Your Body Mass Index (BMI)

We’ve all heard about Body Mass Index (BMI), but what is it exactly? According to the National Institute of Health it is “a measure of body fat based on height and weight that applies to both adult men and women.” It is one of the three criteria that the the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI) use to evaluate whether someone is overweight or not.

1. body mass index (BMI)
2. waist circumference, and
3. risk factors for diseases and conditions associated with obesity. (These include high blood pressure, high glucose levels, cholesterol levels, triglycerides, family history of heart disease and smoking)

I was surprised when I first calculated my BMI..I was borderline normal weight going on overweight! (Ok, I’ll stop being in denial.. I was slightly overweight!) Check out where you stand at the following websites. Don’t be in denial!

The latter website lets us fill in activities we do daily to see what kind of lifestyle we have. Are we sedentary or active?

The waist circumference gives us an idea of how much abdominal fat we have. Risks increase if waist circumference exceeds 40 inches for men and 35 inches for women.

After learning about your BMI and the type of lifestyle you have, another good habit is to weigh yourself daily. This permits you to know your body better and see what affects or doesn’t affect your weight.

If you were like me (which I hope you aren’t) I weighed myself only when I went to the doctor’s office for the yearly check up. (My scale at home was broken and I never even bothered replacing it!) I wasn’t bothered to see how much I weighed. In reality, I wasn’t taking the time to take care of my body. Now I make sure I weigh myself everyday at approximately the same time.

A magazine editor once likened it to when we pack our bags for a trip. With limited weight allowance (i.e. 20kgs) we pack, weigh it on the scale, take out non-essentials if its over, weigh it again and then add more if we have space.