The term BMI is often used by people without fully understanding what it means and how it can be helpful. While calculating it is very simple, especially with the small tool on this page, it’s best to take a step back so that you know what to do with it.
What Is BMI?
BMI stands for Body Mass Index and is a way for you to calculate the ratio of your height and weight to get a value that indicates roughly what percent of your body is fat. Generally speaking, the higher this value is, the more likely you are to be obese.
The caveat to this is that if you’re a serious bodybuilder, then this calculation could indicate that you’re obese even though you might have minimum amounts of body fat.
However, for the average person that wants to get to a healthy body weight with less flabby stuff, it’s a really good way to measure your progress.
So, let’s take a look at how it works.
How Is BMI Calculated?
The calculation is quite simple and won’t take a maths degree or scientific calculator to work out. The first thing you need to do is weigh yourself first thing in the morning before eating and drinking. Also, measure your height and keep a note of the two values.
If you’re working in metric values, then you can use the following formula to calculate the value yourself:
BMI = weight (kg) ÷ height^2 (m^2)
If you’re taking imperial measures then use this formula:
BMI = weight (lb) ÷ height^2 (in^2) × 703
To make it even easier, just plug your measures into the calculator on this page, and you’ll have an immediate result.
What Do Your Results Mean?
The calculated BMI value will tell you know how much of your body composition is made up of fat, and there are healthy ranges that you should be aiming for. What’s important to note is that you should not be aiming for the lowest possible results.
Your body needs a certain amount of fat to function properly, and generally speaking, you should be aiming for a value right around 20. Being significantly above or below this value is an indication that you need to make changes to your diet and lifestyle.
If you don’t take action, then it can lead to some serious health conditions.
In the following table, you can see what your calculated result is saying about your body composition.
Very severely underweight
15 to 16
17 to 18.5
18.6 to 25
26 to 30
31 to 35
36 to 40
Very severely obese