BMI: Does It Even Matter?

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After understanding where the Fat goes when you begin to loose pounds, it is time to recap about the best measures to use to understand your body weight.

I know you possibly own a bathroom scale and you keep using it daily and it might drive you nuts when one day you think you are on the right track and the other day you feel like you are terribly missing out on your goal!

The only reason you might constantly take your weight is to compare it with your height and understand whether you are underweight, normal weight, overweight or obese. Which means that when you take your weight and divide it into your height in squared metres, you will be considered underweight if the value is less than 18.5, normal weight if it is between 18.5 and 24.9, overweight if it is between 25.0 to 29.9 and obese if it is 30 and above.

What you may not know is that the BMI metric was a formula that was created by a Belgian mathematician about 200 years to basically measure the obesity levels of the general population and that is the reason we still use it to date to correlate the body fat levels of individuals. However, the metric does not account for the fat and cholesterol, muscle and bone mass of a person.

So two people could have the same BMI but their body fat content may differ. Generally, women tend to have a higher body fat content than men. A person with a high BMI could mean high body fat or high lean body mass which is basically muscle and bone.

So before you can Fat shame anyone, remember a slim or plump appearance may not tell you the whole story about the muscle and the fat components of the individual. It is for this reason that extra measures to understand your body composition are crucial which include DEXA, Hydrostatic weighing, waist to hip ratio, use of skin fold calipers among other measures that can tell you the whole story about your health.

Your body is composed of body fat that is stored under the skin or around organs and non fat mass that includes bones, water, muscle, organs and tissues. So before you begin obsessing over how much you weigh, understand the full story that will never be told by the bathroom scale. Such measures like the use of skinfold calipers, and the waist circumference can be great starter points to use at home. Take it easy on yourself, remember that you did not gain all your weight in one day, you surely won’t lose it one day. Be patient with yourself.