Healthy Weight Loss Revealed
Figuring Your Body Mass Index
When you enter into any type of weight loss program, you hear a lot of buzz words and one of these is Body Mass Index or BMI. This is actually a calculation that is used to help manage your weight loss by figuring out your body fat percentage. This is important because a lot of times you can't just go by what the scale says because if you have started a new exercise program along with your eating changes, then you may be gaining muscle while you are losing fat, so when you step on the scale and it registers only a 1 pound loss you may have really lost 2 pounds of fat and gained a little bit of muscle. Using the BMI calculation, you can get a more accurate reading of your actual weight loss in a more scientific manner.

The Body Mass Index factors in your height and weight and is a very simple calculation which has been used for over 20 years in the fitness industry. You simply divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height (measured in meters). The calculation is easy, but for a person that is used to using pounds and inches all these kilo grams and meters can be very confusing, and for those of us it's important to note that 1 lb = 0.454 kg and 1 inch = 2.54 cm.

So let's say that you are 5 foot seven and you weigh 120 pounds. You would multiply your height (67 inches) by 2.54 for a total of 170.18 cm or 1.7018 meters. Then square this which comes out to 2.896 m2. Next figure out your weight which is 54.48 kg (120 X .454). Finally, your BMI would be 18.81 (54.48 kg / 2.896 msquared).

So, you might be wondering is this a good Body Mass Index?

While a few people might argue, generally the following classifications are accepted:

BMI Under 18.5 = Underweight
BMI 18.5 - 24.99 = Normal
BMI 25-29.99 = Overweight
BMI 30-39.99 = Obese
BMI of 40 and above = Extremely Obese

The Body Mass Index not only indicates if you're overweight, but it can also be an indicator of increased health risk and those people in the higher ranges might have an increased risk for cardiovascular disease, hypertension and maybe even diabetes.

While this is a good general indicator, of course, it doesn't take into consideration things like athletic conditioning, different body types, age and other factors that may affect the index range. You may want to consider other measurements in addition to the BMI for your total health regime.

The Body Mass Index is just one way for you to get a handle on how much weight you have lost, but perhaps the best way is to just take a look at yourself in the mirror and see how your clothes fit. If you feel and look great, then you must be doing something right!