BMI Explained: your goals can be to get healthy, not skinny

Obesity is becoming an epidemic. I’m not talking about simply being overweight. There is a whole “overweight” category you can fall into; but then there is a step further – obesity. According to the CDC (Center of Disease and Control) in 2010, 33.8% of adult Americans are obese, and 17% of our children (ages 2-19 years old) are obese. This statistic is scary!

BMI Explained: your goals can be to get healthy, not skinny BMI, or Body Mass Index, is an established measure utilized by physicians and health experts to determine weight status (i.e. underweight, overweight, obese or within a healthy weight range). Using this tool, the CDC created a trending chart of obesity rates by states. In 2010, only 15 states were considered in the healthy weight range.
Further, 23 states were overweight, and an alarming 12 states are now obese.  To put things in perspective for you, just 10 years prior, there wasn’t a single state recorded as being overweight or obese. In fact, more than half of the United States was in the underweight range.

Find your BMI!

Do you know what weight range your body falls into?

To figure out what your healthy weight range is (for adults), you need to know your BMI, and to do that, start by weighing yourself. Then, take your weight and multiply it by 703.

Hang on to this number for a minute. Now measure yourself in inches, and square that number (multiply the number of inches by the same number). Divide your weight number that you just figured out by the inches number squared. The answer is your BMI.

For example, let’s say someone is 150lbs, and is 5 feet 7 inches.

  • You’d take 150 and multiply it by 703, which equals 105,450.
  • The height in inches would be 67, multiplied by itself, to get 4,489.
  • Divide the 105,450 by 4489, and you’d get a BMI of 23.49.

Experts generally consider a BMI of 20 – 24.9 to be in the healthy weight range. Below 20 is generally considered underweight. BMI’s from 25-29.9 is generally considered overweight, while a BMI over 30 is generally considered obese.

I say “generally considered” because there are some variables in the equation. For example, athletes, or muscular people might end up weighing more than their flabbier counterpart because muscle is denser and takes up less space. More muscle equals more weight, which in turn will produce a higher BMI. Keeping these variables in mind though, your BMI range is considered a healthy and accurate guide.

The goal is healthy, not skinny!

This is my mantra. For me personally, I’ve been on the brink of the maximum and minimum end of my BMI spectrum at some point in my life. For my body shape and comfort zone, I didn’t like either side of the guide. I like carbs, and I like curves, so I don’t want to be skinny. But I want to make sure I’m healthy.

A couple keys to being successfully healthy are moderation, and reality. Find a weight within the healthy range that you’re comfortable with, and maintain it. You might find that you have more strength and energy at a BMI of 20.5, or that you prefer the way your clothes fit you at a BMI of 24.

Take some time to enjoy your weight at the different intervals within the healthy range, and pick which BMI works best for you!

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