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DEXA Scan Review

In the summer I went for my first DEXA scan which measures body fat percentage, bone density and lean body mass.

DEXA is the most accurate method to measure body fat percentage. It works like an X-ray machine and is used in hospitals to diagnose people with osteoporosis.

Its medical grade accuracy makes it appealing to the sports and fitness worlds. Sport scientists use it to measure and track the body composition of professional sports people and fitness enthusiasts
 
Unlike other body fat measuring methods like callipers and bioimpedance, a DEXA scan tells you exactly where the fat stores are. We all have a propensity to store fat in different areas depending on gender, genetics and lifestyle.
 
The procedure is quick and painless. It requires you to lie on a surface as the machine works its way down your body scanning you from head to toe.

Once that’s over with it prints of your report. The report is comprehensive and contains a lot of data which require a specialist to interpret them.

I use Body Scan which is one of the first facilities to provide a DEXA scan in the UK. Body Scan offers different levels of service and plans based on how many times you want to use it.

I opted for a 15 minute review with a consultant after my scan. There is an option to spent an hour with one which costs more but all the spaces were full at the time I was there.

I found a YouTube video where a consultant from Body Scan talks through the results with a fitness model. I watched this as I went through my own report.

Below are my results. My notes are to the right that helped me make sense of the data.

The DEXA scan eradicates any beliefs that you’re under ten percent body fat. The consultant said if you’re ten percent on the callipers you’ll be around 17 percent on the DEXA scan.

My scan said I was at 19 percent which would be 12 percent on the callipers which sounds about right.

I carry more fat around the gynoid region which is usually higher in women not men. I should get my estrogen levels checked to ensure they’re not too high.

Would I recommend getting a DEXA scan?

I’d recommend the DEXA scan for professional sports people, fitness enthusiasts, quantified self data people and people like me who want to track their body composition over time.

If my focus is purely on fitness and looking good throughout the year then I’d use it once a quarter.

It’s not cheap. It cost me £99 for the scan and a 15 minute consultation with a trainee consultant. This is performed under the supervision of a fully trained consultant. A scan plus one hour face-to-face consultation costs £159. A four deal package costs £399.

In my current situation I’ll do one once a year. I’m training regularly but it’s not the full focus of my life. If by this summer (a year from the last scan) I have lost a little body fat and gained a little muscle it will be a good year.

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