Analyzing Your Body Composition with the Dexa Scan Test: An Honest Review

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A whole-body Dexa Scan test from DexaFit will give you a complete and accurate picture of your body composition, including how your body weight breaks down into fat, bone and lean tissue.

I just experienced one of those neat coincidences that pop into our lives every so often. I was watching an episode of the Netflix TV Show Bringing Sexy Back and a contestant on the show underwent a sophisticated body composition analysis: the Dexa Scan test from Dexafit. The test provides an accurate weight measurement, but also tells you what percentage of your body weight is bone, muscle, and fat. I know that as you age, you tend to lose muscle mass and I hate strength training so I haven’t really done much to help avoid muscle loss. I wondered what my fat to muscle ratio really is and if a Dexa Scan was available at a reasonable price near me.

So, you can imagine the hoots of excitement I let out when, just days later, a representative from DexaFit contacted me to see if I’d be interested in receiving a DexaFit Dexa Scan test in exchange for an honest review. Yes, please! I couldn’t wait to see what I would learn and how I could use the information to continue to stay healthy as I age.

DexaFit reimbursed me for the cost of the Dexa Scan, but I received no other compensation and this is, as always, my very honest opinion.

The Beautiful DexaFit Office
The beautiful DexaFit office where I had my test

What is a Dexa Scan Anyway?

The Dexa Scan is an FDA approved test that examines your body from head to toe using very low-level X-rays which means your exposure to radiation from the X-ray is very low. You simply lie very still on a table while the camera passes over your body. The entire process takes place about 15 minutes and your results are available immediately after the test is complete.

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The test process is easy and painless. You simply lie on a table while the machine passes over your body.

If you have ever had a bone density test at your doctor’s office, the machine should be familiar to you. However, the bone density test at your doctor’s office only tells you if you are risk for osteoporosis. You can learn so much more from the Dexa Scan test from DexaFit.

What can you learn from a Dexa Scan?

Once your test is complete, you’ll learn:

  • Your accurate weight so no need to wonder if the scale you’re using is calibrated incorrectly.
  • Your percentage of lean tissue and how evenly your lean tissue is balanced across your body (more about this later.)
  • Your bone mineral content (just how much your skeleton weighs; good information to have as you can see whether you’re losing bone mass.)
  • Your total fat %. The test will also tell you just how much of your fat is visceral fat, the deep fat that surrounds your organs. Everyone has some visceral fat and it’s needed to protect your organs. However, too much visceral fat can lead to insulin resistance, diabetes, and heart disease so it’s very useful to know just how much visceral fat you have. Even seemingly thin people can have high levels of visceral fat.
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My horrifyingly detailed analysis

The test also shows these figures for several different parts of your body and provides an analysis of your android region (the abdomen) and gynoid (hips & thighs) so you can determine just where you store fat.

My Dexa Scan Results

My technician, Maureen, went over the test results with me and provided some perspective around the raw numbers. My body fat percentage, 37.1, is in the slightly above average zone, but nothing to be concerned about in terms of health. However, I’d like to bring this down and plan on working on this over the next few months.

The most interesting part of the test for me personally was the Lean Mass Balance. This tells you the Lean Mass on the left side of your body vs the Lean Mass on the right side of your body in your arms and legs. Ideally, you want to have no difference between these measurements, indicating that your body is perfectly balanced. When one side of your body is stronger than the other, you tend to use your stronger side more while relying less on your weaker side. Over time, this can lead to injuries as your stronger side continues to take on more and more of the workload that should be carried by both sets of muscles.

I was stunned to see that my left side has a whopping 4.8 more pounds of lean muscle tissue than my right side. That is a serious difference and has already led to multiple injuries – all on the left side of my body as it tries to compensate for my weaker side. This is an issue that needs my attention now and Maureen suggested I start a strength training plan but focus primarily on increasing the strength in my right side to become more balanced.

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Going over my test results

How Much Does a Dexa Scan Cost?

A Dexa Scan typically costs about $150 for two tests so you can use your first test as a baseline and then return in around six months for a follow-up to check your improvement. However, be sure and check Groupon if you’re interested in a scan as there are often good deals on these tests available.

Is a Dexa Scan Right for You?

A Dexa Scan can provide valuable information if, like me, you’re interested in maintaining your fitness and mobility as you age. After going over my test results with Maureen, I have a clear picture of what I need to improve (my body fat percentage), what I don’t need to worry about (my bone density is very good for my age. Yay!), and what I need to focus on to maintain my health (gotta get my body back in balance!). I look forward to seeing my progress when I have my second test.

If you’re interested in scheduling your own Dexa Scan, check out the Dexa Scan website for locations near you and to see an overview of the tests available.

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