The BMI Boost!

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Stepping on a scale and watching as those numbers flash up at us can be scary. Many of us have been conditioned to believe that the higher the number on the scale, the less healthy we are. This isn’t always the case. Scales do not account for muscle mass, and muscle weighs less than fat! The scale is not something to be feared, but to be utilized in losing or maintaining weight. Read on to learn more about how your BMI, or Body Mass Index, can serve as another tool in determining whether, or not, you are at a healthy weight.

Measuring Body Weight
Advancement in science has led us to believe that there are far more effective ways to measure weight loss than the scale alone. Skinfold measurements, underwater weighing, bioelectrical impedance, and isotope dilution are valuable tools in measuring body fat, but they are not readily available, and are often expensive and need to be measured by a highly trained individual.

What is BMI?
Thankfully, there is another way. Calculating your BMI, or Body Mass Index, is an inexpensive and easy to use method of determining whether or not you are carrying excess body fat. It’s important to note that BMI does not measure body fat directly, and it does not take into account muscle weight, but research has shown that BMI correlates to direct measures of body fat, like those offered with the more expensive, and less readily available, tools we mentioned above. For most people, BMI is a reliable indicator of body fatness, and it is the current method used by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How to Use BMI
Your BMI can be calculated by using a simple chart that takes into account your height, weight, age, and gender. Based on this information, the chart will help you to determine whether you might be at an unhealthy weight. Body Mass Index Calculators can also be helpful in determining BMI.

Click here for a Body Mass Index Calculator and 5 Steps to Creating a Weight Loss Plan.

What to Keep in Mind
Whether you are watching the scale or determining your BMI, keep in mind that these numbers are just meant to serve as basic guidelines. The numbers can be effective tools in monitoring your progress, but they are not foolproof for every individual. For example, a muscular woman will weigh more than a thinner woman, but that does not mean one or the other is more or less healthy. It is just the way our bodies work! Remember, we are all in this together. Don’t compare your weight with someone else’s. It is important to focus on where you are now and where you would like to be in your own health and fitness journey!

Here is a very basic BMI chart that may serve as an encouraging path to help you track weight loss. Remember, though, BMI is just one of many useful tools out there. It is always best to speak with your doctor when determining which weight range is healthiest for you.

(Click for larger view)

To maintain a healthy lifestyle, remember to pair bodyweight calculation methods with a clean eating plan, like the Skinny Plate Challenge.  Try our Fat Blaster workout and burn fat up to 24 hours, too. You might also like our  Total Body Transformation Program!

None of the information in this post is intended to replace medical advice or information.  Before beginning a new exercise program or diet consult your physician.

4 Comments on "The BMI Boost!"

  1. Lauren  June 28, 2012

    A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat, so the notion that "muscle weighs more than fat" is incorrect. Muscle takes up less SPACE than fat. BMI does keep you accountable, it's true. But there are better ways to know your body's percentages than a formula- like hydrostatic fat testing. That's accurate and holds you accountable, and I would urge anyone who is struggling with losing numbers on the scale to try it. You might not see the scale number go down, or even your BMI number according to the formula, but you may be actually lowering your body fat percentage at the same time- a hydrostatic test will show that. So will body measurements, as again, fat takes up more space than muscle.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  June 28, 2012

      Lauren, You are right that one pound of anything weighs one pound. However, an equivalent volume of muscle does weigh more than an equivalent volume of fat. If you fill up a quart size jar with fat and another with muscle, the quart size jar with muscle will weigh more. This article by the Mayo Clinic explains: #4, 3rd paragraph.

      Thanks so much for your comment and motivation!! 🙂 We appreciate your feedback.

      Reply
  2. Kara Albrecht  August 28, 2012

    This is a really old BMI chart in the first place. It does not factor in age or gender. Go get your body fat analyzed via immersion tank. Much more accurate. One of our local hospitals offer this service for $38 with a nutritional consult. Well worth the price.

    Reply
    • Skinny Ms.  August 29, 2012

      Kara, I agree that the immersion tank is the most accurate. However, most people will not take the time or pay the money. This chart is for the majority of people would choose to use a chart instead.

      Reply

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