A BCA (body composition analysis, for anyone unfamiliar with the term) is the “process of examining the human body to determine the percentage of body fat compared to muscle tissue.” A BCA is capable of revealing how healthy an individual’s body is, and is a popular resource for trainers, coaches, medical professionals, and researchers alike.
There are a ton of benefits to doing a BCA, now that it’s surpassed the outdated Body Mass Index (BMI). After all, there’s more to being healthy than losing weight—there are also important factors like increasing physical activity and improving your ratio of muscle to fat. The BCA helps people do just that.
Benefits of body composition analysis
After doing a BCA, you’ll be able to…
1. Devise a precise plan for muscle gain and fat loss in specific areas
By directly assessing your ratio of body fat and muscle, a BCA can help you customize your training/diet to suit your needs. As many people seeking to improve their health know, there may come a time when your body weight will stop decreasing, despite having a healthier diet and increased physical activity. This is likely because you’re building muscle, and muscle weighs more than fat.
If you’ve been getting regular BCA checkups, this revelation won’t astound you, and it may even inspire you to work even harder toward a healthy body!
2. Learn your risk for osteoporosis
A BCA can measure bone health and determine your chances of getting osteoporosis. This is doable because the BCA measures body density, and someone with osteoporosis is likely to have a lower body density due to how fragile their bones are.
3. Identify personal long-term health risks
A BCA can reveal serious risks to your health like diabetes, cardiovascular disease, hormonal imbalances, etc. All of these diseases, after all, are affected by and possibly caused by high fat stores and low muscle mass. If you think you’re at risk for any of these, it is recommended that you get a BCA (and see a doctor).
How to measure body composition
The first step to measuring your body composition is to forget the scale. The only thing a weight scale can tell you is how much you weigh, not how much fat you need to lose/keep. A BCA will be able to tell you your body fat percentage, muscle mass, fat mass, body water, etc.
Check out our DXA scan website for more information on what doing a BCA looks like.
How to improve body composition
There are two different goals you should pursue, depending on your BCA results. If you have a high body fat percentage and high overall weight, you should consider losing fat first. The key? Burn more calories in a day than you take in. You can also look into resistance training and cardiovascular exercise!
If you have skinny fat (not overweight, but have low amounts of lean body mass and high amounts of fat mass), you may want to develop lean body mass first. Lean body mass is your total weight minus your fat, and the best way to improve your lean body mass is through a resistance training program designed to strengthen your muscles.