A better weigh to monitor fat loss

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Fred Miller, chairman of the kinesiology department at Huntington University, shows off the school’s Bod Pod which provides state-of-the-art body assessments. Miller, a 2:41 marathoner, uses the device as he works to shed 2 percent body fat before his next race.  

When football stars train for the NFL Combine, they hop in a state-of-the-art device called the Bod Pod for a complete body composition analysis that tells them their ratio of lean muscle mass to body fat, along with their resting metabolic rate and estimated daily energy expenditure.

Turns out mere civilians can get the same type of analysis at Huntington University  – for roughly the cost of a hair cut.

While your bathroom scale can tell you whether you’re at a healthy weight, the number that flashes on the screen doesn’t tell you whether those two extra pounds are water weight, fat or muscle.

You might not like the much more specific data the Bod Pod can provide. But if you use it as a training tool, it’s a great way to get a better understanding of the changes taking place in your body as you lose weight, shed fat and gain muscle.

When I interviewed Annie Giddens about her 200-pound weight loss last month, she said getting a body assessment done every six months or so has been much more motivating than merely stepping on the scale. And no wonder: Over the past year or so she’s seen her body fat percentage drop from 40 percent to less than 28 percent.

I was too chicken to take a seat in the Bod Pod when I went to check it out recently for a newspaper article, given that I’ve hardly run since Christmas thanks to plantar fasciitis. But now I’m kicking myself for not getting a baseline assessment. Aiming to shed fat and not just weight would be a great motivator once I start training again.

To make an appointment for the Bod Pod, folks in northeast Indiana can call 260-359-4148 or email fmiller@huntington.edu. The cost is only $20 if you have a membership at the YMCA or any gym or health club (the normal rate is $40). For more information, check out today’s Adventures in Food and Fitness column in The News-Sentinel.

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3 Responses to A better weigh to monitor fat loss

  1. bgddyjim says:

    I might head down there to check it out! Too cool!

  2. tischcaylor says:

    Looks like they have one at the U Of M … but it costs $105 there, according to the website.

  3. OmniRunner says:

    I tried to to get a DEXA scan at Tufts University, but you had to be in one of their studies. Couldn’t find anyone else offering one of these advanced measurements.

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