With so many people choosing to track health data nowadays, I get a lot of questions about the best way to measure body composition. Today I’m going to cover some of the most common methods, their pros and cons, and also tackle the question of whether there is an “ideal” body composition.
When it comes to fitness, body composition refers to the relative quantities of fat, muscle, bone, and water in your body. These are measured by weight or as a percentage of your total body weight. Clinically, body composition differentiates between fat mass or adipose tissue, muscle, bone/bone mineral content, and residual mass (organs, connective tissue). For the purposes of this post, I’m going to focus on “body composition” as it’s used for fitness and general health, not medically.
Tell me if this sounds familiar: You started making changes in your life to get healthier and everything was going great. You were seeing progress in the way you felt and looked, your cravings were down, and your energy was up. It was working!
Then, all of sudden it wasn’t.
Despite doing everything right, the scale hasn’t budged in a week, your motivation has hit an all-time low, and you feel totally betrayed by your body. As a health coach, I see a lot of my clients struggling with weight loss plateaus, and feelings that change isn’t happening fast enough. And do you know why? It’s because of this little nugget of truth:
If you have your own success story and would like to share it with me and the Mark’s Daily Apple community please contact me here. I’ll continue to publish these as long as they keep coming in. Thank you for reading!
Folks, I have been grateful for every story that has come my way over the years. It’s an incredible privilege being on the receiving end of your reflections and evolutions, and they are why I’ve kept at it all these years—knowing the message and information have made a difference in people’s lives. I appreciate every single one. Amy’s story is so real; it’s not a story that celebrates attaining a body composition goal, but should be celebrated for how far Amy has come on her Primal journey. Thank you to reader Amy for sharing her story with us.
I have been following Mark’s Daily Apple since you started the blog. Your message really resonated with me from the beginning and I loved reading all of the success stories. I looked forward to writing a success story of my own one day, but it didn’t seem like it was ever going to happen—so I’m beyond thrilled to finally be writing one now!
For today’s edition of Dear Mark, I’m answering three questions taken from last week’s post on the power of pairing low-carb with fasting. First, do I have any advice for a woman who’s struggling to see results eating one meal a day? Second, how does low-carb interact with the different types of glucose tests you can take? And third, what are my thoughts on carb limits when fasting? Is lower always better? Is there a carb threshold after which fasting stops working so well?
There are a dizzying number of keto pills on the market now. They promise easy weight loss, increased energy, and the benefits of ketosis without the pesky following-a-strict-diet part.
As savvy MDA readers, you know that optimal health never comes in a bottle. You also know that I’m a proponent of wise supplementation to support a Primal diet and lifestyle when appropriate. I’ve said before that I think exogenous ketones can be useful in specific circumstances, though they’re never necessary for success.
There’s a ton of talk about intermittent fasting in the ancestral heath sphere for general health and wellness as well as weight loss, but little indication of specific applications for the practice. Anytime you attempt a “radical” health practice like not eating, it helps to have a good reason to do it. That will not only give you something to aim for, but it will ensure you actually have a physiological justification for your experiment. Never go in blind.
What are some of the specific scenarios and conditions where fasting makes the most sense?