What is BMI?
Body Mass Index, or BMI, is a term you will often hear when starting a weight loss journey. It is an internationally recognised tool that is commonly used to determine how your weight is classified according to your height.
How to Calculate BMI:
To calculate your BMI, you divide your weight by your height in metres squared. The equation looks like this:
BMI = Weight (kg)
Height (m) x height (m)
What does the BMI ranges mean?
The answer to this equation will fall within a range of different classifications:
- BMI less than 18.5 : Underweight. This is considered to be less than your healthiest weight for your height, and it may be associated with health problems for some people.
- BMI in the range of 18.5-25 : Normal weight. This is regarded as the healthiest weight, and the weight range connected to the lowest risk of illness for most people.
- BMI above 25 : Overweight. This is considered to be above your healthiest weight for your height and it may be associated with health problems for some people.
- BMI above 30 : Obese. This is significantly above the healthiest weight for your height, and is associated with increased risk for health problems such as heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes.
For the general population over the age of 18, a healthy body mass index (BMI) range is considered to be 18.5-25kg/m2, as you can see above. You may already know that BMI should be interpreted with caution.
Muscular people may calculate a BMI that is above the healthy weight range, due to the fact that muscle weighs more than fat. For adults older than 70 years, there is some research to say that it may be appropriate for the healthy weight range to be a little higher, and that a BMI of 24-30kg/m2 may be suitable.
Why not try our BMI calculator? Click here.
Why is it beneficial to have a healthy BMI?
BMI is a predictor of the amount of body fat you have, and we know that reducing excess body fat can reduce health risks.
Being a healthy weight can reduce your risk of developing a range of chronic conditions, including:
- Type 2 Diabetes
- Heart Disease
- High blood pressure
- Certain types of cancer
- Musculoskeletal problems
In certain instances, losing weight can help you to better manage the health conditions you already have. In fact, losing as little as 5% of your current weight has been shown to bring health benefits such as improvements in blood cholesterol, blood glucose and blood pressure.
Making the decision to work towards a healthy BMI will bring benefits to your health, your sense of wellbeing and every step you take forward will fuel your motivation to keep going.
The best way to start your weight loss journey is to begin making healthier choices when it comes to the foods you are eating and the physical activity you are doing. Setting yourself up to have a supportive environment will be the key to making and maintaining the new habits to keep you on track.
At Jenny Craig, we understand the importance of support and that’s why we’ll pair you with your own personal weight loss coach. If you decide you would like to make some positive changes to your current BMI, give Jenny Craig a call to get you started on your weight loss journey.