BMI is one of the most common tools for determining whether you’re too heavy in proportion to your height. Otherwise known as Body Mass Index, this is a calculation that helps to compare you to average weights and heights, to determine whether you’re in the normal range. It can vaguely tell you whether you have too much fat on your body.
The index can be very useful when deciding on what your ideal weight should be when you are trying to lose weight. However, as helpful as the BMI is, it also has its limitations. These are extremely important to know, as following BMI could actually sometimes take you in the wrong direction.
What’s Wrong With BMI?
There is no one scale that can truly determine what is the right weight for every single human on the planet. This is because everyone is different; people have different heights, weights, builds, activity levels, and so on.
When measuring one’s BMI index, the only two things that are taken into consideration are the height and weight of the person. Therefore, for those who have a big build or have a large amount of muscle mass, and those who those who are elderly and therefore have less muscle mass, the BMI scale is less dependable and can be very incorrect.
A person who has a larger amount of muscle mass is heavier, but this does not mean that the person has a larger amount of fat. Using BMI alone, you cannot determine if this person is actually normal or overweight.
Using Your BMI Measurement the Right Way
Therefore, when referring to the Body Mass Index to determine your ideal weight, do practice some common sense to decide what the right weight you should be aiming for is. If you have a larger build or are more muscular than most people, adding 10% to the ideal weight stated for your height is a more realistic aim. If you are of a smaller build, subtracting 10% off the stated weight can be your aim.
Measuring your body fat percentage is also a much clearer indication of whether you’ve got weight to lose. Even if you have a high BMI, having a healthy body fat percentage is what’s important to your health.
Besides doing this, keep an eye on how you feel when you get to a certain weight; if you have reached a certain weight but feel tired, fatigued, and generally feel you look too thin, then perhaps you have lost too much of weight and need to gain a little bit to be at the right weight.
Hopefully, you now know what the limitations of the BMI are and understand how you can get around these limitations. In the end, compared to weight, it’s your health that matters more; don’t set unrealistic targets for weight loss that will instead cause damage to your health and well-being.