Your body weight is always going to be a core metric that helps you better understand your overall health and wellness, but it doesn’t tell the complete picture about everything happening inside of your body.
Yes, you’re reading that correctly. The number you see when you step on top of a scale may not tell the whole and complete truth about your body weight, your body composition, and how different parts of your body are helping or hindering your health.
To figure that out, you need to know more about your BMI.
What is BMI (Body Mass Index), you ask?
Let’s dig a little deeper to find out right now.
What is BMI?
BMI is one of the most important health metrics that medical experts use on a daily basis to better understand what your body is made up of on the inside.
Looking at your height, looking at your weight, and looking at underlying body composition components (how much muscle, how much bone, how fat, and how much water your body is holding at any one point in time) the BMI calculation let’s experts better understand whether or not your weight is healthy for you specifically.
There are a variety of different ways to go about learning how to calculate BMI formulas; something will get into in just a moment. But this more holistic approach to looking at your body, how it is composed, and what each major component weighs as a total of the sum is a much better approach to understanding your health than reading a single number off of a scale.
How to Calculate BMI
While there are a number of different BMI calculator chart options out there you could choose to use on your own to help you figure out your BMI “ballpark” figures, if you’re really looking at how do I calculate my BMI index with a lot more precision you’ll have to dig a little deeper.
A surface level BMI has you divide your weight (in pounds) by your overall height (in inches) squared – and from there you actually multiply that total number by 703.
You can use the same calculation by measuring your overall weight in kilograms and your overall height in meters if you choose to do so, but in that case you do not have to multiply that total figure by 703. You’ll already have your estimated BMI index figure.
With that number you’ll then want to look at a BMI scale to determine whether or not you fit inside of the “healthy range” or “unhealthy range”.
What is a Good vs. Bad BMI?
As a general rule, a healthy weight BMI by height number is going to come in at anywhere between 18 and 25. This is the “acceptable” range for a BMI figure as described by the folks at the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (the American CDC).
Should you find that your BMI number is a little bit higher than 25 (all the way up to 29.9) you are going to be classified as overweight. As soon as you start to push beyond 30 on the BMI chart you could be classified as clinically obese.
On the flip side of things, any BMI number that comes in at 17.9 or lower can be clinically described as underweight with numbers under 15 reaching a dangerous underweight threshold as well.
Of course, as we highlighted above, this “rule of thumb” kind of approach to better understanding how your body is composed may or may not be entirely accurate.
As a general rule, men are closer to the higher range of average or overweight even while healthy than women – and women more frequently trend towards the middle and lower end of the scale while healthy than men.
Truth be told there’s no such thing as a “perfect” BMI – at least not according to the BMI scale.
While you can definitely try to figure out what is a good BMI and what is a bad BMI according to this scale, you need to dig a little deeper – and use more accurate tools and metrics – to understand whether or not you are truly healthy or if you need to make some lifestyle adjustments or leverage medical interventions to get you back on track.
Body calipers that can better understand just how much body fat you are carrying around are an inexpensive and relatively easy to use tool that can give you a little bit more information than a standard BMI calculation can.
Even better are digital scales that use electronic readouts and low pulse of electrical charges sent through your body to figure out just how much of your weight is lean muscle mass, how much is fat, how much is bone, and how much you are carrying around in water or organ tissue.
The scales are little more expensive than your average bathroom scale but they provide you with a whole host of more detailed and in-depth information than any traditional bathroom scale ever could. They are almost always well worth the extra investment.
Finally, you could choose to move forward with ultrasound readings to get a better grip on your overall body fat content or could move forward with BMI measuring solutions like Dexa Pod/Scan solutions.
These are much more advanced solutions than what you might find commonly available at a local health clinic or general practitioner’s office, but provide the most in-depth information about your body mass composition.
These are the kinds of tools and technology used by high-end medical facilities and professional sports organizations that need to know as much as possible about what’s happening inside in individual body.
All things considered, hopefully now you have a better understanding of what is BMI (Body Mass Index), what is BMI measured in, and how you can use this quick calculation to figure out whether or not you are in the underweight, acceptable, or overweight range pretty quickly and at a glance.