by Chris Devers
The body mass index or BMI is a standardized way to compare your weight to your height to determine your weight category. The index reading places you into one of four categories as follows: Underweight,Normal weight,Overweight, and Obese. Your BMI reading is compared to a range of numbers that correspond to the different categories and you are then able to determine where you fall in the category list.
Calculating your BMI can help you determine your ideal weight for your height. The formula used to calculate your BMI is accurate for adults and is most accurate for individuals that are not overly muscular. Extra muscle mass can cause the reading to be inaccurate. Knowing which category you fall in is helpful and lets you determine your health risks associated with that category. For example, the obese category has the most risks and if one falls into that category then they may wish to lose weight to reduce their health risks and reduce their BMI reading down towards the normal weight category.
Individuals that are planning to lose or even gain weight can use the body mass index to find a target weight that places them in the normal weight category. The BMI is a great way to assess your weight loss needs and can help you plan a safe diet that will lead you towards a healthier lifestyle. Tracking and trending your BMI reading can be a great way to motivate yourself. You can establish a target BMI and work towards that goal. Those that are obese can set a goal of moving down into the overweight category, and while they may still be overweight, the change in the category can be a huge motivating factor for the person.
Evaluating your weight via the body mass index can also be more encouraging to people that are sensitive to weight fluctuations. Since the BMI uses a range there can be fluctuations that still allow you to be in the normal category. Gaining or losing a few pounds can be seen as normal via the BMI reading and thus help the person realize that these fluctuations are normal and do occur. The body mass index can also help those that are borderline between being overweight and obese. In these situations, the individual can realize that moving the BMI into a healthier range is achievable and can help them get motivated to lose the weight needed to reach their goal.
You can calculate your bmi for free here: http://freebmi-calculator.com/
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