Friday, January 6, 2012

Body Mass Index: How Much Should You Actually Weigh?

In order to lose weight you must first establish a goal, which we talked about this week. The big question is how much should you weigh? The best way to determine a REALISTIC goal weight is to figure out your body mass index or BMI. (BMI) is a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to adult men and women.

You can go HERE to calculate your BMI.

Please note that BMI does not account for body frame size. A person may have a small frame and be carrying too much excess fat, but their BMI reflects that they are "healthy". Conversely, a large framed individual may be quite healthy with a fairly low body fat percentage, but be classified as "overweight" by BMI.

Also, BMI is particularly inaccurate for people who are fit or athletic, as the higher muscle mass tends to put them in the "overweight" category by BMI, even though their body fat percentages frequently fall in the 10-15% category, which is below that of a more sedentary person of average build who has a "healthy" BMI number. Body composition for athletes is often better calculated using measures of body fat, as determined by such techniques as skinfold measurements or underwater weighing. This image explains it all.

After you figure out which category you fall into you can do the math to see how much you need to lose to be in the "normal" range. If you were already in the normal range, then I would not try to lose more than 15 lbs.

Remember that simply wanting to eating healthy and tone up are totally different than losing weight. My goal is to not only fall into the "normal" category on the BMI scale, but to be healthy and happy, not look like someone a movie star or model.

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