So you started a weight loss or weight gain journey, and you’re not sure where to begin. The internet and magazines are full of contradictory ideas, and in all honesty in gets a bit confusing even for those who are very familiar with these two topics. So let’s start things slow and talk about the essentials- the body mass index.
What Is It And Will It Bite Me?
The body mass index (or BMI) can be your best friend when it comes to setting realistic weight loss or weight gain goals. This will be considered your landmark, the index that shows you where you are right now, so you can easily calculate how much further you are from your goal weight.
If you need a definition, the body mass index is a number that is calculated from your height and weight. It’s pretty basic, but if this were rocket science a lot of people would be clueless in terms of goal weights. The body mass index is used to screen people that might be at a healthy risk because of their weight, and it’s also used by folks like you and me who want to start their journey with a few numbers in mind.
How To Calculate Your Body Mass Index
Since the body mass index is a number that tells you a number related to the fat content in your body, it’s important that you calculate it right. Of course there are tens of online body mass index calculators, but if you want to do it the old fashioned way, with a pen and paper, here’s how:
- Take your height in inches, and square it (that is, multiply it by itself, like 78 x 78)
- Divide your weight in pounds by the second figure, the second figure being the height in inches squared like I told you above
- Multiply that total by 703 (if you’re calculating this with kilograms and centimeters, this last step is not needed)
The number that results is your body mass index.
Lucky Number BMI- What Does It Mean?
As I told you before, the body mass index helps you figure our where you’re starting at. You will know have a number telling you if you’re just overweight or actually obese, or if you are underweight or just thin.
If the body mass index is under 18, it means you are underweight.
If the body mass index is under 18.5, it means you are thin for your height.
If the body mass index is between 18.6 and 24.9, it means you are at a healthy weight.
If the body mass index is between 25 and 29.9, it means you are overweight.
If the body mass index is over 30, it means you are obese.
People who have a very low or very high body mass index have the highest health risks. For instance, if you are overweight you can suffer from heart conditions, blood pressure issues and even diabetes.
But don’t let this number scare you. The body mass index is there to help you have a starting point. From it you can calculate your calorie requirements in order to gain or lose weight, in a way that is customized to your own body, so don’t be afraid to try it!
Do you have a favourite online body mass index calculator? Do share your link with us in the comments section below.