There are so many different terms and abbreviations in the fitness world that makes it hard to know whats what and to keep up with them all.

Here we have simplified it for you when it comes to understanding your BMI Body Mass Index) results…

Underweight
Being underweight could be a sign you’re not eating enough, you’re working out too much or you may be ill. If you don’t feel ill or have no symptoms, try eating more food and maybe cut back on the amount of exercise you are doing and see if that helps you put on a bit more weight.

Healthy Weight
This is great news, you are considered to be in the healthy range. Keep up what you’re doing, it’s obviously working well for you.

Overweight
The best way to lose weight if you have been classes as overweight is through a combination of diet and exercise. The BMI calculator will give you a personal calorie allowance to help you achieve a healthy weight safely. Note, the calorie suggestion it gives you is just a suggestion which should be used as more of a reference. You may have to tweak it as you go by upping or lowering the calories depending on how your body responds.

Obese
The best way to lose weight if you’re obese is also through a combination of diet and exercise and in extreme cases, medication. If you are classed as obese, it would be wise to get a health check from your GP before starting exercise to make sure you are healthy enough to do so and not at risk of a heart attack.

Black and Asian ethnic groups
Black and Asian ethnic groups have a much higher risk of developing a long-term (chronic) condition, such as type 2 diabetes.

Adults in this group with a BMI of…
– 23 or more are at an increased risk
– 27.5 or more are at a very high risk and should seek a doctor’s advise

Why the size of your waist matters
Measuring your waist is a good way to check you’re not carrying too much fat around your stomach, generally visceral fat around your organs, which can raise your risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes and stroke.

You can have a healthy BMI and still have excess tummy fat – meaning you’re still at risk of developing these conditions.

To measure your waist…
1. Find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips.
2. Wrap a tape measure around your waist midway between these points.
3. Breathe out naturally before taking the measurement.

Regardless of your height, weight, activity level or BMI, you should try to lose weight if your waist is…
– 94cm (37ins) or more for men
– 80cm (31.5ins) or more for women

Contact your GP if your waist is…
– 102cm (40ins) or more for men
– 88cm (34ins) or more for women

Limitations of the BMI test
1. Your BMI can’t tell if you’re carrying too much fat.
2. The BMI can’t tell the difference between excess fat, muscle, or bone.
3. The adult BMI test generally doesn’t take into account age, gender or muscle mass.

This could mean that if you’re a very muscular person, you could be classed as overweight even if you’re body fat percentage is very low.

Things like pregnancy will also affect a woman’s BMI result as it won’t know if you are pregnant or not.

Apart from these few limitations, the BMI test is a relatively straightforward and accurate to a point as well as being a convenient way of assessing your weight.

If you are worried about anything you have read here, please go and see your GP.

The Fitness Focus Team