The BMI, Weight and Fitness
Another study has come out showing that one can be fat and still be fit. How did they measure this? Well, they used the good old body mass index (BMI) scale to determine whether or not someone was of normal weight, underweight, overweight or obese. While the intentions of researchers and doctors in using this scale is well and good, it’s also faulty.
Sure, one can say that so and so is in good shape and overweight, while that normal weight person is in bad shape. And it’s true. You see, I’m also considered overweight using the BMI. 30+ years ago I would have been considered obese. et, I was in great shape. You may be thinking, how could that be? Well, it’s true. A great many professional athletes are also overweight or obese according the BMI.
30+ years ago I was a competitive bodybuilder. I had a waistline of 30 inches and weighed between 215-230 pounds. Today I am much lighter and still am considered overweight at just over 170 (goal is 175) pounds at a height of 5-8. My waistline is still 30 inches. Yes, I do have a 6-pack. I remember going into my doctor one time and had him tell me that I need to lose weight because I was overweight. LOL! Isn’t that crazy? He, like most healthcare professionals, rely on the BMI.
I did take my shirt off for him to show where he wanted me to lose weight. Well, I think that changed his thinking a bit.
If you want to get a more accurate measurement, then measure your waistline, not your weight. Now, if you do want to add in your weight to the mix, then it’s okay as long as you think in terms of bodyfat percentage. You see, if your waistline is the same regarding two different weights, then the higher weight will have a lower bodyfat percentage. This means you have more lean tissue and less fat. It’s all about one’s body composition, not BMI.
When we think about muscle versus fat, the above picture demonstrates a stark difference in body composition of two guys at the same weight. Hence, both would be considered overweight or obese by the BMI, just as I was. Yet, the one on the right would be considered fit versus the one on the left.
When you weigh yourself, also bring out a measuring tape and measure your waist. Test yourself physically as well. You’ll know whether or not you are truly fit and your body composition is where you want it to be, not your weight.
I wish you success in you fat loss goals.