- Kim Kardashian posted the results of her latest body scan on Instagram.
- The scan can measure changes in body composition, or the ratio of fat to muscle mass.
- It also assesses bone density, which can prevent injury as you age and improve with weight lifting.
Kim Kardashian recently got a body scan and posted it her results to her Instagram storeIt shows her bone density and how her body fat percentage has changed in the past year.
A body scan uses one of several methods to assess body composition, body fat to muscle mass, and bone density. It’s a useful tool for measuring progress toward specific goals such as weight loss and muscle gain, according to Noam Tamir, founder and CEO of TS Fitness in New York City.
“It’s good to see if what you’re doing is working,” he told Insider.
Tamir said body scans can show changes in fat, muscle and bone tissue over time to help measure health and progress, but they are not in themselves a definitive measure of overall fitness.
The scan showed Kardashian’s body fat percentage increased from 25% to 18%, while Kardashian has previously been criticized for rapid weight loss, a 7% body fat drop in 15 months is well within the normal range for fat loss results. Tamir previously told Insider that losing 1% or so of body fat per month is reasonable.
Body scans can help you assess fat loss and muscle gain
In most cases, people who want to lose weight aim to lose fat, not muscle, and those looking to gain weight often want to specifically increase muscle tissue.
Knowing your body composition can help you know if you’re exercising and eating enough to build or maintain muscle, whether you’re trying to burn fat or get bigger. For example, if your weight stays the same, but your body fat goes down, you probably built more muscle.
Kardashian said her body fat percentage was in the “athlete” category.
A body fat percentage between 14% and 20% for women, and 6% to 13% for men, is sometimes referred to as “athletic.” But it is not a determining factor in the sport, according to Tamer.
“You have athletes who are footballers who have higher fat than that, so I don’t think that’s true,” he said.
The distinction, he said, means fewer people have body fat levels in that range, but it does not in itself determine fitness. Instead, physical fitness comprises a wide range of attributes and ability including strength, speed, stamina, agility, and skill.
In contrast, lower body fat percentage is often an aesthetic goal, Tamir says. It is often combined with existing large muscle mass (based on weight lifting and a caloric surplus over time) to create a lean muscular build.
Some tests also measure bone health, which can be improved with exercise
The specific type of scan Kardashian did, known as a DEXA, uses X-rays to scan the body. The scan also measures bone density, which can be a result of improved fitness.
Strength training, such as weightlifting, can improve bone density, which helps improve overall health and prevent problems like osteoporosis and fractures as you age, according to Tamir.
“Weight training can help create stronger bones by creating stress and pressure on the body,” he said.
Tamir said that some of his clients have been successful in reversing bone health issues by lifting weights, which not only benefits muscles, but overall health and longevity as well.