BIG Nutrition: The Inbody Test—Being fit does not look the same for everyone!


BIG Nutrition: The Inbody Test—Being fit does not look the same for everyone!

The Inbody test, a measure of body composition—muscle, adipose (fat), and water—uses bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is now being offered for members of BIG. Individuals in the community can also access this test. This link offers a detailed look at how to interpret the results of a test. Here are some of the highlights and my take on the information provided. First some important considerations:

  • Your Inbody information is private. The intent of this blog is to provide information so you can look at your results on your own. If you prefer that a coach helps you interpret the results, please let us know.
  • Genes have a role in how our bodies are shaped and composed. Being fit does not look the same for everyone.
  • BIG WODs help maintain and build muscle and higher intensity workouts, like those at BIG, appear to better for burning adipose (fat) tissue over time than moderate intensity workouts.   

A look at the test results—

Body Composition Analysis

  • Includes: Intracellular water, extracellular water, lean body mass, adipose (body fat) mass.
  • Notes: Less useful because this information is in pounds.

Muscle Fat Analysis

  • Includes: Weight, skeletal muscle mass, and body fat mass.
  • Notes: Less useful because this information is in pounds.

Obesity Analysis

  • Includes: Body mass index (BMI), body fat percentage.
  • Notes:
    • For people with a lot of muscle, BMI may be high and make it seem like the individual is ‘overweight’; however, a skilled clinician will recognize that this is not true.
    • Body fat percentage ranges are different for men and women.
    • Where the adipose accumulates is important with abdominal (visceral) adipose tissue having higher health risk than more adipose in the arms and legs, thus, a thin person with higher adipose around the waist may be at higher health risk than a heavier person. The visceral fat measure is on the right-hand side of the report.

General guidelines in preparation for the Inbody—be well hydrated and do not consume caffeine the day of the test. Avoid the following before the test: alcohol (24 hours), exercise (6-12 hours), and eating (3-4 hours). Answers to frequently asked questions are here.

Segmental Lean Analysis

  • Includes: Lean mass in five areas—Right arm, left arm, trunk, right leg, and left leg.
  • Notes:
    • Actual lean muscle mass measure. The length of the bar shows whether your amount of muscle is under, normal, or over the amount of lean muscle mass compared to a person of the same height with ideal weight.
    • Is the muscle amount similar on the right and left sides? Most individuals have a weaker and stronger side. Does this measure give clues into which side is stronger? This could be an area to discuss with a coach.

ECW/TBW Analysis

  • Includes: Extracellular Water (ECW) to the Total Body Water (TBW) ratio. The normal range is 0.360 to 0.390.
  • Note: Inbody recommends contacting your physician “…if the ratio exceeds 0.400…”

Body Composition History

  • Notes:
    • Tracking your measures over time can be useful.
    • Measure four or fewer times per year.

Additional information is provided on the right side of the Inbody analysis sheet, the most important of which is the visceral fat level (mentioned above).

Inbody test results are one piece of a much larger health puzzle. Our health involves genes, environment, activity, sleep, and food among others. If more nutrient dense eating is a goal for you, please contact me and let’s work together to work on this.

Happy and healthful eating,

Donna G. Pertel, MEd, RD, LDN

Have questions about the Inbody test? Contact me at [email protected]. Private Nutrition Services are available for BIG Members (@ 30% discount) and the Community. More information is listed here.