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  • Writer's pictureJulie

Tanita Scales: What You Need to Know

Tanita Scales for BMI measurement on wooden floor

Does data motivate you?

Whilst weight loss is often mentioned as a target when someone engages in nutritional therapy, often what needs to come along for the ride is better energy, sleep, and mood. When we focus our attention on these qualitative measures and we nourish our bodies, we set the scene for weight loss to follow.

However, it can also be helpful to have some objective data to measure progress. We’ve invested in some Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) scales, that can be used to support long-term health as well as immediate weight targets.

BIA uses low-level electrical signals that are passed through the body via the Tanita foot pads on the monitor platform. It is easy for the signal to flow through fluids in the muscle and other body tissues but meets resistance as it passes through body fat, as it contains little fluid. This resistance is called impedance. The impedance readings are then entered into medically researched mathematical formulas to calculate your body composition. The scales measure a number of different things such as body fat, visceral fat, body mass, BMI (body mass index),

and metabolic age.

What is body composition?

Body composition is defined as the total percentage of fat, bone and muscle in the human body. Body composition analysis goes further than weight and BMI and reveals your body's proportion of fat mass vs lean mass.

By monitoring body composition you can measure physical progress, catch unwanted changes such as weight loss, reduced bone mass, and healthy body composition has been scientifically proven to increase lifespan by helping to reduce the chances of cancer, heart disease, type 2 diabetes and insulin resistance. It's recommended that you check your body composition every 8-12 weeks.

Healthy body fat range for adults varies with age and there are two different types of fat in the body. One is visceral fat and the other is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fat is found under the skin and is visible to the naked eye. Visceral fat is hidden in the abdominal wall and surrounds the organs as a protective layer.

The Tanita Body Composition Monitor will provide you with a visceral fat rating from 1 – 59. A rating from 1 – 12 indicates you have a healthy level of visceral fat a rating from 13 – 59 Indicates you have an excess level of visceral fat.

Basal metabolic rate

This measures the number of calories you need a rest, rather than the starting point of 2500cals for a man and 2000 for a woman, daily. How active you are will also play a role, but having a more defined figure based on your body composition removes some of this guesswork on where to start and can help cut down on frustrations around weight gain.

Waist-to-hip ratio

In terms of where fat sits around the body, the ‘apple’ versus ‘pear’ shape has stronger links to diabetes and metabolic diseases. Ideally, we would like to see a waist-to-hip ratio of less than 0.85 for women and 0.96 for men. Our blood sugar and stress management can be important factors in determining this.

So numbers are not everything, but for some can be really motivational and provide a sense check on risk factors for maintaining health as we age.

If you’re interested in a complimentary assessment on the Tanita scales, then come down to Lemongrass & Ginger on Thursdays and book in for a free 30 min complimentary consultation. via:

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