DEXA Scan Results (body composition analysis)

3 minute read • March 15, 2016
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I’ve been doing Nutritional Ketosis (aka: “keto”) for about a year and a half now. I started out at 258 back in late October 2014.

I got down as far as 198 but came up some with Thanksgiving, Christmas and the like. For the last while I’ve been (mostly) doing 3 meals of Keto Chow a day and am on a downward trend again:

18 months of Keto

Yesterday I had a “DEXA” scan done, which I wasn’t even aware of until I saw this post on /r/ketochow and later this post on /r/keto. The quick explanation of a DEXA scan is it’s a full body X-Ray, aside from a post-mortem autopsy it’s the only way to accurately measure your body composition. Biggest surprise from mine? My entire skeleton only weighs 8.52 lbs, that’s nuts. Another interesting thing to note is apparently how inaccurate my scale is for measuring fat percentage by passing voltage through my body (24.5% compared to the 31.9% the DEXA measured). In its defense: my legs show as having 24.6% on the DEXA scan which is only 0.1% off – since the voltage is going in one foot and out the other, I’m guessing it only measures my legs.

The DEXA scanner

Aside from providing some really fun pictures of my skeleton and soft tissue, the scan also gives some very interesting statistics on distribution (my right side is slightly stronger than my left) and with additional scans (at the same place) they give you a graph of changes to each region over time (I removed these from the report I uploaded here since they currently only have a single data point). There is also the datum that I have 63 lbs of fat on my body so losing 30 or so isn’t craziness. 180 would be sweet.

Feel free to check out my report.

Right after the scan I also did a test to determine my Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) which involved putting a clip on my nose and breathing through a tube for 15 minutes. The tube fed to a machine that measured the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels going in and out to determine how many calories I was using. The lady told me to make sure I had my phone or something else to do because it would be boring. And it was. She also warned me that the nose plugs would probably feel like burning. And they did; after about 3 minutes.

RMR Scan
Angry Birds shirt FTW!

The test shows that my resting energy expenditure is 2219 calories a day. It also assumes I’ll burn another 633 calories from walking around and doing stuff that isn’t sitting in a chair, reading reddit; and it postulates I could burn another 277 from exercise. The DEXA scan put my RMR at 2004 calories/day – so it was kinda close. The RMR report also said I probably want between 1776 and 2218 calories a day for weight loss; and that my metabolism is 10% faster than people of similar sex, age, height and weight. There were some less than useful platitudes about “you must burn more calories than you consume to lose weight” which is the same as saying “you must save more money than you spend to save money” or “if more people leave a room than come in, there will be less people in the room” – um… thanks? Anyway, here’s the front page of the RMR report:

Resting Metabolic Rate

Overall I think the scan was great and plan to do some follow-up one, starting with 6 months from now. The place I went to charges $99 for the first scan and $75 for subsequent ones – I got a discount by scheduling the RMR and DEXA together ($10 is $10).


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