Weight, BMI, and Body Fat: Facts the Diet Companies Don’t Want You to Know
Weight management is simply maintaining a healthy body weight BMI, and body fat.
So, what is a healthy body weight and how can I get there? While not the most accurate, probably the easiest method of determining a healthy body weight for your height is using BMI, or Body Mass Index. This is a general indication of what is a healthy weight for your height.
Category BMI range
Very severely underweight less than 15
Severely underweight from 15.0 to 16.0
Underweight from 16.0 to 18.5
Normal (healthy weight) from 18.5 to 25
Overweight from 25 to 30
Obese Class I (Moderately) from 30 to 35
Obese Class II & III (Severely) from 35 to 40+
What determines our body weight, body composition, and where we hold body fat rely on many factors. The two main ones are our genetics, and our calorie balance. We of course don’t have control over our genetics, but we definitely have control over our calorie balance and fitness routines. Body composition is what our body is made up of and commonly refers to how much of our body weight is made up of body fat and how much is made up of everything else. While BMI is only comparing our weight to our height, a body fat measurement that personal trainers commonly do, actually directly measures the proportion of our body that is fat vs. other tissues like muscle, bone, internal organs, etc. This can be measured in a variety of ways and is generally a more accurate indication of health. Some athletes for example may have a high BMI and body weight compared to their height due to muscle mass, but have a very low percentage of body fat that is contributing to their weight. Maintaining a healthy weight and body fat percentage can help reduce the risk of the most common lifestyle related diseases such as heart disease, Type 2 Diabetes, stroke, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol.
How to Lose Weight
There is actually only one secret to weight loss. That’s right, all of those websites, ads, pills, and infomercials claiming to have the best new secret are probably all selling the same secret, or maybe just junk. Here’s the secret: To lose weight, all you have to do is consistently consume fewer calories than you burn. Tada! That’s it! The opposite is true too. If over time you eat more calories than you are burning, you will gain weight.
In order to lose weight most effectively, we should increase our calorie burning by working on fitness in a safe and effective way, and also reduce our calorie intake through proper nutrition changes. There are many approaches to losing weight and many reasons people have trouble along the way. In essence, it’s all about our choices. The best thing to do is to recognize what individual choices and behaviors brought your weight to where it is now and begin working on them one step at a time. There is no right way other than a healthy way that works for you.
- Weight management is all about calorie balance.
- It’s a lifestyle change not a temporary diet.
- To keep the weight off, you will need to keep up exactly what you did to lose it.
- Genetics determine where our body stores fat, doing crunches will not reduce belly fat.
- If something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
- Be sure to consider beverages, including alcoholic beverages, as calorie sources.
- Stay well hydrated to avoid cravings.
- Make changes in a comfortable way so that you will be able to stick with them.
- Build up your fitness gradually to avoid injuries and fatigue.
- Focus on eating whole foods rather than processed foods, they are usually lower calorie and more satisfying.
- Setbacks are normal and weight loss takes time, consistency is the key to success.
- If you hit a plateau, get creative to continue to adapt your routines.
- Just keep going!
For assistance with maintaining a healthy weight, browse our Merchant Directory to connect with one of our weight management specialists.
Author: Tony Montijo, BS Kinesiology, CPT, CES
Special thanks to bmi-club.com