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How Tim Ferriss Measures Fat Loss

Tim Ferriss is a well-known entrepreneur, self-experimenter, blogger and adventurer. What started out as lots of blog posts many years ago formed some great reads from hacking the human body, effortless weight loss and a host of hacks to improving all aspects of life.

Tim has written some books from escaping working the 9-5, with his “The 4 Hour Work Week” and a book designed to take someone who doesn’t do much cooking to creating culinary masterpieces in the kitchen with the “The 4 Hour Chef”. I’ve read both of these books, and I have to say they are fantastic and worth checking out. The books are broken down into bite-sized chapters so you can pick them up and put them down with ease.

Tim Ferriss has even hosted his very own TV show and has a hugely successful podcast on iTunes In fact, most days The Tim Ferris show is the #1 business podcast on iTunes, and has been ranked #1 (of all podcasts) on many occasions.

Want to Transform your body and learn about body composition? Check out The 4 Hour Body

In his book “The 4 Hour Body”, Tim Ferris talks about the best way to track changes to body composition by exploring methods such as bioimpedance analysis technology made popular by brands such as Tanita, Omron, and Seca. He also looks at skinfold calipers such as the Harpenden Skinfold Caliper and the less expensive but extremely popular AccuMeasure Skinfold Caliper as a body fat measurement tool.

Tim Ferriss goes on to discuss other methods such as hydrostatic or underwater weighing and plethysmography or air displacement such as the Bod Pod, as other body fat measurement tools.

One of the weight loss concepts Tim is a fan off is his slow carb diet, which has 5 ground rules. Tim says that if people follow these rules, then weight loss occurs 99% of the time.

But for now, let’s discuss the body fat measurement tool that Tim Ferriss recommends not only for fat loss and weight loss but also to measure muscle gains as per his Occams Protocol.

BodyMetrix features in The 4-Hour Body, the book from the New York Times best-selling author Tim Ferriss.

What is BodyMetrix?

The BodyMetrix BX2000 Ultrasound Body Fat Analysing System provides a quick and easy means of performing accurate and consistent analysis of body composition. In particular, changes to muscle as well as fat loss.

This complete ultrasound body composition analysis system combines a hand-held ultrasound wand with innovative software. It is not only used by individuals but also ideally suited for use by personal trainers, nutritionists and health centers. The BodyMetrix BX2000 uses the same standard of professional ultrasound technology used by elite athletes and trainers.

The BodyMetrix BX2000 allows an enormous range of assessments to be completed that include, body fat percentage, body scans, point-specific measurement thickness, body mass index (BMI), basal metabolic rate (BMR) and any other tests you want to include in the new fitness tab. We’ve seen people track 1 rep max on squat, bench press plus any other tests they want to monitor.

How does it work?

The first thing to mention is that BodyMetrix uses ultrasound. This is unlike electronic scales that rely upon hydration to ensure accurate results. When an ultrasound signal penetrates tissue, reflections occur at different tissue boundaries. Think of the last time you heard an echo, the reflection came from an object. In the case of BodyMetrix, these objects are things like where fat and muscle meet and where muscle and bone meet.

Ultrasound Body Fat Monitor

Ultrasound allows the BodyMetrix to detect the actual fat thickness at each measurement point. By making measurements at multiple points on the body, an accurate body fat percentage can be determined.

Body Fat Monitor, Tim Ferriss measures

If you take a look above this shows a typical analysis. The horizontal axis displays the thickness or depth of tissue, and the vertical axis is the reflected signal. The first peak (1) is the fat-muscle boundary. The smaller peaks that follow (2) are a different structure and can sometimes be connective tissue in the muscle layers. The third peak (3) is the muscle-bone intersection.

It’s important to remember that BodyMetrix measures the exact tissue thickness, unlike calipers that measure a skin fold thickness that can be anywhere from 1 to 3 times the actual fat thickness.

The Software

BodyMetrix Screenshot

BodyMetrix comes with powerful software and provides a range of valuable features for health and fitness professionals or for individuals wanting to track changes in muscle gains and fat loss. Once an assessment has been performed. The BodyView analysis software can also be used as a standalone application as skinfold values can be input manually. It includes customisable reports and 3D visualisation of test results. 

Body Fat Monitor MeasurementThe images above are body scans generated using the BodyMetrix BX2000. Both scans show the front right side of a patient’s thigh. Scanning from the midpoint of the leg towards the top of the knee, approximately 6-7 inches.

You can see in the before scan that the average fat thickness in that area was 11.5mm and the average muscle thickness was 30.0mm. We’re analysing body fat and muscle thickness.

In the after scan, the mean fat thickness was 7.4mm and the average muscle thickness 35.4 mm.

From inspecting the data we can see that the fat loss averaged 4.1mm, and the average muscle gain was 5.4mm. This is a great way to validate training plans and ensure all the hard work is paying off. If it is not, then because you have this valuable data changes can be made to the program. The scans can be saved for future comparison to track changes in fat and muscle thickness.

What BodyMetrix Can Do.

Accurately assess body fat percentage using multiple point formulas, record circumference measurements and calculate the waist-to-hip ratio. The unique Measurement Wizard ensures consistent results.

BodyMetrix Screenshot

Body Fat Monitor Health Screen

Review your individual results or the assessments of your clients and patients, show relative health risks and calculate basal metabolic rate (BMR).

Reports can be easily customised to include your logo and branding. The report text can be changed to include specific recommendations, pricing and specials specific to your organisation. These health reports can be printed or emailed directly to your clients and patients or used to track your own progress.

BodyMetrix ultrasound trend data

Track weight loss, changes in body fat percentage, body circumference measurement changes plus fat loss in specific areas of the body. All of the data is available in visual charts and spreadsheets.

Comparison of body fat analysis methods

There are several different methods of assessing body composition including skinfold calipers, Bioelectrical Impedance (BIA) devices and underwater weighing.

The BodyMetrix BX2000 system provides health professionals with an easy to use solution for assessing body composition. Results are accurate and consistent and obtained without the need for a trained specialist.

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