When embarking on any weight loss journey, one term that you will hear over and over is body mass index, or BMI. What is it? How do you calculate it? What is a healthy BMI?
What is BMI?
Body mass index is a measurement of body fat based on weight and height that applies to adult women and men 20 years of age and older. If you have a high BMI then, chances are, you have high body fat. Knowing your BMI helps you understand what weight category you are in: underweight, healthy weight, overweight or obese.
How is BMI Calculated?
While there is no “perfect weight” to fit everyone, the body mass index calculation can help determine how healthy your weight is in regard to how tall you are. A healthy weight is part of living well and for avoiding medical conditions like heart problems, sleep apnea, diabetes, arthritis and some cancers. To calculate your BMI, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. To calculate your body mass index in pounds and inches, simply divide your weight in pounds by the square of your height in inches and multiply by 703. Not good at math? There are several online body mass indicator calculators that you can use.
What is a Healthy BMI?
The ideal body mass index for an adult man or woman over the age of 20 is anywhere between 18.5 and 24.9. Anything more or less puts you in an underweight, overweight or obese category. Here are BMI ranges:
Underweight: Less than 18.5
Normal Weight: 18.5 to 24.9
Overweight: 25 to 29.9
Obese: 30 or greater
Getting to a Healthy BMI