Kim Kardashian shared the results of her fat loss and bone density scan — here's what to know about body composition scans
- Kim Kardashian posted the results of her recent body scan on Instagram.
- The scan can measure changes in body composition, or ratio of fat to muscle mass.
Kim Kardashian recently got a body scan and posted her results to her Instagram stories, showing her bone density and how her body fat percentage changed in the past year.
A body scan uses one of several techniques to assess body composition, the ratio of body fat to muscle mass, and bone density. It's a useful tool for measuring progress toward certain goals such as weight loss and muscle gain, according to Noam Tamir, the founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City.
"It's good to see if what you're doing is working," he told Insider.
Body scans can show changes in fat, muscle, and bone tissue over time to help measure health and progress, but aren't by themselves a definitive measure of overall fitness, Tamir said.
The scan showed Kardashian's body fat percentage went from 25% to 18%, While Kardashian has been previously criticized for rapid weight loss, the 7% body fat decrease in 15 months is well within the normal range of fat loss results. Losing 1% body fat per month or thereabouts is reasonable, Tamir previously told Insider.
Body scans can help you assess fat loss and muscle gain
In most cases, people who want to lose weight are aiming to lose fat, not muscle, and those looking to gain weight often want to increase muscle tissue specifically.
Knowing your body composition can help you tell if you're exercising and eating enough to build or maintain muscle, whether you're trying to burn fat or bulk up. For instance, if your weight stays the same, but your body fat decreases, you've likely built more muscle.
Kardashian said that her body fat percentage was in the "athlete" category.
A body fat percentage between 14% and 20% for women, and 6% to 13% for men, is sometimes referred to as "athletic." But it isn't a definitive factor in athleticism, according to Tamir.
"You have athletes who are football players who have a higher body fat than that, so I don't believe that's true," he said.
The distinction means fewer people in the population have body fat levels in that range, but doesn't by itself determine fitness, he said. Instead, fitness incorporates a broad range of traits and ability including strength, speed, stamina, agility, and skill.
In contrast, a lower body fat percentage is often an aesthetic goal, Tamir said. It's often combined with significant existing muscle mass (built with weight lifting and a calorie surplus over time) to create a lean, muscular physique.
Some scans also measure bone health, which can be improved with exercise
The specific type of scan Kardashian had, known as a DEXA, uses x-rays to scan the body. The scan also measures bone density, which can be a result of fitness improvements.
Strength training, such as lifting weights, can improve bone density, which helps to improve overall health and prevent issues like osteoporosis and fractures as you age, according to Tamir.
"Weight training can help create stronger bones by creating stress and pressure on the body," he said.
Tamir said some of his clients have successfully reversed bone health issues with weight lifting, which benefits not only muscle but overall health and longevity, too.
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