Several years ago doctors and personal trainers started to veer away from directing people to a healthy body weight and instead began to focus on helping patients and clients find a healthy BMI or body mass index. A person with a BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 is considered to have a healthy BMI. The following article will provide more information about BMI and how using a healthy BMI as a goal can help you lose weight.
What is BMI and why is it more accurate than just weight alone?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a more accurate portrayal of a healthy body because it considers weight, height, and gender when determining what a person‘s weight should be. A healthy weight for a person who is 5’1” is much different than a healthy weight for a person who is 5’8”. The same it true for men and women. A 5’8” male will have a different healthy weight level than a woman who is also 5’8”.
One thing to note is that BMI does not take into consideration muscle mass. However, it is a good starting point when setting a weight loss goal because, let‘s face it, if you have a lot of muscle mass, you are probably headed in the right direction towards a healthy body. If your BMI is 25-29.9 you are considered overweight. If your BMI is over 30 you are considered obese and if it is over 40, you are considered morbidly obese.
BMI gives a better overall health picture to doctors and personal trainers so that they can accurately assess the most pressing weight related health needs. For example, someone who is overweight, though at risk for more health related problems, may need only to eat better and exercise to achieve a healthy BMI. Someone who is obese or morbidly obese has a risk of death that is increased by 50%-150%. This may require some other interventions and medication to help work towards a healthy BMI. You can find more information in the BMI Related Disease section on this page.
Depending on what category your BMI puts you in, a personal trainer will be better able to access what you need to do to reach a healthy BMI. A person who is overweight will be able to exercise, while an obese person may need time to lose weight before exercise can begin. Just going by a person’s weight can be deceiving as it does not take into consideration other factors such as height, gender, and current health condition.
It is very easy to compare yourself to others such as a friend who weighs 140 pounds, an actor you see on television, or an athlete that you admire. But their weight is not necessarily a healthy weight for you, nor is it necessarily a healthy weight for them. BMI provides the right proportions in regard to your weight and height to help you achieve a healthy body. Don’t get stuck in the mindset that you have to weight the same as someone else or achieve the same weight loss as them.
How can BMI goals help you lose weight?
Most people feel like the scale is the only way to determine weight loss. While this is important, it does not take into consideration the whole picture. Setting your healthy weight loss goals in terms of BMI instead of weight can make the task less daunting. Let’s say that you have a BMI of 28.8. You know that you need to get to at least 24.9 to get into the healthy weight category. Which is less daunting: to lose 4 BMI numbers or over 20 pounds?
This is not to trick yourself as you know you will still need to lose weight, but checking your BMI weekly or bi-weekly can help you achieve your weight lose goals with a different mind set. If you are working with a personal trainer or with a weight loss company, you can have someone else weigh you and calculate your BMI. You don’t even have to look at the scale!
With all this in mind, you should know that the first step in reaching a healthy BMI is to know your current BMI. You can use the BMI calculator on this page to find your starting point. You will only need to enter your gender, your height and your weight and the calculator will do the rest. Once you know where you are, you can decide where to go. Use the BMI calculator today as the first step in achieving a healthy body.