Get to know your body and soul - inspirational handwriting on textured paper

The importance of knowing your body composition

The weighing scale can be a friend to some and not so friendly to others! When we weigh ourselves, we may either be thrilled or not so happy with what we see. We sometimes tend to become obsessed with the numbers on the scale. But does that one solitary figure tell you the whole story about what is going on in your body? 

It is important to understand where the overall body weight is coming from. A person with a normal weight on a weighing scale can appear to be healthy on the outside but could have an unhealthy body composition. 

Let us now understand what body composition is

Body composition is the body’s amount of body fat to its fat-free mass. Fat-free mass comprises the bones, muscles, organs and tissue. A higher-than-normal body fat ratio can cause problems like diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, etc. In some cases, those with high levels of body fat can also feel more fatigued.  This fat is usually found around the organs. Some fat is needed to provide the following functions- protection and cushioning, energy production and hormone regulation. For men, body fat needs to be 5% and for women the range is up to 12%. Men tend to have a leaner more muscular appearance, while women due to biological make-up, have more fat to sustain pregnancy and childbirth. 

It is important to know the breakdown of one’s weight, this also helps to determine other factors like bone strength, muscle mass and amount of body water present. A body composition weighing scale can help you understand your inner health, so you can make positive changes and monitor them over time. 

Body Fat Percentage: As we have seen, this needs to be in a healthy range specific for men and women. Too much fat can lead to diabetes, obesity, etc. and too little fat on the other hand can lead to osteoporosis, irregular periods and possible infertility. 

Visceral Fat: This fat surrounds the organs and helps protect them. As people age, this fat tends to shift towards the abdominal area. Too much can lead to lifestyle related diseases. 

Muscle Mass: This includes the weight of all the muscles in the body from the smooth muscles, skeletal muscles and the heart (cardiac) muscles. Muscles consume energy and help burn off calories effectively. This increases your Basal Metabolic Rate (calories burnt while at rest). Having more muscle helps reduce your body fat and also gives a more toned appearance to the body since a pound of muscle occupies less space than a pound of fat. Strength training builds and strengthens muscle.  

While exercising, your overall weight may be unchanged. This may be discouraging to someone who is trying to lose weight. But the body composition may tell a happier story. It could be because muscle is being built and fat is being lost that body weight remains the same. 

Total Body Water percentage: Is the amount of fluid present in the body. Water helps eliminate waste products and regulates body temperature. Being well hydrated helps boost performance and concentration levels. While being hydrated is important, do not drink high-calorie drinks or those with lots of sugar in them. Go for plain water/ infused water/ fresh unsweetened fruit juice/ tender coconut water or buttermilk as healthier nourishing options. 

For females, the water percentage should be between 45 to 60% 

For males, the water percentage should be between 50 to 65%. 

Bone Mass: This predicts your bone mineral density. Osteoporosis is common at later stages and bone deterioration is a gradual process. Weight-bearing exercises and a calcium-rich diet can prevent this. The bone mass weight varies between males and females and depends on one’s body weight. 

Basal Metabolic Rate (BMR): Basal Metabolic Rate takes into account the calories burnt while at rest. Having a high muscle mass will also increase the BMR. The more active you are, the more calories you will burn. Always aim for a high BMR.  

While we try to stay at a healthy weight and eat balanced meals, rarely do we get an idea as to how things like physical fitness and healthy eating impact our bodies on the inside. The next time you take your weight, get it done on a body composition weighing scale for an accurate picture of how healthy your body actually is. Take steps to move towards healthy ranges for each parameter by consulting your fitness trainer and a qualified nutritionist. 

With inputs from: 


If you would like to discuss this further or need some help or support in this or any other area, our wellness coaches would be happy to help.

Online Counselling
Place an online request for an Appointment

Call 1800-258-8999 / 1800-258-8121

Request a call back

Understand what 1to1help can do to enhance your workforce wellbeing

    Comments are closed.