Unexpected DEXA Scan Results? Here are Some Potential Causes:
Surprised by your DEXA scan results? Don’t fret; it’s common. Unexpected results can show up for several reasons. Here’s why your DEXA scan results might not line up with your expectations–and how you can respond.
Short-Term vs. Long-Term Effects:
Change takes time. Differences in lean tissue and fat mass can take time to show up on your scan. Because your DEXA scan provides a snapshot of your body composition on a single day, one scan doesn’t tell the full story. Short-term fluctuations may not always reflect long-term trends because your body may still be adapting to your diet and exercise. Remember to track how your body changes over time with multiple scans to see your overall progress.
Nutrition and Hydration:
Your meal times, nutrition, and hydration can all affect your DEXA results. Because undigested food or water shows up as lean tissue on your scan, it’s important to keep your food and water intake consistent. Avoid eating or drinking large amounts before you scan and use the restroom beforehand.
People have different genetic predispositions and metabolic rates. Some individuals may experience rapid changes in body composition, while others may see more gradual progress or have a harder time losing fat or gaining muscle. Remember, everyone is unique. Give yourself time to find the ways of eating and exercising that work best for YOU.
Stress, Hormones, and Medical Conditions:
Stress, hormones, and health conditions can all influence your body composition. Hormonal changes can affect your body fat distribution and hydration levels. For example, high levels of cortisol (stress hormone) can cause your body to store more belly fat. Menstruation can cause water retention and affect your hydration.
Certain medical conditions or medications can influence body composition and hinder your diet and exercise efforts. Keep track of any health conditions or medications that may be affecting your progress (e.g. chronic stress, menopause, SSRIs, etc). This will give you more context about the health factors affecting your results.
Inconsistencies in Diet and Exercise Tracking:
It's possible that there are discrepancies between what you believe your diet and exercise routines are versus what you actually do. Tracking errors, underestimating calorie intake, or overestimating exercise intensity can lead to unexpected results. Try using a health journal, app, fitness tracker, or food scale to measure your diet and exercise as accurately as possible.
Plateaus and Adaptations:
Your body may adapt to your diet and exercise routines over time, leading to plateaus in your fitness journey. You may need to adjust your nutrition and movement regimens to continue making progress.
Remember, progress isn’t always linear.
If you’re not seeing the desired results, it may be time to switch up some of your routines. Trying a new workout or changing your nutrition can help boost your progress.
If your results don’t make sense to you or if you have any questions, our Support team is ready to help. Additionally, tracking changes over time and focusing on long-term trends rather than isolated results can help you track your progress more accurately. We truly believe that health is a marathon and not a sprint, and we’re committed to supporting you the whole way.
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or (310)-601-8184.