans, it is important to understand the cause and the ways to counter it. What is body composition analysis? 

Body composition analysis is a term that refers to the assessment of proportions of different components in the body. This includes fats, lean muscles, bones and water. The information offers a detailed insight about one’s physical body. It helps in having a quick health check-up. 

Understanding body composition analysis is also important to know how excessive fats can cause various conditions. For instance, obesity, heart diseases and diabetes are all the outcomes of excessive fats. Conversely, insufficient lean muscle mass can result in weakness and decreased metabolism. 

In this blog, we will understand everything about body composition analysis and its importance. So, read ahead to enlighten yourself with the knowledge of a crucial tool in the pursuit of a balanced and sustainable approach to health and fitness.

Understanding Body Composition and Body Composition Analyser

So, primarily body composition refers to a combined proportions of fat, muscle, bone and water present in the body. It plays an important role in understanding overall health as it goes beyond simply tracking body weight. Balance in body composition simply indicates good health and well-being. It also indicates good performance. 

On the other hand, excessive body fats indicate something else. They can increase the risk of chronic diseases like diabetes and heart conditions. This is especially possible when the fat is around important organs. On the contrary, insufficient muscle mass may lead to weakness and decreased metabolic rate. Therefore, a balance is extremely necessary. Now, let us know about body composition analysers

  • Body composition analysers:

There are several methods for assessing body composition. Each of them has its own precision and application. Some of the most common methods include bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA), dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA), skinfold measurements and hydrostatic weighing.

BIA measures resistance to electrical flow through the body. Similarly, DEXA employs X-rays to differentiate tissues. Skinfold measurements include callipers to gauge subcutaneous fat and so on.

  • Working of these analysers:

As discussed, there are four categories in body composition analysers. BIA, DEXA, skinfold measurements and hydrostatic weighing. BIA devices send a low-level electrical current through the body. The speed at which it travels gives an estimation of the proportion of different tissues.

DEXA scans emit two energy levels of X-rays to measure bone mineral content, fat and lean tissue with high precision. Skinfold measurements method involves measuring skinfold thickness at specific sites on the body and using equations to estimate body fat percentage.

Lastly, hydrostatic weighing includes subjects that are weighed underwater to determine their body density. This is important to calculate body composition. 

The Components of Body Composition: Fat to Fat-Free Mass

There are several similarities between fat to fat-free mass. Before we note down the differences, let us have a look on the commonalities- 

  • Both fat and fat free mass contribute to the total body weight.
  • Both of them are extremely important for health.
  • Both of them can change with time.
  • Both of them are affected by lifestyle choices.
  • Both of them can vary on the basis of factors like age, gender and so on.
  • Both of them can be improved with regular exercise. 

Now let us know about the differences between fat to fat-free mass. Fat mass and fat-free mass are two most basic components of body composition. Fat mass comprises all the body's fat whereas fat-free mass consists of everything else. Fat mass is the portion of your body responsible for storing energy whereas fat-free mass represents the metabolically active and functional components.

But why are both of them important for health? Well, both fat to fat-free mass play critical roles in overall health. Excessive fat mass, especially visceral fat, is associated with a higher risk of chronic diseases. These diseases can be diabetes, heart diseases and certain cancers.

On the other hand, fat-free mass, also known as the muscle mass, contributes to a higher metabolic rate and better physical health. It also contributes to the overall performance and greater functional capacity. A balance of fat and fat-free mass is important in maintaining a healthy body composition.

Body Composition Analysis for Health Check

Two things matter under body composition analysis for health check. The first is regular health assessments and the second is personalised health plans. Regular health check-ups are invaluable in assessing overall health and identifying potential risk factors. These factors can be related to obesity, chronic diseases and metabolic disorders. Integrating body composition analysis into health assessments enables early intervention and customised health management strategies.

Body composition data empowers individuals to create personalised health and fitness plans. By understanding different factors like fat mass and fat-free mass, individuals can set realistic and targeted goals for weight management. Similarly, they can also make plans for muscle gain and fat loss. 

Methods of Improving Body Composition

Now, a lot of people remain in an unhealthy state due to unawareness of how to improve body composition status. There are some extremely basic factors attached to it. These factors include-

  • Nutrition:

Consuming a balanced diet can help individuals in gaining adequate amounts of proteins, carbohydrates and fats. Proteins support lean muscles whereas controlled carbs support muscle gain. Monitoring nutrition constantly can give a healthy body composition analysis. 

It is important to be aware of sugar intake, fat intake, protein intake and so on. It is also important to limit and reduce processed food items consumption. 


  • Exercise:

Regular exercise including cardio and high-intensity workouts can help an individual improve health greatly. Cardio burns calories whereas strength training builds lean muscle. This can boost metabolism. A combination of these activities helps reduce body fat and increase fat-free mass. Overall, you get a healthy body composition. 

  • Lifestyle changes: 

Finally, sleep and rest matter too. Quality sleep with effective stress management are important factors for healthy body composition status. Poor sleep and stress can disturb hormones and cause fat storage or any other similar negative condition. Prioritise restful sleep and stress-reduction techniques to support a healthier body composition. 


Maintaining a healthy body composition analysis and status can be difficult. But only if you are not aware of the countering steps and good lifestyle habits to follow. If you or your loved one is assuming an unhealthy body composition, it is important to consult a medical professional as soon as possible. Book a session today with the country’s top medical experts. 


Dr. Vikas Singhal
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