Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis is a computerized method of assessing your “body composition” – the measurement of fat in relation to lean body mass. It is an integral part of a health and nutrition assessment.
The BIA test is a quick, easy, non-invasive in-office assessment. The test takes less than ten minutes and only requires that you remove all jewelry.
How does Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) work?
The BIA test works by sending an extremely weak (and harmless) electric current through your body, about the same as a discharged AA battery. Your body’s total weight consists of various “masses”, like fat, muscles, bones, and water. Each of these conducts electricity in different ways.
By measuring the electric resistance of some of these masses in your body, called “Bioelectrical Impedance”, and estimating other masses, the test is able to accurately measure what percentage of your total body weight is made up from each.
The BIA test is painless, and can be administered repeatedly over time without adverse effects.
Importance of healthy body composition
Total weight on its own is of little importance and far too many people base their diet regimen on what they see on the bathroom scale. Even if your weight is within a normal range, you can still have unhealthy or altered body composition.
You could carry too much fat in comparison to lean tissue (muscle)-high fat-to-lean ratio. As the body’s fat-to-lean ratio increases, so do the health risks.
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol levels
- Heart disease
- Respiratory problems
- Kidney disorders and more
- Metabolic syndrome
- Back pain
- Gallbladder disease
- Sleep apnea
- Excess fatigue
Factors contributing to unhealthy body composition
- Unbalanced, High-fat, high-sugar diet
- Lack of exercise
- Hormonal disorders
- Certain medications
Benefits of healthy Body composition
By reducing body fat, a healthy body composition may
- Improve insulin sensitivity
- Improve blood circulation
- Promote healthy blood pressure and cholesterol levels
- Reduce respiratory infections, improve lung function
- Improve quality of sleep
- Relieve the strain placed on your knees, hips, lower back
- Increase energy and endurance
- Improve mood and self-confidence
After assessing your body composition, we can determine a healthy body composition program that will be designed specifically for you.
Who can benefit from BIA testing?
Often, diets will result in loss of mostly lean body tissue and water. By tracking your body fat, you can closely monitor what body composition changes are actually happening. Just knowing how many pounds you have lost is insufficient. The goal of any weight control program needs to involve adjusting a person’s exercise and dietary habits to reach the ideal percentage of body fat.
BIA testing is very useful tool in the following conditions:
- Tracking weight loss and weight management
- During athletic training. BIA can track how the body is responding to your training program.
- Tracking/monitoring chronic disease
Irrespective of total weight, if lean and fat proportions are within established recommended limits then one has a significantly reduced risk of suffering from many health problems associated with being “over fat.”
BIA Pre-test protocol
- Do not eat for 4 hours prior to testing.
- Do not exercise for 12 hours prior to testing.
- Do not consume alcohol for 24 hours prior to testing.
- Drink at least 1 litre of water one hour before.
- Do not drink caffeine the day of your test.
- Do not wear pantyhose.
How long is an Appointment?
The first visit is the most comprehensive in discussing your complete medical history and is the longest visit at 1 hour. Subsequent visits are approximately half that time, depending on the complexity of the issues being addressed this program is mostly used in weight loss programs to monitor the outcomes.