The days of determining whether you need to lose or gain weight using solely how much you weigh are long gone. Your weight is a convenient benchmark to have and refer back to, but it’s far from an accurate measure that tells you exactly how much you should exercise or eat. A more modern and reliable measurement is your BMI.

What is a BMI?Your BMI, or body mass index, is a measure of how much of your body is fat based on your height and weight. It takes your weight in kilograms divided by the square of your height in meters. You can also be much more effectively categorized as obese, overweight, at a healthy weight, or underweight. It’s the measure that the CDC and other government organizations use to determine your weight category.

How do I find my BMI?The easiest way is to use an online calculator. Here’s the link to the CDC’s adult BMI calculator. You’ll need to know your height in feet/inches and your weight in pounds. If you want to check the BMI of a child or teen, you will need to use the CDC’s child/teen BMI calculator. For the child/teen calculator, you’ll need to put in the child/teen’s age in years and months and click calculate. This will give you a number somewhere from 10 to 40.

What does my BMI mean?Your BMI can help you place yourself into weight categories that will help you make more informed decisions about what to do to take care of your health. A BMI of 18.4 or under places you in the underweight weight category. Anywhere from 18.5 to 24.9 is in the healthy weight range, and 25 to 29 is in the overweight range. Finally, if your BMI is 30 or higher, you’d be categorized as obese. This number can help you think about what you need to do to either get to or maintain your weight within the healthy weight range. For example, if you’re in the underweight range, you might want to think about bringing the number of calories that you consume above the number of calories that you’re burning day to day. On the other hand, if you’re in the obese weight category, you could start thinking about incorporating more exercise into your lifestyle or cutting out unhealthy foods.

Overall, your BMI can be a very helpful tool to assess your health, especially whether the weight you’re at is healthy or not. If you have any more questions about how to get your BMI or how to take action based on it, your primary care physician is a good place to start. If you’re looking for a primary care physician in Plano, Irving, or Frisco, call us at 214-666-6259 or schedule an appointment in the contact tab above the post.

 

Author Jai Sammpath

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