According to health experts 8 million people in the UK are at high risk of suffering with heart disease, strokes and type 2 diabetes even though they have a healthy BMI. What is your BMI and what does it mean? Should we be sticking to it or are there other ways of assessing our health? All questions I want to answer in this article and give you an indication of whether this is something you should be listening to or not.
What Is BMI?
This is hugely popular amongst health professionals in hospitals and doctors surgeries to measure an adult's weight. BMI stands for body mass index and is calculated by taking your weight in kilograms, then dividing it by your height in metres squared. The index is based on different scores and depending on where you score on the scale will determine if you are underweight, normal, overweight or obese. BMI is the oldest way to calculate if you are at a healthy weight but is it still the most accurate way, or are there better methods?
Calculating Your BMI
A BMI below 18.5 is considered low and meaning you are underweight of what you should be.
A BMI between 18.5 and 24.9 indicates you are at a healthy weight.
A BMI score of 25 to 30 suggest you are overweight.
A BMI of 30+ means you are obese and could raise problems later in life.
Is It Accurate
I believe that although the BMI method has its positives there are also some negatives which I would like to point out. First lets start with the positives and by pointing that it serves as an indication for people. If this method alone helps people either lose weight or increase weight because they noticeably need to then great. However, what about the likes of people like myself or my colleague Tom who according to BMI are overweight or obese? I know for a fact I am not overweight (not so sure about you Tom ;) just playing) and the reason for this is because BMI can't distinguish between muscle and fat. It takes an overall weight reading and this is why bodybuilders, crossfitters and even sports people could be labelled as overweight or obese.
So What To Do?
Well, I believe you should use the BMI reading as a guideline and ultimately determine whether you should gain or lose the weight on your body. In my opinion you shouldn't need a reading to tell you this and it should be something you are making an effort to sort as you health is extremely important. Here are some quick fire tips what you can do to help yourself, call it Scott's Self Help Tips ;)
Food Food Food
Whether you eat too much or you don't eat enough, what you consume truly makes a difference to how you look and what takes place inside your body. Pick wholesome foods which aren't loaded full of sugar and will keep you healthy and full. Avoid crisps, biscuits, chocolate, fizzy drinks, alcohol and other rubbish that your body simply doesn't need. Remember, you OWE this to yourself so stay strict and disciplined.
Get out there and exercise, the best place to do this is in the gym. GYM - Get Yourself Moving. Use the gym as a way to increase your chances of losing weight, leaning out, increasing size etc.
Include a protein supplement in your diet which will help keep you full and gives your muscles the right nutrients they need to function properly. Did you know more lean muscle mass in your body results in a quicker metabolism and the more effective your body is at burning fat. Ladies, do not be scared to get in the weight area and tone those muscles, you aren't going to be the next bodybuilder but you will help look and feel fantastic.
Healthy Is Happy
One final point to remember is that being healthy will in turn make you feel happy, so if you don't like how you look or feel then change something about it. Healthy truly does mean being happier and if you are happier you are going to make more of your life, bit cheesy possibly but believe when I tell you small changes equate to big moments of happiness in your life.