Body Composition Test, Personal Metabolism Test

rpkg62
rpkg62 Posts: 90 Member
I have been dieting and exercising for a few months now, and I am not really getting the results I have been hoping for. I have done different dieting programs with varying degrees of success. I am thinking about doing a body composition test and a personal metabolism test. I found a place that looks reputable and affordable. Have any of you tried this? What was your experience like?

Replies

  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,217 Member
    What specific type of body composition test and personal metabolism test? It makes a difference in probable accuracy whether it's a bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) device (and possibly some difference if 2-point vs. 4-point; DEXA; hydrostatic; bodpod; etc. Metabolism test may be an extrapolation from body composition estimates, or gas analysis.
  • rpkg62
    rpkg62 Posts: 90 Member
    Not sure, the metabolism test uses a breathing mouth piece. The body composition test uses a "SECA scale"
  • Cherimoose
    Cherimoose Posts: 5,210 Member
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    I have been dieting and exercising for a few months now, and I am not really getting the results I have been hoping for.

    What specific results have you been expecting? Most goals can be reached without those tests.
  • heybales
    heybales Posts: 18,831 Member
    Dieting and exercising for a few months isn't that long really.

    What results were you hoping for?

    There are many bad expectations setup by the diet industry.

    Due to inaccuracies in what you burn and what you eat - you could actually be at a reasonable rate of loss, and actually a pretty health place, just need to reset expectations.

    Then again you could have hit everything really extreme and body has rebelled already and adapted enough to make all this harder then it needs to be.

    In that latter case, a resting metabolic test may just end up reading that you have a lower than calculated metabolism - but not the why it may be that way.

    Take that info and act on it - and you could really end up crashing an already nose-diving situation right into the ground.


    For the body comp and potential inaccuracy - 1 test isn't meaningful really, 2 tests will give a direction and changes.

    How much to lose until healthy weight goal?
    How much are you attempting to lose weekly?
    What type of exercise are you doing?
  • sijomial
    sijomial Posts: 19,736 Member
    edited July 2021
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    Not sure, the metabolism test uses a breathing mouth piece. The body composition test uses a "SECA scale"

    I didn't see any personal benefit in testing my resting metabolism - it's just one of many estimates that go together to make up your TDEE.
    What use is it to you?

    I'm not clear what results you feel are out of line with expectations, could you expand?

    Personally, I wouldn't pay any money to use a SECA scale, I have free use of a commercial grade BIA device at my gym and as expected it is susceptible to weird and wonderful anomalies even when you try to eliminate the usual hydration related issues. Spotting and discarding those weird results in a series of free and repeatable tests is very different to expecting a one-off test to be useful data.
    DEXA scan would be interesting to me but too expensive where I live to gain a bit of data for pure curiosity.
    Hydrostatic testing would also be interesting to me but mainly because I have the unusual "super power" of being able to sit on the bottom of a swimming pool even when not particulalrly lean.

    I did a series of BodPod body composition tests in a sports science lab and was very under-whelmed with the consistency and accuracy. Gave up after a scan that was clearly and obviously badly flawed when compared with what the mirror and tape measure was telling me.
  • AnnPT77
    AnnPT77 Posts: 25,217 Member
    edited July 2021
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    Not sure, the metabolism test uses a breathing mouth piece. The body composition test uses a "SECA scale"

    SECA scale seems to be a BIA device, they (SECA) claim it's an extra good BIA. BIA generally isn't very reliable as a single-instance indicator, or an absolute value. Repeated measurements can set up a trend line, since it's fairly easy to recognize outlier probably-erroneous measurements, in a repeat-test context.

    I guess I'm on board with wondering with others what you're hoping for, how the tests will serve your goals?

    I gather you feel you're not losing as fast as so-called calorie needs calculators would lead you to expect? If you feel you might have a lower basal metabolic rate than average, how would you adjust your strategies if that were confirmed?

    Truth in advertising: All I have are BIA composition estimates myself, and they were free to me, done out of casual interest or because of a program I was in that was being evaluated based on various before/after tests, including BIA body comp. Between BIA results and comparison to photos at online "guess your body comp" sites, I figure I have a close-enough idea where things stand.

    My calorie needs are dramatically different than many "calculators" (really estimators) figure, compared with what I calculate from my weight changes & calorie intake over almost 6 years of data (but higher needs than estimated, not lower). That makes me curious about my BMR, but not enough to pay $$ for decent measurements. There aren't many ways that I know of to change BMR anyway, other than very slowly. By contrast, changing NEAT (non exercise activity thermogenesis) and EAT (exercise) is easy enough and quicker. 🤷‍♀️

    If you're curious, and it's affordable, why not? If it's a stretch cost-wise, then I think others' questions are relevant, concerning how it relates to goals.

  • rpkg62
    rpkg62 Posts: 90 Member
    I have been actively logging my meals and trying to lose weight for about 9 months, and I have lost 8lbs. My weight loss goal is to get rid of the last pesky 25lbs (now 17 to go). I have lost weight successfully a few years ago, and kept it off. I am now at a years long plateau and want to finish what I started. I exercise regularly with running 3 times a week, and have been doing this for years. I recently added weight training twice a week about two months ago. I have been trying to limit calories to around 1400, I'm 5' 3", and my job is sedentary. I try to be good about weighing my food, but sometimes I mess up. Basically, I want to know am I limiting myself too much? Or am I not being honest enough? I'm interested in it for a sanity check. For the body composition I am interested in it for an athletic point of view. I want to see my body fat percentage and see if I am making progress there. I would be interested in seeing that one over time, maybe 3 times a year (is that a typically frequency?)? I have been having fun with weight training and was curious, I wanted to know if I was making progress in that way.
  • zebasschick
    zebasschick Posts: 452 Member
    do you weigh your food accurately (apparently not always) and - also very important - have you made sure all your food database entries are accurate? many aren't even close. do you weigh slices of bread, especially on sourdough or french boule shaped loaf? my experience is that many of the slices are at least 1/3 heavier than the size the package gives as a serving. do you taste as you cook or grab a handful of nuts and think "It's just a few and i don't feel like logging them"? that can add up to 100 or 200 calories very quickly.

    cany weight loss/diet/fitness program's numbers - and any device that shows you calories burned - is only an approximation, and in some cases, it can be way off as our bodies are so different. if you want to lose more weight, you need to eat less calories. not a whole lot less, but if you eat 250 less calories per day, you can lose an additional 2 pounds per month.

    you know how i discovered i was gaining muscle? i was able to move more weight. simple as that. i got a small underdesk eliptical that a year ago i could only use on the lowest resistance for a couple minutes without REALLY working at it, having knee and ankle pain and having my heart rate jump too high. two weeks ago, i pedaled that sucker for 24 minutes. ta da! and i knew my back is getting stronger as my back extension weight increased from 35 to 75 pounds over time. i can tell i'm improving fitness-wise because i can go faster on my exercise bike with the same heart rate i used to have going much slower.

    there's no point in getting a body scan, but you can if you like. read anns and sijomial's posts again till you understand them. they are two of who i'd consider the best people on the board when it comes to this kind of advice. most body fat and body mass scans are partly dependent on things like hydration, which change all the time leading to inaccurate results. i love numbers as guidance, and it would be awesome if there was a scan that did it perfect every time and cost only $25 or $50. even $100. but alas.

    patience and accurate food data will help you decide your next step. and it's hardest to lose the last bit of weight.

    sorry to go on for so long, and good luck!
  • KelBlundell
    KelBlundell Posts: 47 Member
    My tuppence worth is that trying multiple diets doesn't generally work. It is sticking with one for a long time that shows results.

    I had a body fat composition test electronically which said I was 40% body fat but a physio said my muscle bulk was higher and fat more like 30%.

    I'm 38lbs down after 6 months, and it is the perseverance that is key for me. It took 3 months to see any new muscle definition.

    My advice is save your money, focus on making the diet your new life and stick with it for six months before going for a test.

    Good luck xx
  • TallGent66
    TallGent66 Posts: 84 Member
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    I have been actively logging my meals and trying to lose weight for about 9 months, and I have lost 8lbs. My weight loss goal is to get rid of the last pesky 25lbs (now 17 to go). ... I have been trying to limit calories to around 1400, I'm 5' 3", and my job is sedentary. I try to be good about weighing my food, but sometimes I mess up. Basically, I want to know am I limiting myself too much? Or am I not being honest enough? ...

    Congratulations! You're committed, and you're likely building some muscle, which weighs more than fat. Having fun is so great to read, the Negative Nancy's can become a bore.

    There is reportedly a free **phone app** that you can snap your picture, and it will estimate your body fat composition! I'm planning to try it.

    At this point I refuse to weigh every ounce I eat or every slice of bread. Ridiculous! There are too many variables. I do track my food & try to be as honest as possible. Getting enough potassium is a new mini focus.

    I created my own approach 2 years ago, which turns out to be Intermittent Fasting & excercise (on an empty stomach). "IF" has the advantage of raising growth hormones & adrenaline, where 'restrictive eating' can lower your metabolism.

    Dr. Berg is one proponent of IF, hundreds of short videos on YouTube. IF can be 12 hours, 16 hours, 24 hours, or more. I'm doing OMAD now (one meal a day). There are legal cheat foods... cruciferous veggies, tea, coffee (no sugar), etc. The key is lowering blood sugar (insulin).

    IF aids you in burning fat, and essentially works in tandem w keto.

    I'm 6'6", after success 2 years ago I gradually caved in to Covid... back on track, hiking 3-4 days a week (while fasting) and treading water a few days. Much of the stomach gone, but other areas to work on. Lost about 40 pounds in a few months, and I still go to Taco Tuesday (my one meal), had margaritas last night (2), and have a beer or two on the weekend. Eating sardines every other day, salmon, raw almonds, etc.

    Good luck. Cheers!
  • naomi8888
    naomi8888 Posts: 519 Member
    TallGent66 wrote: »
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    I have been actively logging my meals and trying to lose weight for about 9 months, and I have lost 8lbs. My weight loss goal is to get rid of the last pesky 25lbs (now 17 to go). ... I have been trying to limit calories to around 1400, I'm 5' 3", and my job is sedentary. I try to be good about weighing my food, but sometimes I mess up. Basically, I want to know am I limiting myself too much? Or am I not being honest enough? ...

    Congratulations! You're committed, and you're likely building some muscle, which weighs more than fat. Having fun is so great to read, the Negative Nancy's can become a bore.

    There is reportedly a free **phone app** that you can snap your picture, and it will estimate your body fat composition! I'm planning to try it.

    At this point I refuse to weigh every ounce I eat or every slice of bread. Ridiculous! There are too many variables. I do track my food & try to be as honest as possible. Getting enough potassium is a new mini focus.

    I created my own approach 2 years ago, which turns out to be Intermittent Fasting & excercise (on an empty stomach). "IF" has the advantage of raising growth hormones & adrenaline, where 'restrictive eating' can lower your metabolism.

    Dr. Berg is one proponent of IF, hundreds of short videos on YouTube. IF can be 12 hours, 16 hours, 24 hours, or more. I'm doing OMAD now (one meal a day). There are legal cheat foods... cruciferous veggies, tea, coffee (no sugar), etc. The key is lowering blood sugar (insulin).

    IF aids you in burning fat, and essentially works in tandem w keto.

    I'm 6'6", after success 2 years ago I gradually caved in to Covid... back on track, hiking 3-4 days a week (while fasting) and treading water a few days. Much of the stomach gone, but other areas to work on. Lost about 40 pounds in a few months, and I still go to Taco Tuesday (my one meal), had margaritas last night (2), and have a beer or two on the weekend. Eating sardines every other day, salmon, raw almonds, etc.

    Good luck. Cheers!

    What's the difference between IF and "restrictive eating"?
  • Beautyofdreams
    Beautyofdreams Posts: 1,004 Member
    After 13 months of weight loss, I had a DEXA scan done at a local hospital for $45.00. I did the scan to establish a baseline for future fitness goals. It also helped me get an idea of how much more weight I need to lose to reach current goals. I have lost 80 pounds and have so much loose skin on my torso, thighs and upper arms that it is difficult for me to get a sense of myself. I plan to repeat the scan in the future and reassess my fitness program then.
  • corinasue1143
    corinasue1143 Posts: 6,505 Member
    I had a dexa scan done when I joined Golds. It was interesting, but not particularly helpful. It measured my body fat at about the same as on-line calculators. Which is about the same as I’ve been told by trainers before. I would never pay for another one.
    I had a metabolism test which consisted of lying very still in a see-through coffin-like box for 30 minutes. It was very eye-opening, but not encouraging. I would definitely be curious enough to take another one. I’m not sure how helpful it would be at this point.
  • Luluetduet8
    Luluetduet8 Posts: 49 Member
    rpkg62 wrote: »
    I have been actively logging my meals and trying to lose weight for about 9 months, and I have lost 8lbs. My weight loss goal is to get rid of the last pesky 25lbs (now 17 to go). I have lost weight successfully a few years ago, and kept it off. I am now at a years long plateau and want to finish what I started. I exercise regularly with running 3 times a week, and have been doing this for years. I recently added weight training twice a week about two months ago. I have been trying to limit calories to around 1400, I'm 5' 3", and my job is sedentary. I try to be good about weighing my food, but sometimes I mess up. Basically, I want to know am I limiting myself too much? Or am I not being honest enough? I'm interested in it for a sanity check. For the body composition I am interested in it for an athletic point of view. I want to see my body fat percentage and see if I am making progress there. I would be interested in seeing that one over time, maybe 3 times a year (is that a typically frequency?)? I have been having fun with weight training and was curious, I wanted to know if I was making progress in that way.


    I did hydrostatic and I was happy I did. It gives the most accurate breakdown of muscle to fat makeup on your body, which I then used to establish a baseline for my diet.

    I’ll be doing another visit this Wednesday to see whether i need to adjust my calories back to maintenance. My goal was to hit 16% BF before starting general weight lifting at maintenance to see If I can get some newbie gains.

    If I didn’t then I’ll probably take a week long diet break and try to lose a bit more fat for a period before getting tested again. It’s not super cheap but I hate guessing.