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BMI question

by Mary
(New York, NY)

I have a problem ascertaining my BMI. The more I workout, I lose inches but I end up gaining weight due to muscle mass.

According to the BMI charts, I am still overweight but my clothes fit much better and I feel fantastic.

I know I can lose a bit more around the waist but it's confusing to figure out how much more weight I need to lose.

Comments for BMI question

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BMI Charts not what they're cracked up to be.
by: xenomorphgirl

First of all, it's great that you have lost some inches and are feeling good about yourself. That means more than what any sort of charts or devices tell you.

As for the BMI, the BMI chart has some problems. The problem is that this chart is only using height and weight as its information, but NOT what percentages of your body are fat and/or muscle. That's a problem, because muscle weighs more than fat! That means that people with a lot of muscle, might be categorized as overweight or obese on these charts. Would you categorize a bodybuilder as obese? The BMI chart might, simply because so much of their body is made up of heavy muscle!

If you want a better indicator of how you are doing with your weight, there are other methods you could try. First and foremost, you could use a body fat caliper. You can get these from stores like GNC for about 14 dollars. They come with instructions on how to use them- you pinch a part of your tummy and measure how thick it is at that point. Now, keep in mind, this may not be entirely accurate, BUT if you do it consistently and in the same spot, you can at least see that thickness go down. So that would tell you that you are doing good. If you don't feel good about measuring this yourself, you can also get body fat measurements done at most gyms.

Some other methods that might interest you are more expensive, but also more accurate. You could do hydrostatic weighing. They dunk you underwater and figure out your body fat percentage based on how much water you displace. There is also a scanning method where they can see inside of you and figure out how much of your body is made up of fat. I've also heard of one other method where you sit in a special chamber and they figure out your body fat based on the air you displace in the chamber. All of these methods could run you 100 dollars on up, however, so they can get kind of pricey.

In the end, though, you should listen to your own body and how you feel. Judge your weight by how your clothes are fitting or judge yourself on how many push-ups you can do now versus 2 months ago. If you get too caught up in what doctors and charts and TV and magazines tell you, you might just get discouraged and feel like your progress isn't worthwhile, or worse, that you aren't making any progress at all! Best of luck to you!

Pay no attention
by: Anonymous

Honestly, don't pay any attention to your BMI. While it is an okay tool to use, it doesn't take into account bone density, muscle mass, water weight, etc. If you really wanted to track your weight, try a body fat scale.
Also, I try and stay away from scales. While these are a great tool (sometimes) they don't track muscle mass--and muscle weighs more than fat--so how can you differentiate the two? You just become obsessed with the numbers.
In my personal experience, it wasn't until I got rid of the scale and all the other 'dieting tools' that I started to become comfortable with how I looked. I was using a number to tell me if I looked good or not.
I still to this day do not use a scale, but rather, I pay close attention to my BODY and its needs.
Good luck in all of your endeavors! :)

Body fat percentage
by: Anonymous

A much better way to monitor your health is to measure your body fat percentage. All you need to do is purchase a scale that has this feature built right into it. They are very easy to find. This method is accurate, inexpensive compared to other methods, and allows you to monitor your body fat percentage on a daily basis if you wish to do so. The particular scale I own also allows you to track what percentage of your weight is water, how many calories per day your body burns naturally, how many pounds of muscle you have, and of course you body fat percentage and your actual weight. It's a great tool to help you see exactly what's behind the number on the scale, and gives you much more insight than the BMI index.

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