For anyone starting to exercise or that has been exercising for years, it's essential to track progress. Tracking progress allows you to see how your training is improving along with many other factors. In other articles around fitness, we have talked about other indicators that can track your progress. Another method that is widely used all across different areas is your BMI. Body Mass Index.
It's used with doctors, fitness experts and personal trainers, but is BMI a good indicator? In one instance, someone that is 6 foot 4 214 looks muscular, but their BMI says overweight? Should that 6 foot 4 people try to lose weight to lower their BMI? The answer is maybe. We'll get to that more down below.
- BMI can be used to help with your fitness goals. Source: Jonathan Borba, Unsplash
What is BMI?
BMI stands for body mass index. It is a straightforward screening method for putting someone in a weight class. The result from a BMI can be underweight, healthy weight, overweight and obesity. BMI doesn't measure the fat from someone's body, but the results from the BMI can be an indicator.
To calculate BMI is looks at a person's body weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in metres. Of course, here in Canada, we would use inches for size and pounds for weight. There are several calculators online that can make the conversion for you that's easy and straightforward.
Usually, an overweight or obesity result should mean further assessment of assessment through skin fold test or basic measurements to fully grasp a person's health. The BMI can't be the only indicator of someone's health level. For instance, two people with the same BMI number may look very different when it comes to their fatness. Someone with a high amount of lean mass is also going to have a higher BMI number. Therefore, it's essential to understand the pros and cons of using the BMI.
Going back to our scenario, the 6 foot 4 person that is 214 pounds is considered overweight, so what should they do? Being overweight would put them between 25 and 29.9. A trained professional would tell this person they don't need to lose weight if they are a muscular build. However, if they were concerned, they should do additional health screenings to have a more accurate reading of someone's health.
Should You Focus on The BMI?
In our opinion, I wouldn't focus on the BMI number. There are many better indicators to assess your weight level, whether you are in a healthy range or an overweight range. The best method, of course, is to speak with your doctor as they know you best. Using the BMI can be a tool to track progress. If you obtain a lower BMI number, you are losing weight, but then again, you use the scale to track weight.
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- Always speak with your doctor about your BMI number to gain more insight. Source: Andres Ayrton, Pexels
How to Lower Your Weight?
A high BMI can indicate you need to lose weight. There are several ways to start making the change, whether through eating right, exercising, or both. Even changing a few lifestyle habits can make a difference. However, looking at weight loss plans online, you can get overwhelmed and have no idea where to start.
This is why we always recommend a personal trainer. Superprof has 100s of personal trainers in Canada that are ready to work with you. They can even help you determine your BMI and help you shed those extra pounds. They have the experience and knowledge to teach you everything you need to know. Superprof also offers lessons online and in-person, giving you the freedom and flexibility to learn when you want to learn. Now is a perfect time.
Aside from hiring personal training, here are some lifestyle changes that can impact your weight.
No Extra Calories: Drinks can be an easy weight to get more calories. Things like pop or juice are full of extra calories. Even think about coffee if you put sugar and cream in it. All these different things add up.
Park far Away: Being active can certainly help your weight loss goal. Something small like parking far away at the store can be an excellent way to increase your activity level.
Fast Food: It can easily add more calories to your day. A typical burger from a Mcdonald's can be around 200 calories. Then you add the fries, drink and maybe dessert. You're easily over 500 calories.
Eat More Produce: Produce like vegetables and fruits will be a good source of vitamins and minerals. They're also low-calorie, meaning you don't have to worry too much about overeating fruits and vegetables.
Step Counters - The recommended number of steps a day is 10,000. Most phones now have built-in pedometers to track your actions. You can also buy a pedometer. Try to hit that 10,000 steps a day number to increase your activity level.
Whole Grains: Whole grains are more filling than white grains. They also have a good amount of fibre to keep you satisfied throughout the day. White grains can also be higher calorie compared to whole grain.
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Other Factors for Lowering BMI
Losing weight to have a better BMI number, there are a few options you have. As we mentioned above, you can start small and start making a few lifestyle changes to help cut out extra calories. Although this can be effective, getting on a fitness and nutrition plan can lead to long-lasting results. The point of setting a plan isn't to get results at the end of 8 weeks or 12 weeks. It's to build long-lasting habits that will have you living healthy.
Again, hiring a personal trainer can be an effective way to build these habits and have a plan custom to you. However, this may not be ideal for some people. One of the great things about fitness is that there is lots of great information about building a plan. Check out fact-checked articles online or books by some of the better well-known personal trainers. You can be your own advocate for your health by doing the right research. Don't get too concerned about finding the best plan. The best plan is the one that works for you. Of course, ensure the plan your following is from an expert in the industry. Be wary of the social media fitness influencers out there. Some are knowledgeable with years of experience, while others don't have the information to back up their programs.
Always consult with the right professional before starting anything new.
- A personal trainer can help you with your BMI. Source: Annie Spratt, Unsplash
Calculate Your BMI
Calculating your BMI can be an excellent set to track your weight. However, it shouldn't necessarily be used to monitor your fitness progress as the test only looks at importance. There are better indicators out there that can give you a better picture of your fitness health.
Talk with the right professional about your BMI number. They can give you the most accurate information about your BMI's number, whether it reads overweight, underweight, or average weight. They know your body best. Personal training can be an excellent way to help lower your BMI number if you're looking to lose weight. They can be with you every step of the way from start to finish. They want to see you succeed.
Calculate your BMI number using the formula we mentioned above or use a BMI calculator online.
Suppose you're looking for more advice around fitness and nutrition. We have written several other articles on those topics. Check out the articles below to explore more.
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