The importance of BMI in measuring weight loss success
There are a few different numbers that I will be taking note of at the start of this journey. One of which is BMI or Body Mass Index. There is some dispute as to whether or not this is a valid means of measurement. Most of that stems from the fact that BMI does not take into account body composition. You could have a relatively high BMI and be extremely healthy because your body is made up mostly of muscle. Conversely, there are a lot of thin people who are incredibly unhealthy but just happen to have a BMI in the accepted range. As an example, the above illustration shows sketches of eight women with the same BMI in different distributions.
I am not going to share my weight on my blog for the simple reason that I don’t want my success to be determined solely by the number on the scale. However, since I know that my body composition has a higher amount of fat than it should, I will include the BMI as a means of measurement. If you feel that you are in a similar position to me, feel free to calculate it with me.
Formula for calculating BMI:
BMI = ( Weight in Pounds / ( Height in inches x Height in inches ) ) x 703
Or, for those of us who are math-phobes, myself included, you can find a calculator online at http://www.bmi-free-calculator.com
My BMI is 32.3, which is technically classified as EXTREMELY OVERWEIGHT or Obese Class 1. While I take this into consideration, BMI will not be the only means of defining my success. Reason being, a few years ago when I was healthier, I was watching what I ate and working out five to six days a week. Even doing all this and looking pretty good, I was considered overweight by BMI standards.
What’s my message? Calculate your BMI if you want to use if as a baseline to see your progression, but never rely on it as your sole measure of success.
I was reading O Magazine’s January 2012 issue and I came across some interesting statistics regarding body mass indexes. (Keep in mind this information is for people with a BMI greater than 25)
– If you lose 5% of your body weight, you improve your body’s insulin production and lower your risk of Type 2 diabetes
– lose 11% of your body weight and decrease your risk of cardiovascular disease by 21% and risk of dying from ANY cause by 25%
– lose 16% of your body weight and you can triple vitamin D levels, which can prevent many things from Parkinson’s to migraines
All of those reductions in risk really drive me to get healthy and encourage others to strive for health too.
If you want to, share your BMI and how many pounds you would have to lose to be in the “normal” category. Is this realistic for you?
The online calculator suggests I lose close to 60lbs. Yikes! I’ve been that weight before, but it took a hella lot of effort to maintain!
Gauging fatness vs. fitness yields unexpected results – on the National Post blog
Posted on January 2, 2012, in Information and tagged BMI, Body Mass Index, Body weight, detox, forming new habits, health, jennifer walker, Obesity, Self-Help, Weight Management, year of the detox. Bookmark the permalink. 14 Comments.