What’s Your Body Composition- Are You Thin Obese?

You may weight the same as you were in college but are you thin yet obese? Not all weight is created equal. As we age our body composition changes, we begin to lose muscle mass in our mid thirties and become softer around the middle replacing lost mass with fat that weighs less than muscle. Even if we remain the same weight through diet and aerobic exercise, we may still be at risk of disease related to fat. Fat is a source of inflammation; it’s also a storage depot for heavy metals and other toxins. While we need fat to cushion our feet, add fullness to our face, insulate against cold and store energy, too much fat is a risk factor for many diseases such as heart disease, cancer, autoimmune disorders, allergies, asthma and more.

BMI scale

BMI scale

Importance of Body Composition

Look at the example of 2 men who are the same height, weight and body mass index or BMI. If you stayed at the same weight and your body composition changed, the less muscle mass you have, the less calories you burn and the less calories you need to maintain that weight. It’s no wonder why, no matter how much you cut back on calories, you still gain weight. You also cannot get enough nutrients to maintain health, as your calories are restricted unless you eat only nutrient dense food.

It’s important to measure your body composition. While the most accurate way is submersion in water, it’s not very practical. Having a skilled health or fitness practitioner measure with body fat calipers or using a body fat analyzer or body composition analyzer, can give you a measure of your body composition. Weigh yourself at the same time of day and on the same scale to track trends. The amount of water you drink, exercise and general state of hydration can affect the readings so measure under the same conditions.

Strength training can build muscle and restore muscle mass, which burns more calories and changes your body composition more readily than aerobic exercise alone. To build your muscle mass, train at 65% of the maximum weight you can lift. Some may have to build up to this slowly to avoid injury.

What’s Your Body Composition- Are You Thin Obese? Takeaway:

Get your body composition and strength measured by an expert as well as other physical parameters such a blood pressure, waist to hip ratio, reaction time and balance which are indicators of premature aging, risk for disease or injury.

There was an excellent article in The Wall Street Journal discussing the Mayo Clinic study that found 30 million Americans fall into the normal weight obesity category and are at risk of obesity related disease such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, diabetes and metabolic syndrome. WSJ BMI article

Knowledge is power, so know your numbers so you can change your body composition and enjoy greater strength, while reducing your waistline and risk factors for disease.

Dr. Lorraine Maita has expertise in detecting thr biomarkers of aging, performs a functional physical performance evaluation inclusive of cardiovascular risk factors and is a Diplomate in The American Academy of Anti-Aging and Regenerative Medicine and Internal Medicine. She specializes in lifestyle, stress management, exercise, nutrition, supplements, bioidentical hormone replacement, neurocognitive function and executive physicals in Short Hills, NJ


  1. Ken Huttle May 20, 2010 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    hello it is my first reply on this web and firstly I would like to thank for the unique information, which I were able to find in this and all previous topics , it really helped me very much. I will definitely add this website on my google reader :) Also, I would like to ask – don’t you mind if I will quate some information from your website because I am writing articles for the Hub pages, Ezine and other articles directories (this is my part time job)? It would really help me with some of mine articles. Of course, I will mention your blog title or URL (not all articles directories allows URL’s , so I can’t 100% promise that you will get a direct backlink to your blog).

  2. Barney Neeld May 27, 2010 at 6:03 am - Reply

    I have visited your site before. The more I visit, the more I keep coming back! :-)

  3. fat burning furnace scams May 28, 2010 at 12:20 am - Reply

    This blog can surely touch lives. Thanks for all you have composed on this. I will definitely keep on coming back to glance more of your articles.

  4. Sal Bouche May 30, 2010 at 2:31 am - Reply

    This is such a fantastic resource you are providing. I enjoy seeing web sites that understand the value of providing a prime resource for free. I really loved reading your post. Thanks!

  5. white ceramic watches May 30, 2010 at 11:23 am - Reply

    Great post, thanks! Maybe you could do a follow up article about this?

  6. Winston Malkin May 31, 2010 at 12:12 am - Reply

    Howdy there,Fantastic blog post dude! i am just Tired of using RSS feeds and do you use twitter?so i can follow you there:D.
    PS:Have you thought about putting video to this blog posts to keep the readers more entertained?I think it works.Kind regards, Winston Malkin

  7. Silver Bullion May 31, 2010 at 5:58 am - Reply

    thanks !! very helpful post!

  8. mr flex factor June 1, 2010 at 6:30 am - Reply

    It’s hard to come by decent info on the web now thanks for this.

  9. Lorraine Maita June 18, 2010 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    I thank all of you take the time to comment. I do post on Twitter – Howtoliveyoung is the name. I will be doing follow up articles on weight as well as supplements, hormones, epigenetics and other topics regarding health and anti-aging. It’s nice to know my work is appreciated and perhaps some time in the future I will put video in. Not enough time right now.

    You can sign up for my newsletter on my webiste to get other articles, events and press.

    Thanks again and let me know what you want to learn about.

  10. Byron Mealey June 19, 2010 at 3:38 am - Reply

    What’s Up! Just wanted to leave a comment. I really liked this blog. Keep up the awesome effort.

  11. Sylvester July 1, 2010 at 7:44 am - Reply

    Excellent stuff – Many thanks for putting up that info, I believe that it more or less answers my question.

  12. Lorraine Maita July 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm - Reply

    I use both electrical impedence and calipers to measure body composition and take a series of other measures as well. What I find most useful is to look at all risk factors, not just one and to take a synergistic approach by prescribing exercise (a real exercise prescription), nutritional supplements, dietary factors such as food type, portions, timing and quality as well as stress management, lifestyle and when necessary hormone replacement therapy. Hope that answers your questions.

  13. kimberly phillips July 27, 2010 at 1:25 pm - Reply

    Nice site, I just dugg this keep up the good work!. . . . . .

  14. Scott Asbridge August 6, 2010 at 7:11 am - Reply

    I love what you’ve undertaken with this site, it is great on the eyes :)

Leave A Comment