BMI: What does it mean?

Moving Out
Weight loss programs, personal trainers and doctors have all given me a lecture on my BMI. But what is it and how important are those three letters to my overall health?

I wanted to see exactly what BMI is, how it's actually calculated and how it could accurately reflect the current state of my body in terms of weight.


What is BMI?

BMI, or body mass index, is a way of measuring fat in a weight to height ratio. It's used by doctors and health professionals to see how much fat you have in relation to your height and can be used generally as the first step towards a more detailed diagnosis.

It's a free and easy way to determine an individual's weight category, whether it be underweight, normal/healthy weight, overweight or obsese.

Calculation & Numbers

BMI = weight in pounds / height in inches2

BMIWeight Status
Below 18.5Underweight
18.5 – 24.9Normal or Healthy Weight
25.0 – 29.9Overweight
30.0 and AboveObese

What does my number mean?

Your BMI is exactly what the calculation above indicates: your weight in terms of your height. And nothing more.

The number you get does not determine your level of health, it's not used by doctors to diagnose you with any conditions. It's merely a way to give a broad category and assessment of your body fat. 

Further measurements are done to give your health professional more specific information.


One great example is that muscles weigh more than fat, meaning that a bodybuilder in amazing shape may be classified as "obese" based simply on their BMI.

That being said, BMI may be indicative of someone being unhealthily under- or overweight, so it is important to at least keep it in consideration initially.

My main point is, don't look at your number and immediately think that you're obese and need to go on a diet. If you calculate your own BMI and are concerned about the results, that's a great reason to see your doctor!


Final Notes

So that's about it! I hope that this helped to clear up any misinformation or doubts you may have had about what BMI is and what is means.

However, feel free to reach out in the comments below or on Twitter in case you have any questions at all.



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