BMI Calculator: What Is BMI?
Your BMI or “Body Mass Index” is simply a measurement that represents your proportion of weight to height, and also can include other factors such as age or gender. Your BMI number represents the proportion of body fat you are carrying. This “BMI number” is a commonly used indicator that can help gauge your risk for diseases and illnesses associated with obesity. These associated risks include cardiovascular disease, heart attack, stroke and diabetes.
While the number from a BMI calculator isn’t a direct measurement of your body fat percentage, it remains a very accurate way to determine whether your weight is in a healthy range or if you are high risk for certain types of diseases. You can determine your BMI on paper using a fairly simple formula, using a BMI calculator, or by making a visit to your doctor.
Note: The BMI number is not your percentage of body fat. It’s a number that represents your overall weight in proportion to your height. However, it’s certainly intended to be an indicator of your body fat percentage. There are tests to determine your actual percentage of body fat, but these tests are not a quick and easy as calculating BMI.
What Is a Healthy BMI Number?
Your BMI result is derived using this formula:
Formula: weight (lbs) / [height (in)]2 x 703 Calculate BMI by dividing weight in pounds (lbs) by your height in inches (in) squared then multiplying by a conversion factor of 703. Example: Weight = 150 lbs, Height = 5'5" (65") Calculation: [150 ÷ (65)2] x 703 = 24.96
Now in order to know where you stand as far as your weight range on the BMI, you must understand what these numbers mean. Below is the common classification for your BMI:
|Under 16||Severely Underweight|
|18-24.9||Healthy Weight Range|
|30 and more||Obese|
|40 and more||Morbidly obese|
Tips for getting the most accurate measurement:
You can measure your BMI at any time, but the number will be most accurate and consistent if you take the following steps:
- Weight yourself first thing in the morning.
- Measure your height accurately as possible.
This is fairly simple, however just be sure that you have plugged in the right weight and height. When you get your results, take a look at the chart below and see where your healthy range is at.
Once you have gotten your BMI number, and assessed the results, you’ll fall into one of several categories: underweight, healthy weight, obese, overweight or morbidly obese. The category that you fall into will determine the specific approach you’ll need to take to improve your health and lower your risks.
BMI Chart for Women
By determining your BMI number, you’ve taken the first step to becoming a healthier & happier person. To find out more about your BMI see the following additional information:
- Our article entitled “Why your BMI is Important” goes into more detail on the health risks associated with a high BMI number, and also the risks associated with an extremely low number.
- In another post, we also cover how accurate BMI calculators are.
- To get a list of Fat Burning foods and how to properly implement them into your lifestyle visit our Fat Burning 101 page.