What your scale tells you is NOT the whole story

Updated: Nov 14, 2018

Bioimpedance Analysis and Indirect Calorimetry Testing are both important diagnostic components of a medically supervised weight loss program.


Bioimpedance analysis (BIA) has become a widely accepted method to determine overall body composition in healthy populations. This method has become popular owing to its ease of use, speed and noninvasive nature.

Simply explained, BIA measures how much of your body weight is fat, compared to how much is non-fat (e.g.; bone, muscle, body fluid, organs, and other body tissues). It does this by measuring how difficult it is for an electrical current to move through the body. This electrical current is so small that most people cannot even feel anything.


The more body fat one has, the harder it is for the electrical current to flow through the body during bioimpedance analysis. And naturally the reverse is true, the less body fat one has, the easier it is for the electrical current to flow through the body. Essentially your body's fat stops, or impedes this controlled electrical current. Since your “fat-free” body weight consists mainly of your body's water and electrolytes, it is a better conductor of the electrical current than the body fat, which contains very little water. This analysis establishes an index of total body water and from this the body’s fat-free mass is estimated. This can be, and often is, used as an ongoing process during a weight loss program.


Another benefit of the BIA is being able to assess the intra and extra-cellular water distribution along with a very useful marker of overall cellular health and oxidative stress through Phase Angle measurements and calculations.


Unlike scale weight, Bioimpedance Analysis reveals the overall health of a person, as well as the proportion and amount of fat, lean tissue and water weight. It can be effectively used to indicate how much muscle and fat is being lost or gained as a result of physical and/or dietary changes. It also analyzes the overall health of the cells. Weight loss cannot be properly monitored using a scale only.



Indirect Calorimetry Testing:

Each and every individual has a metabolic rate specific for their body. Indirect Calorimetry (IC) testing provides an accurate assessment of every person’s resting metabolic rate compared to common predictive equations that are often used to estimate that person’s calorie needs. These results are obtained immediately after the 10-minute test and can then be used to determine a plan for establishing and achieving goals generally related to weight loss, and sometimes weight gain and/or maintenance.


An indirect calorimeter is a device that accurately and quickly measures a person’s resting metabolic rate (RMR) and oxygen consumption (or VO2) and its ratio to carbon dioxide production (VCO2). In just a matter of a few minutes, this equipment calculates an individual’s metabolism to determine their body's internal efficiency. This helps us understand our patient's caloric needs, to dictate an effective medical nutritional therapy and weight management program. Inadequate nutrition can prevent someone from reaching their overall health and wellness goals. In addition to weight management, this test provides the information needed for an individual to achieve greater personal control of other weight-related conditions such as diabetes, along with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), liver disease and sleep apnea.


"Indirect Calorimetry reveals your true metabolic rate (how your body uses food) by measuring the amount of oxygen (absorbed) and carbon dioxide (released) from your breathing. This device will measure the amount in (consumption) and the amount out (expired) which accurately shows your metabolic rate. This will guide us the exact number of calories you need each day. (Too many calories may lead to weight gain and too few calories may impede weight loss).”

Want to know how to lose weight fast? Dr. Dave Gentile and his team at Oasis Integrative Medicine have shown that their Medically Supervised Weight Loss Program really works for quick, safe, healthy, easy and sustainable weight loss . Even those who have failed with previous diets have succeeded with our program.


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This blog is for informational purposes only. It is NOT intended to replace a one-on-one relationship with a licensed, qualified health care professional and is not intended as medical advice.

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