What is BMI?
Body mass index (BMI) is a body measurement based on height and weight. It is not perfect. In fact, it may overestimate body fat in athletes and others who have a muscular build, while underestimating body fat in in older people and others who have lost muscle mass. However, it is a great general guide. BMI is a good indicator of people?s risk for a variety of diseases, since it provides an estimate of their total body fat.
How do I calculate my BMI?
There are three ways to figure out your BMI. Use a BMI chart ?like the one featured above.
Use an online BMI calculator. There are many choices, but we recommend www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi.
Use this formula to calculate your BMI right now.
Step 1: Multiply weight (in pounds) by 703
______ pounds X 703 = __________
Step 2: Divide step 1?s answer by height
_____ ? height (inches) _____ =______
Step 3: Divide step 2?s answer by height
_______ ? height (inches) _____ = BMI
For example, someone who weighs 180 pounds and is 5?5? tall (65 inches) would calculate:
180 pounds X 703 = 126,540 126,540 ? 65 = 1946 1946 ? 65 = 29.9 BMI
What do the numbers mean?
Use this chart to figure out your BMI category:
BMI Category ? ? ? ? ?BMI
Underweight ? ? ? ? ? ? ??Below 18.5
Normal ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??18.5 - 24.9
Overweight ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??25.0-29.9
Obese ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ? ??30.0 or above
Heed the Warnings!
If your BMI is above 24.9, then you should lose weight in order to lower it. You might not be able to get to 24.9 or less in a week or a month, but, over time, you will see positive changes to your health and the way you feel.
How do I lower my BMI?
Most people who need to lose weight must do so by increasing their activity level while decreasing the number of calories they consume.
- Do not decrease calories by going on a crash diet. Instead, adopt a healthful eating plan that is consistent with MyPlate and the Dietary Guidelines for Americans. See choosemyplate.gov for more information.
- By making healthier eating choices and controlling portion sizes, you could eat far fewer calories without even realizing it!
- If you start an exercise plan gradually, you are more likely to stick to it and stay injury-free.
- Start being active in situations where you might normally sit down. Do sit ups or wall squats while watching TV, or turn off the TV and go for a walk. From there, you can work your way up to a more traditional exercise plan.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing in a professional capacity for the past 10 years. In addition to her work as an editor, Ronco has also served as a ghostwriter and writing tutor. A voracious reader, Ronco loves watching language evolve and change. When she’s not delving into her latest project, Ronco can be found teaching acting classes, performing in community theater, or sailing with her husband.