BMI is a way to measure body weight based on both height and weight and what is normal for a man may be different than what is normal for a woman. A normal BMI for a man is between 23 and 25.
BMI is used to classify people as underweight, normal, overweight, or obese. It is a healthier way to measure a person’s weight because it takes into consideration a person’s height.
The following article will provide additional information on the categories of BMI and what someone can do to reach a normal BMI. Also, be sure to try out our free BMI calculator to calculate your own BMI.
What are the categories of BMI?
The categories of BMI or Body Mass Index, as stated before, are underweight, normal, overweight, and obese. If you are underweight, you will have a BMI of under 19 for women or under 20 for men. The rare exception is lean athletes such as runners and swimmers, who may have an underweight BMI reading but still be perfectly healthy. However, in general, if you are in the underweight category, you need to gain some weight to support your body and its nutritional needs. Doing this under the supervision of a doctor is advised.
Though we often hear a lot about the health risks associated with being overweight, we don’t hear much about the health risks of being underweight. Being underweight can result in wounds that heal slowly, increased susceptibility to disease and infection, loss of the menstrual cycle for women, bone loss, osteoporosis, and even death. With each pound gained towards a healthy body weight these health risks decrease significantly.
The next BMI category is normal. A normal weight is not the weight of your favorite actor or your best friend. A normal weight is determined by your gender and height. That is why BMI is a good starting point. For men a BMI of 23-25 is normal. For women a BMI of 19.1 to 24.5 is normal. It is important to note that BMI does not take into consideration muscle mass. If part of your plan to achieve a normal body weight is adding muscle mass, your BMI may be out of this range once the muscle is put on, but you will still be at a healthy weight.
The third BMI category is overweight. The overweight category is for men who have a BMI of 25.5 to 29.9 and women who have a BMI of 25-29.9. This is where the BMI numbers for men and women start to reach the same point. Being overweight increases the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and many types of cancer. If you are in this category, the first thing a doctor will do it put you on a weight loss diet. Getting weight down is the most important thing and then exercise can be added at a future date.
The last category is morbidly obese. Anyone, whether male or female, with a BMI of 30 or over is considered morbidly obese. When in this category, the mortality rate of the individual doubles. Sleep problems, digestive issues, heart disease, diabetes, and other medical problems statistically triple. Being in this category sometimes calls for more extensive intervention that only a nutritional diet plan.
What can be done to reach a normal BMI?
In order to reach a normal BMI the basics are the same as with any diet plan. You must eat less calories, more nutritious calories, and exercise. There is not a magic key or an easy way to a normal BMI. The first goal should be reducing calories and slowly developing an exercise plan that works for your ability and lifestyle. Hiring a personal trainer may be helpful until you know what you types of exercise you need to do.
For males, another contributing factor to a higher than normal BMI is alcohol consumption. There are a high number of calories in alcohol, especially beer. Reducing alcohol intake is not just healthy overall, but it can help you lose weight faster than just changing your diet and exercising. Even reducing your intake by two beers weekly can reduce calories greatly.
If you aren’t sure what your BMI is you can use the BMI calculator on this page. Once you input your information, you will instantly see your BMI number. This only takes a moment of your time. Once you find your BMI, you can begin to set your weight loss, gain or maintenance goals. Using your BMI numbers to measure your success is an easy alternative to just viewing the numbers on the scale. Try the BMI calculator today and get started towards a healthy life.