How to Tell the Difference between Muscle Weight vs Fat Density

Muscle weight vs fat is something most people do not clearly understand. Generally, people use a weighing scale to determine their weight. Health professionals typically employ the body mass indicator (BMI) or weight to height ratio in order to determine a person’s ideal weight. The truth is, these indicators do not exactly represent a person’s overall health because it is difficult to determine if the weight is more on muscles or fat. Concentrating on your body instead of your weight is the smart way to monitor your health. Determining your body’s fat to muscle ratio will also help you establish the right weight goal to target. Here are some ways on how to get the measurement correctly.

Skinfold Measurement

This is the most common technique utilized for determining fat to muscle ratio of the body. This involves taking measurements from three sites of the body. In women, measurements are taken at the back of the arm, abdomen, and thigh using a caliper that lightly pinches the skin as well as the underlying fat. Fat and lean body mass can then be estimated based on the measurements acquired. While this method is not 100 percent accurate, having a skilled technician perform the process will yield correct results.

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis

Another technique is the Bio-Electrical Impedance Analysis, which requires a low-level electrical current to be run through the body. This method works under the premise that water, which is present in the body, is a conductor of electricity. Muscle is composed mostly of water so this test gives an almost accurate measurement of the fat to muscle ratio of the body. Again, the skills of the person performing the method can affect the results. While local gym trainers usually offer this kind of service, it is best performed at the clinic by a licensed physician.

Hydrostatic Weighing

The most scientific and most accurate of all the techniques is the Hydrostatic Weighing. Because of its effectiveness, it is also the most expensive option. Under the supervision of a skilled technician, you will be asked to expel all the air from your lungs and then go under a tank of water. Since fat is buoyant compared to muscles, the weight recorded during the procedure is the weight of the body tissues that are denser. By subtracting your normal weight from your underwater weight, you can have an accurate measurement of your overall fat weight. Even though this method yields the most accurate results, water intake and food consumption prior to weighing can affect the results of the procedure.

People usually use the weight scale to determine how much they weigh. However, even though this can give you a clear overview of how heavy or light you are, it is not exactly indicative of your overall health. By knowing your muscle to fat weight ratio, you will be able to determine more effectively if your weight is ideal for your health or not. Exercising and eating a healthy diet are still the best ways to achieve excellent health.


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