Our body is made up of a large number of elements, which allow everything to function properly. These elements work together and allow the recognition of the composition of our body, thus discovering why, although we are all made of the same, we look different.

In the following article, we will talk about what are the components of our body, how our body composition is calculated and how we could improve it to obtain greater physical well-being. 

What is body composition?

Body composition is the set of elements of important assessment that allow quantifying the reserves present in the body . In the same way, body composition determines and judges the food that is required, especially in terms of energy, nutrients and physical capacity.

You should know: The determination and evaluation of body composition is fundamental in the nutritional assessment of the individual for their health, also allowing a classification based on the potentiality, development and functional adaptations in the subjects. (1)

What are the elements of body composition?

As we previously mentioned, body composition is structured by certain elements that define the perimeter of the organism’s potential. They will be mentioned and described below:

1. Fat mass

The fat mass is defined in general terms as the totality of lipids or fats existing in the body, being through it the estimation of the presence of obesity or overweight. 

Note: high content of fat mass is always related to risks or health problems.

2. Muscle mass

Muscle mass, on the other hand, is that formed by muscle tissue. Fabric that allows movement, stability and protection of what is known as the skeleton . It is evaluated as the total tissue volume, thus allowing insight into the individual’s body composition.

3. Bone mass

Bone mass or density is the evaluation of the amount of minerals that a specific bone volume contains. It generally determines the amount of calcium and phosphorus, in addition to identifying the presence of disorders or diseases such as osteoporosis. 

4. Residual mass

Residual mass is a term that refers to the weight of body components, clearly excluding fat mass, muscle mass, and bone mass. It is also known as residual tissue and is inferred in many cases by discarding the previous ones.

How is body composition calculated?

The body composition has a great variety for its determination. Even technology has developed methods to obtain immediate and simple results , such as bioimpedanciometry (a test that allows the evaluation of a person’s body composition). 

To highlight: There are also scales, X-ray absorption, plicometrics, among other methods. (two)

On the other hand, there are classifications for direct and indirect methods that allow, through models, the determination of the components and body composition in general.

How to improve body composition?

Body composition is, as we previously mentioned, a set of elements that allow proper mobility, functioning of our body and tissue system. We mention below how to improve it for your knowledge and use:

1. Establish the objectives to be achieved

The determination and contemplation of the objectives to be achieved, allows to delimit and specify the proposed goals more easily. The establishment of objectives provides a greater source of commitment and motivation, thus controlling the success of what is wanted.

2. Assume a healthy and balanced diet

A balanced diet is one of the main keys so that what increases is muscle mass and not fat mass. The consumption of macronutrients and healthy fats allow obtaining a healthy body and muscle, also taking care of the integration of micronutrients and antioxidants that benefit the health of the individual.

3. Make between 3 and 5 meals a day

We know that there are no fixed rules for proper nutrition, especially regarding the number of meals, but it is recommended through different studies that consuming more than three meals is necessary to benefit metabolism 

Important: Diet must be balanced and healthy , including plenty of vegetables and lean proteins of high biological value. (3)

4. Increase water consumption

Drinking enough water allows the body to be hydrated and ready for the physical effort that is carried out daily. Water increases performance by even 25%, as well as helping to regulate body temperature.

To highlight: A greater intake of liquids allows a healthier body composition, also preventing obesity and overweight thanks to the loss of toxins and excesses through urine and feces. (4)

5. Avoid unfavorable foods and drinks

The reduction or mitigation of certain unfavorable foods and drinks provides maintenance of muscle and bone health , in addition to reducing discomfort or pain caused when there is a demand for physical effort. 

You should know: The consumption of healthy foods with high biological and nutritional value, allows a better quality of life, health in the organism and care in the protection, development and preservation of bone and muscle tissue. (5)

6. Perform physical exercise regularly

Physical activity, mainly that which requires high effort and performance, is associated with an optimization and improvement in the parameters of the organism, allowing a reduction in body fat and an increase in muscle mass or lean mass.

7. Try to rest optimally

An adequate rest positively influences body composition. It is extremely important, even in the same way as food and physical effort. 

Note: When we make physical effort to improve body composition, there are micro-breaks that are regenerated in the anabolic state of sleep , so the growth of muscle tissue will depend on this process and protein synthesis, which is also obtained during sleep. sleep period.

8. Be consistent with the habits acquired

Proper nutrition and physical activity will allow the improvement of body composition, so it is necessary to preserve the acquired habits in the long term in order to have safe and stable results .  

In this sense, perseverance allows the achievement of goals. Therefore, compliance with a healthy diet is essential to enhance body composition and thus obtain a healthy and optimal physical condition. 

Key Findings

  • Body composition is all that can describe the amount of fat, muscle, bone, and residual mass in a person’s body.
  • It allows evaluations, identifications and classifications based on the size, shape, potential and functionality of the organism.
  • Body composition is a medicinal tool that can help assess the state of health, nutrition and even quantify body reserves.
  • The determination of body composition is carried out through different methods , thus allowing the recognition of the percentages and proportions of the components.

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