Calorie Counter

Message Boards Debate: Health and Fitness
You are currently viewing the message boards in:

Is BMI an accurate way to know how much I should weigh?

nonachalkenonachalke Member Posts: 1 Member Member Posts: 1 Member
I looked up my BMI last night and it says I’m overweight, so obviously I’m freaking out. But is it accurate? I don’t want to just lose weight, I want to get toned and strong, I like muscle on me, but how do I know how much I should weigh?!
«134567

Replies

  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    Waist size is a good indicator, waist to height ratio or waist to hip ratio. I have a 32.5" waist at a bmi of 24.1, and that's just me doing chin ups and push ups at home for the past two months.
  • KickassAmazon76KickassAmazon76 Member Posts: 2,584 Member Member Posts: 2,584 Member
    I would be careful even with that ideal weight calculator... I have a solid muscle mass, am 6'1 and weigh 186.

    It tells me my ideal weight is anywhere from 140 - 190.

    At my lowest, I was 160 and I was incredibly lean (around 10% body fat). There is no way I could have dropped another 20 and still been healthy.

    Right now, I could probably comfortably lose 10-15 lbs... So I do fall in the ideal range, but at the higher end... Not the lower.

    If you want to gain some mass, be prepared to sit at the higher end.

    But like the other poster said... What do you feel? What do you see in the mirror?
  • kshama2001kshama2001 Member Posts: 23,132 Member Member Posts: 23,132 Member
  • ninerbuffninerbuff Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 43,635 Member Member, Greeter, Premium Posts: 43,635 Member
    If you don't have a lot of muscle, then it's okay. But you could also be very "skinny/fat" and be within the BMI level for your height and weight.

    A.C.E. Certified Personal and Group Fitness Trainer
    IDEA Fitness member
    Kickboxing Certified Instructor
    Been in fitness for 30 years and have studied kinesiology and nutrition

    9285851.png
  • paperpuddingpaperpudding Member Posts: 6,292 Member Member Posts: 6,292 Member
    nonachalke wrote: »
    I looked up my BMI last night and it says I’m overweight, so obviously I’m freaking out. But is it accurate? I don’t want to just lose weight, I want to get toned and strong, I like muscle on me, but how do I know how much I should weigh?!

    For almost everybody, yes it is accurate -
    Unless you have have a really high muscle percentage, meaning elite body builder high, or you are some other sort of outlier ( 9 months pregnant, double amputee or some other obvious condition that will skew height/weight ratio) then it is highly unlikely you are at a healthy weight very far out of standard bmi range.
    Sure, there are some non outlier people who sit healthily just outside it - but even then not very far out of it.

    Can u give us your actual statistics - age, gender, height, current weight?
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    You don't need to be on the level of an “elite” bodybuilder, if you've been lifting for a year or more you will develop a lot of muscle mass. Most of your gains will occur in the first year assuming you eat right and train hard. If you have gained 20lbs of muscles in your first year, then BMI is unreliable.

    As i've said, I have a 32.5 inch waist at a BMI of 24.2, if I gain 4 more pounds i'm officially in the overweight category. And that's just me doing bodyweight exercises for the past months, it doesn't take much

    And i'm not even going to delve into the subject of gender and different ethnicities.
    edited November 2020
  • janejellyrolljanejellyroll Member, Premium Posts: 24,571 Member Member, Premium Posts: 24,571 Member
    Mellouk89 wrote: »
    You don't need to be on the level of an “elite” bodybuilder, if you've been lifting for a year or more you will develop a lot of muscle mass. Most of your gains will occur in the first year assuming you eat right and train hard. If you have gained 20lbs of muscles in your first year, then BMI is unreliable.

    As i've said, I have a 32.5 inch waist at a BMI of 24.2, if I gain 4 more pounds i'm officially in the overweight category. And that's just me doing bodyweight exercises for the past months, it doesn't take much

    And i'm not even going to delve into the subject of gender and different ethnicities.

    What would be unreliable about my BMI if I gained twenty pounds of anything -- fat or muscle?

    What about gender makes BMI unreliable, in your opinion?
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    If for exemple i'm 5'9 150lbs and 15% body fat, I start lifting and gain 20lbs of muscles. Suddenly I am considered overweight in term of bmi even though my body fat percentage is low.

    When it comes to gender, men have less body fat and more muscle mass. For this reason, it doesn't take much for the average man to put on enough muscle mass and for bmi to be unreliable in determining obesity or a surplus of body fat.

    I gave my own exemple, there are plenty of others.

    Like I said, the exception is not only for elite bodydbuilders or athletes, but just regular people who go to the gym.
    edited November 2020
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    Although generally speaking, bmi is useful for both genders if we're talking about sedentary individuals. It appears, according to what I have read, women don't suffer from health problems on the higher end of healthy bmi.
    edited November 2020
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    I could give another exemple, if I was 5'9 160lbs at 18% bf and gained 20lbs of muscles I would be 10lbs overweight according to bmi even though my body fat percentage would have gone down due to the increased muscle mass. Many people go to the gym or do resistance training at home, it isn't unusual and we're talking about men particularly because they have greater capacity for muscle building due to hormones. Women on average gain 10lbs of muscles the first year compared to 20lbs for men.

    edited November 2020
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member
    I was replying to someone who was talking about “elite” bodybuilders, when it is much more broad than that. That was the point of my post. When I started weight training 15 years ago a personal trainer said the same thing to me, that it only applies to bodybuilders or athletes. It is nonsense.

    The point is you don't need to be a high level athlete or anything, in certain cases it can be a guy who has been lifting weights for 6 months.
    edited November 2020
  • Mellouk89Mellouk89 Member Posts: 160 Member Member Posts: 160 Member

    I am also on record on this forum as saying sporty young men ( not body builders, just fit sporty young men) are often healthy just outside the range with BMIs around 27.
    Thaf might be a guy who has been lifting weights for 6 months - but he still wouldn't be very far outside the range.

    I didn't know you said that, I haven't read all of your posts. I was replying to your post about elite bodybuilders, i'm well aware that bmi is useful for sedentary individuals.

    And I don't know what you mean by far outside the range, but after 2 years of weight lifting I had a healthy percentage of body fat at a bmi of around 28. That is quite a bit outside the range. Nowhere close to elite bodybuilder status.

    Also when it comes to ethnicity, it is clear that the bmi index and its consequences are different for certain demographics :

    https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/ethnic-differences-in-bmi-and-disease-risk/

    “China and Japan define overweight as a BMI of 24 or higher and obesity a BMI of 28 or higher; in India, overweight is defined as a BMI of 23 or higher, and obesity, a BMI of 27 or higher”

    “In contrast, some studies have found that blacks have lower body fat and higher lean muscle mass than whites at the same BMI, and therefore, at the same BMI, may be at lower risk of obesity-related diseases.”

    edited December 2020
Sign In or Register to comment.