What is BIA, or Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis ?
BIA, or Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis, is a non-invasive measurement of body fat, lean muscle mass and hydration.
A small current is used to measure the resistance at difference frequencies against the various tissues in the body eg fat/lipid has a high resistance to the flow of current, therefore shows a high impedance reading.
Lean muscle and water are good conductors of current, therefore will show low resistance or impedance readings.
The impedance readings are then translated using validated algorithms into estimations of body fat, lean muscle and water (including water inside and outside the cells when using the higher frequencies). The algorithms used for each BIA device (or brand) is likely to be different, which is why you might have different results using different machines.
The accuracy will depend on the validation of the equation used and how it compares with DXA and other gold standards. This is always something to take into account when choosing a BIA device.
The accuracy of the measurement also depends on skin resistance.
View our range of BIA measuring devices here or call 0118 324 0061 for more infromation
Using BIA for Weight Management
Clients who are informed about the importance of body fat loss, rather than just weight loss, are far more likely to stay on a diet programme for longer without losing focus – especially when they hit the common ‘weight plateau’. This is because a body composition analysis will show increases in muscle mass and decreases in body fat that don’t always manifest in actual weight loss. By understanding why weight loss has slowed down, and by seeing the results in increased healthy muscle mass, clients are less likely to lose motivation. A BIA Analyser will help you to demonstrate the effectiveness of your weight management programme and gain the respect and compliance of your clients. Use the results to explain how their body composition affects their overall health and to set goals; then give them reports that track their progress so they can celebrate their achievements.
Your body is mainly composed of muscle, fat and water. When you exercise more or start dieting, your body composition will change, even if your weight stays the same.
- This is because as you exercise more, you develop more muscle mass and reduce fat.
- Your weight may even increase at a certain point, as your muscle mass increases.
- Quick-fix, crash diets may produce speedy results, but the weight loss will be in the form of body water and healthy, lean muscle tissue.
Very low calorie diets may force your body into ‘starvation’ mode, storing body fat rather than burning it. So even if you lose weight, your fat ratio will increase.
For long-lasting, healthy weight loss, you will need to make sure you lose actual fat and not lean muscle tissue or water.
Don’t forget that when you begin a new exercise routine - particularly if it includes resistance training - your weight may increase slightly. This is because the new muscle tissue you are building is denser than fat – so this will show in changes to your body composition as your muscle mass increases and your body fat percentage goes down.