Do I have a healthy BMI?This is one of the most Googled questions in relation to health and fitness, and understandably so. Calculating your Body Mass Index (BMI) can help you gauge whether or not you are overweight, and it can be the catalyst for making (or sustaining) healthy changes in your life.
However, BMI is only one way to gauge your weight and should not be viewed as the final word on your weight--and it should NEVER be seen as a judgment of your worth.
Keep reading. In this article, we're going to tell you everything you need to know about Body Mass Index (BMI) for adults and weigh in on whether or not it really matters.
- What is Body Mass Index? (BMI)
- How to Calculate BMI
- Understanding BMI Results for Adults
- Why Calculate BMI
- Does BMI Really Matter?
- Other Ways to Assess Weight & Measure Fat
- The BMI WORKOUT Playlist
WHAT IS BODY MASS INDEX (BMI)
BMI is a measurement of your body size. It is calculated by factoring in an individual's height and weight. The results indicate whether that individual has a healthy body weight for their height.
HOW TO CALCULATE BMI
The formula to calculate BMI is weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared. If you work in the English system of measurement, then BMI is calculated by taking one's weight in pounds and dividing it my inches squared. Then, you multiply this result by 703 to convert pounds/inches squared to kilograms/metres squared.BMI FORMULA:
BMI = kg/m2
BMI = lbs/in2 * 703
Someone who is 5'5 and weighs 135 pounds has a BMI of 22.5.
Someone who is 65 kilograms and 1.80 meters tall has a BMI of 19.4.
UNDERSTANDING BMI RESULTS FOR ADULTS
The numbers are all well and good, but what do they actually mean? Well, nothing, in and of themselves, but when lent significance by a scale of underweight to obese, they can be extremely helpful.
BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
30.0 + Obese
If you have a BMI of less than 18.5 or over 25, it is recommended that you seek guidance from your doctor or a dietitian. You will need to learn healthier eating and exercise habits that suit your lifestyle and current abilities.
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WHY CALCULATE BMI
Calculating your BMI can give you an idea of whether or not you have a healthy body weight.
This makes BMI a more accurate measurement of appropriate body weight than the scale alone.
For example, someone who is 5'9 and weighs 165 pounds would be a healthy weight, according to BMI. A person who is 5'2 who weighs 169 pounds would be considered overweight by the same standards.
Weight alone is not an accurate judgment of health.
DOES BMI REALLY MATTER?
Yes--and then again, sometimes no. Just like the scale is not always an accurate measure of body fat percentage, either is BMI.
BMI does not account for muscle, for instance, so you could be 165 pounds and 5'5 and be a completely healthy body weight if you have a lot of muscles--even though BMI would classify you as overweight.
The shortcomings of BMI as a comprehensive measure of body fat in relation to weight is why most healthcare professionals don't rely on BMI alone.
OTHER WAYS TO ASSESS WEIGHT & MEASURE BODY FAT
There are many other ways to assess weight and measure body fat that can be used, often in tandem with BMI, to determine if an individual is at a healthy body weight.
Here are some of the most common:
Skin Fold Test
It's an old-school method, but it works. Depending on your body type and muscle mass, you could be overweight according to BMI but really, at a completely healthy weight.
The skinfold test simply involves measuring the thickness of skin folds to determine the amount of fat (subcutaneous adipose tissue) under the skin. (Think pinching an inch: if you can grab/pinch a lot of extra skin on your body that is not just loose skin from babies or weight loss, then you are likely overweight.)
Of course, different parts of our bodies naturally have different amounts of fat, so there are seven different sites for the skinfold test.
7 Site Skinfold MeasurementsTriceps.
If you want to learn more about how to perform a skinfold test, comment below! We'll write a blog for you!
Smart scales or body mass composition scales are tech-savvy scales that use a harmless, undetectable electrical current through your body to determine the amount of body fat you have versus lean body mass. These scales also often measure your water weight as well, basal metabolic rate and fat-free mass.
Taking your measurements with a measuring tape is also a fantastic way to get a read on your health. Your weight measurement is of particular importance.
Waist circumference can determine if you are at a higher risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
Healthy waist circumference for men is below 40 inches, and for a woman, below 35.
Remember:youcan't spot lose weight from anywhere on your body. Roughly 60% of where we store fat isgenetically predetermined, which means that your best bet is to eat healthily and to exercise your whole body--especially with resistance-based training which will help you burn more fat from everywhere since muscle requires more energy (calories) to maintain than fat.
Join us onSweatflixnow for a 30-day free trial and see how you can start getting stronger and leaner in just a month. Just stick with us. We've got your back (and front and sides and bottom and top and every part of your body you want to get leaner!)
Looking to lower your BMI? PRESS PLAY on this additive BMI workout playlist featuring the best fat burning workouts on Sweatflix. Start sculpting a stronger, leaner body today!