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  • Writer's pictureMargreta

What I really think about BMI

BMI - the widely used medical assessment to determine your health. All it is a calculation of height vs weight, it is a simple calculation: weight in kg divided by height in meters squared.

If you are like me and life heavy and are pretty strong, more then likely your total weight is going to be higher...why?

Because you are dense.

Bodyweight a matter of density. Muscle cells are smaller and less expansive as fat cells.

The better measure of true health and fitness is body composition. There are so many affordable options these days that don’t cost much more than $50/$60 that can provide you with more detail than just body fat.

Body composition is your skeletal muscle mass, visceral body fat (the bad stuff), bones, organs, and water.

As a coach and trainer, my top three numbers I track are visceral fat, skeletal muscle mass, and water. Notice that body fat isn’t in my top three numbers.

Visceral fat is the fat around our organs, and while we need some level of fat around them, I’m looking for a number below 12 and preferably below 10. That has been shown to decrease your risk for many chronic health conditions.

Skeletal Muscle Mass is your weight or percentage of muscle mass. This number, much like body fat, changes with age. For women a rough goal of at least 29% is ideal. For men a rough goal of at least 36% or greater is ideal.

Water percent is the amount of water within your cells. For women, this should be about 45-60% of your total body weight and for men, 50-65% of total body weight. Water is important for many bodily functions including helping blood flow throughout the body - aka cell transport, helps manage our body temperatures (hence the sweating when working out), and keeps the largest organ in the body, your skin, moisturized.

I can infer a lot about a client when I’m first meeting them with these three metrics. They give me an idea of where we are starting and what direction to go for coaching (like drink more water) or for training what type of training would be best to help them either build muscle mass or lower visceral fat.

BMI, while still showing on most body composition scales means nothing to me. The WHO refers to it as a “crude measurement” and while they mean it as a simple method to assess health, I prefer to think of their use of the word CRUDE in its more modern context of disgusting or vile.

Need help interpreting your body composition results? Comment below or drop me a message!


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