The Truth Behind the Scale

What the Scale Can’t Tell Me

A lot of us have different goals in the gym, whether that be to gain more muscle mass, lose some body fat, or maybe a little bit of both. Often times we track our goals using a scale, but frequently checking the scale can be misleading. The scale tells you your total weight but not how your body is made up of muscle, fat, and bone. Muscle is the good weight that helps us move better, burn fat and is important to maintain in your body for optimal health. Fat is the weight that we know when excessive, is bad for our health and we all work hard to burn off.

Checking your body fat percentage is the best way to create a start and finish line when it comes to getting the best results with your body and health. The DEXA machine is the most accurate and convenient way to check it. It can pinpoint your body composition by using a low-level x-ray to see how much total body fat, lean muscle mass, and bone mass you have. Keeping track of exactly how your body is made up between muscle and fat is the ultimate measure of health.

There’s Fat on My Organs?

We can break up our fat into different types. Visceral is the most important type when it comes to your overall health. It’s the fat that hangs out around your internal organs. Visceral fat plays the biggest role in longevity and risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and type two diabetes. Your scale at home and even other alternatives to checking your body composition cannot tell you the amount of visceral fat you have. A person may be content with their weight but if there is lots of fat around the organs, that person is more likely to develop lousy chronic diseases including cancer. The DEXA has the ability to show us the mass, volume, and area of visceral fat we are carrying which will tell us if we have to start changing our eating habits for healthier body composition.

Healthy Bones

If you’re an athlete that plays a high-impact sport, bone health can play a role in your risk of injury and performance. Also, women passed the age of 30 are at a higher risk for developing bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopenia when not exercising under resistance or eating enough calcium within their diets. The scale can tell you how much you weigh, but it won’t tell you how much of that is bone. The DEXA has the capability to show us if you are at risk or not while other methods do not.

Where Can I Get a DEXA Body Composition Scan?

Infinity Sports Institute has the luxury of having one of the best DEXA machines on the market, the Hologic Horizon DXA system, available to the public.  The number one rule to winning a race is knowing where the start and the finish line is and getting a body scan can help motivate you through the finish line.

Schedule an appointment for your body scan so you can know exactly where you’re at and set the goal for where exactly you want to be.

Director of Human Performance, Andre McCormack     

Carbohydrate Confusion

How will Carbs affect your weight management?

It almost feels like we can go all the way back to the beginning of time when everyone got confused about Carbohydrates. High carbs, low carbs, no carbs, people frequently get stumped on carbohydrates in their diet and how much they should eat to manage their weight. The confusion may be coming from the fact that carbohydrates are not all created equal. Carbs can be processed through your body differently creating a variety of effects in the body. 

Good Carbs

To start, there is not a “best” diet. Many people have their preferences on specific diets but whatever diet you choose, it should contain whole foods. Whole Foods are often slower digesting and higher fiber carbohydrates. These carbs are attainable if we choose a wide variety of whole unprocessed foods. These type of carbs are called complex carbohydrates such as vegetables, fruits, legumes, and whole grains. These have a lower calorie density and are often hydrating, keeping us feeling full for longer. The best part is complex carbs come with many helpful friends such as micronutrients, phytonutrients, fiber, water, sometimes even protein and healthy fat. 

Bad Carbs

Simple carbs are refined and highly processed foods. They digest rapidly often times keeping us unsatisfied and back to craving some more. Simple carbs bring a gang of ingredients that come with high amounts of sodium, a variety of flavoring chemicals, trans fats, and preservatives. Simple Carbs lack many if any nutrients and often poorly affect our health.

How much should I eat?

There is not  a specific amount of carbohydrate intake that is the same for everyone, all the time. Intake can depend on a variety of factors such as simple things like body weight, activity levels, age, and goals. For example, an older retired man who lacked activity would not need as many carbs as a young man who did high performance training. 

The Takeaway

While it is important to focus on the amount of carbs you’re eating, start by focusing on this key point. More often than not we should consume slower-digesting higher fiber carbohydrates. Many people prefer to eat differently but no matter what type of diet you have carbohydrates do not have to be the devil. Focus on staying away from unwanted processed simple carbohydrates and eat whole food complex carbohydrates that provide energy, nutrients, and satiety. This is ultimately the first step into starting to eat a healthy diet. 

Call us now to schedule your nutrition consultation with our in-house sports nutrition coach to map out an action plan in order for you to reach your goal!