Yikes! Facing up to reality is never an easy task, and even worse when you see it printed in black and white. There’s just no getting away from the truth when it’s all laid out for you on A4, is there?
But sometimes, a short sharp shock is what’s needed to make you realise you’re just fooling yourself. Actually, I’m not fooling anyone, even myself. I’m more like an ostrich with my head in the sand, in total denial. But that about to end. Right here. Right now.
What on earth am I talking about, I hear you cry? I’ll put you out of your misery. (Don’t worry, the irony is not lost on me).
I recently went along to Harrods’ Urban Retreat where the Ki Bod Pod is in residence for the next few months. In essence, this space-age capsule will measure just about everything that you need to know about your body composition.
It’s all very well using scales to monitor your weight, and let’s face it, it’s what we all do when we’re on a mission on lose weight (i.e. fat) and tone up. But while the results are a good starting point, at best they don’t always tell the whole picture, while at worst they can be quite misleading, especially if you rely on BMI readings.
The best way is to find out exactly how much of your body is fat and how much is muscle. That way, you can work out where you need to increase one and decrease the other – and I think we all know which way round that normally is!
Like most of us with a passing interest in our weight, I’ve got bathroom scales which tell me my approximate fat percentage. I’ve also been measured in the past with callipers, something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy.
The Ki Bod Pod is the highest-tech way to get the most accurate readings possible, and it’s totally non-invasive. Normally, this assessment wouldn’t be available to us mere mortals – it’s normally reserved for use in research laboratories. The machine itself costs around £45,000, so you’re not going to find it in your local gym. Luckily, there’s one that’s taken residence in Urban Retreat for a limited time, and they’re taking appointments on Thursdays, so along I went to find out
the worst what I needed to know.
A 30 minute assessment is all is took this amazing little machine to tell me the following:
Body Fat %
Lean Mass %
Body Fat in Kg
Lean Mass in Kg
Total Body Mass in Kg
No leaning to one side to try to fool the scales, this is as accurate and honest a body composition reading as you will ever get. Oh, and various measurements such as thigh and arm circumference and waist and hip measurements are also taken to get a complete picture.
For the most accurate results, you must make sure not to eat anything less than two hours prior to the assessment, and no exercise either, so the preparation was not too arduous. What you DO need to do is to wear your own (unpadded) swimming costume and a swimming hat (that Ki provide), as the Bod Pod works on the movement of air around you as you sit in the Pod, so lots of long hair like mine would just skew the results.
Three 40-second sessions in the Pod (in between each session, the door is opened and closed) are all it needs to give you the some of the most valuable information about yourself that you are likely to read and it’s all done in half an hour, the results being emailed to you in a detailed report the next day. (It took me three days to open and read the report – see, I told you I’m in denial about my weight!)
So, without telling you how much I need to lose, (I mean, I love you all, but some things don’t need to be shared, right?), I now know, and have to admit to the following:
I need to reduce my body fat percentage by at least 6.3%. I need to create a calorie deficit of approximately 550kcal a day over a 3-month period, ensuring that of the weight I lose, 80% of this is from fat to reach my target.
Ki recommend that you have a follow-up assessment every 8-12 weeks or after you’ve completed a structured training or nutrition programme (or both!) to monitor changes in your body composition. At £100 for the assessment and report, it’s not cheap, but, given that dinner for two at central London restaurant would be about that, I think it’s well worth the money. I’d certainly book in for a follow-up appointment as something like this really focuses the mind and gives you solid, understandable targets to aim for.
I think I’ll also be investing in one of the Ki Fit On-Body Wellness Monitors to help me my along my way. Rather like a pedometer, it’s actually so much more. It’s a little armband that monitors just about everything you do, be it calories burned, steps taken, sleep duration and even your sleep efficiency! Think of it as a little personal nutritionist and trainer that’s with you at all times.
The On-Body Wellness Monitor might seem quite pricey at around £268 for the armband and a year’s subscription to the online support and activity manager so it’s a considered investment. But I’m going to think of it as 73 pence a day – not that much for good health? A little less eating-out should help me to find the budget for this, and it’ll be better for the waistline too!
If you’re thinking about booking in, remember that at present the Bod Pod appointments are only available on Thursdays at Harrods Urban Retreat. Call 01932 851 440 to book in and for more information about the On-Body Wellness Monitor, check out the Ki website, www.kiperformance.co.uk or click HERE.