Do you know how to calculate your BMI? You may have heard the term tossed around quite frequently, but many people who are trying to lose weight have no idea what it is.
It seems like too much trouble to figure out their BMI, and nobody wants to go back to algebra lessons. Worry not. It’s quite simple really. BMI is an abbreviation for Body Mass Index and can be easily calculated with or without an app.
How effective this number is in planning your fat loss will be discussed later in this article. For now, let’s look at how we can calculate our BMI.
You can either do it yourself or check our BMI Calculator tool right here on our website.
With that tool, everything is simplified. If you’re more adventurous and wish to calculate it yourself, this is the formula to follow depending on where you’re located.
• US – Imperial Method
1. Measure your weight in pounds and multiply it by 703
2. Measure your height in inches. Convert the feet to inches.
3. Divide the number you got in step 1 by the number you got in step 2.
That’s your BMI.
• UK – Metric method
1. Measure your weight in kilograms
2. Measure your height in meters and multiply the number by itself. (E.g., If you’re 1.75m… then it’s 1.75 X 1.75.
3. Divide the number in step 1 by the number in step 2.
That’s your BMI.
Now that you know your BMI let’s look at what the number means. The range is given below.
• BMI less than 18.5 – Underweight
• BMI between 18.5 & 24.9 – Normal weight
• BMI between 25.0 & 29.9 – Overweight
• BMI 30.0 and above – Obese
So, how effective is the BMI?
The BMI is a general guideline at best. It will give you a rough idea of where you stand in the BMI range. However, it is limited in its accuracy because the BMI does not take into account body composition.
A bodybuilder may be much heavier, but he will be all muscle and probably 5% to 8% body fat. The BMI measurement may place him as overweight that is just not true. So, while it is a general guideline, you should do a body fat analysis to know exactly what your bodyfat percentage is. This will give you a much more accurate idea of how much excess fat you’re carrying.
Another good way to track your progress will be to use a measuring tape and measure your biceps, waist, hips, chest, and thighs. As you progress through your weight loss journey, you’ll be able to see how many inches you have lost.
Take a photo of your body once every 2 or 3 weeks and you can compare the differences and see your progress over time. Photos are much more effective than a BMI number.
Not only do they serve as a record of your journey but they can be highly motivating too. Many people are unaware of how much they have improved because fat loss is such a gradual process.
However, once the photos are placed side by side, the visible differences will be stunning. At the end of the day, BMIs and body fat percentages are just numbers.
The mirror and your photos are what truly matters. If you look good, and you can see tone and definition in your body, you’re doing just fine.
As you keep training, watch your body and see how you can shape it to get the body of your dreams. Only with constant monitoring will you know which part of your body needs more work ( resistance training ) and how much more fat you need to lose ( cardio ). Look at your body as a piece of clay and imagine yourself as the sculptor. With time and effort, you can create a masterpiece.