Fat mass describes how much adipose tissue is in your body, and is measured in pounds or kilograms. While experts may disagree on the exact cut-off values to make a person “healthy” or “unhealthy,” generally people with lower fat mass are considered healthier and higher fat mass are considered less healthy.
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Fat-free mass collectively refers to the combination of lean soft tissue (muscle), water, and bone. Skeletal muscle is the largest body component in adults, and accounts for about 40% of your total body weight. Total body water can change from day to day based on fluid intake, sweating, and diet, as well as during the menstrual cycle. Lean soft tissue (muscle) can increase due to exercise training over the course of weeks and months. Bone mass can change over time, but can take months or years. While there is not a “perfect” amount of fat-free mass, higher amounts are generally considered to be healthier and better for athletic performance.
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This is the percentage of your total body weight that is made up of fat mass. This measure receives the most attention from health experts because it varies more than any other component of body composition between people, and within a single person over time. While experts may disagree on the exact cut-off values to make a person “healthy” or “unhealthy,” generally people with lower body fat percentage are considered healthier and higher body fat percentage are considered less healthy.
+ Borga M, West J, Bell JD, Harvey NC, Romu T, Heymsfield SB, Dahlqvist Leinhard O. Advanced body composition assessment: from body mass index to body composition profiling. J Invest Med. 2018. 66:1-9.
Android fat (i.e. the “apple shape”) is more common among men. This fat is stored primarily around the abdomen and waist, and this distribution pattern is often related to higher risk for obesity-related health complications. One of the major advantages of using the MADE app is that you can identify regional fat distribution patterns and determine where excess fat mass is stored.
+ Palmer BF, & Clegg DJ. The sexual dimorphism of obesity. Mol Cell Endo. 2015. 402, 113-9.
+ Geer EB, Shen W. Gender differences in insulin resistance, body composition, and energy balance. Gend Med. 2009. 6, 60-75.
Gynoid fat (i.e. the “pear shape”) is more common among women. This fat is stored primarily around the hips and thighs. One of the major advantages of using the MADE app is that you can identify regional fat distribution patterns and determine where excess fat mass is stored.
+ Palmer BF, Clegg DJ. The sexual dimorphism of obesity. Mol Cell Endo. 2015. 402, 113-119.
We recommend using the MADE app a few times each week, because body weight can change slightly from day to day based on multiple factors. We want to make sure that any changes over time are truly due to your health and fitness program, and not because of day-to-day changes in body weight. Especially in our female users, tracking more often can help you notice trends in body weight and composition due to your menstrual cycle. However, it is important to understand that it may take a few weeks to see significant changes in body composition.
Body weight may increase by up to 0.8 kg (1.75 lbs) in female athletes during their menstrual cycle, but in most women minor changes in weight occur. Typically there is a small increase in weight during the first weeks of each cycle, and then a similar decrease in the last few days. Because of the small changes in body weight during the menstrual cycle, your measures of body composition will change as well. You might see changes in your fat mass and fat-free mass measurements during your cycle, but tracking over time can help you identify weekly trends and measure long-term changes in body composition more accurately.
+ Gleichauf, C. N., & Roe, D. A. The menstrual cycle’s effect on the reliability of bioimpedance measurements for assessing body composition. Am J Clin Nutr. 1989. 50(5), 903-7.
+ Rosenberg, M. Weight change with oral contraceptive use and during the menstrual cycle: results of daily measurements. Contraception. 1998. 58(6), 345-9.
+ Stachoń AJ. Menstrual changes in body composition of female athletes. Coll Antro. 2016. 40(2), 111-22.
Please wear snug-fitting athletic clothing that allows the app to identify the landmarks on your body. Baggy or loose-fitting clothing will distort the image and prevent the app from identifying the landmarks we need. Compression shorts, leggings, yoga pants, and tights are perfect for the lower body. Female users are encouraged to wear a sports bra, snug-fitting tank top, or compression shirt on their upper body. Male users can wear a compression shirt or be shirtless for their measurement.
Nearly-perfect correlations between our method and the criterion underwater weighing method for measuring body volume (size), and actually better than dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA) for measuring the same outcome (roughly 99.8% accuracy). We are not able to show the complete body of research showing the accuracy of the MADE app, but please check out our social media pages for a full list of studies and results.
Sometimes this can happen and if it does, don’t be discouraged. In fact, research shows that up to a quarter of weight loss from dieting and exercise may be from lean muscle mass, with the remaining three quarters from fat. Because of this, the percent of your body that is fat (i.e., body fat percentage) should decrease overtime.
+ Heymsfeld SB, et al. Weight loss composition is one-fourth fat-free mass: A critical review and critique of this widely cited rule. Obes Rev. 2014. 15(4), 310-322.
It is very likely that you will receive a slightly different reading if you use a different body composition technique. The agreement between assessment methods is rarely perfect. The reason for the differences may be because of measurement errors. Many existing methods are not as accurate as others. However, from our research, we have shown that MADE is roughly 99.8% accurate compared to the criterion of underwater weighing for measuring body volume (size). In fact, the correlations were actually better with MADE than a sophisticated laboratory method called dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA). We have also shown that MADE is more accurate than the skinfold method and bioelectrical impedance. NOTE: we are not able to show the complete body of research here, but you can check out our social media pages for a full list of studies and results. Because each technique can provide different readings, it is important to stick with one method for tracking changes over time. For this, MADE is not only accurate, but also the simplest of all other body composition methods.