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Body Mass Index

What is BMI?

The BMI calculator is a useful tool that measures whether you are overweight, underweight, or just right. Your weight alone is not enough to tell, as a tall, skinny man may easily weigh more than a short but rotund woman. The body mass index, or BMI, overcomes this problem by finding a ratio of your weight to your height, and returning a single number. This number will fit into a category on the scale of BMI ranges, which are defined as underweight, normal, overweight, and obese.

BMI uses weight and height to estimate body fat. A high BMI is associated with an increased risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, and type 2 diabetes.

BMI provides a reasonable estimate of body fat for most people. However, it has limitations. For example, BMI may:

  • Underestimate body fat for older adults or people with low muscle mass

  • Overestimate body fat for people who are especially muscular

BMI ranges

There are five basic ranges within the BMI scale:

  • Underweight = less than 18.5
  • Normal weight = 18.5 - 24.9
  • Overweight = 25 - 29.9
  • Obesity = 30 - 35
  • Severe obesity = 35 and more

The BMI Prime is a nifty modification to our own BMI calculator. It's a decimal number where 1.0 = the upper limit to the "normal BMI" range. It's a super easy way to see if you're overweight or not. If your BMI Prime is more than 1, then you've got some weight to lose.

Body Fat %

What is body fat?

It is actually adipose tissue; its main function is to store energy in the form of lipids, but it cushions and insulates your body, too. Your body stores two types of fat: essential and storage body fat. The former is necessary to support life and reproductive functions. Essential body fat is substantially higher for women because of childbearing and hormonal functions. Storage body fat is the mass of additional accumulated fat. It does not mean that this type of body fat is unnecessary, though - part of it protects your abdomen and internal organs.

How to calculate body fat?

You can estimate your body composition with our body fat percentage calculator. Remember that no calculator, however complicated, can replace a visit in a doctor's office. You should treat this result as a rough estimate; it can only tell you if your body fat percentage is drastically too high, but there's no reason to panic if the result differ slightly from the recommended value.

To calculate the body fat percentage, you need to gather the following data:

  • Your age & gender

  • Weight: simply weigh yourself. You will get the most accurate result weighing yourself in the morning, before breakfast, and without clothes on.

  • Height: stand straight, and measure the distance from the floor to the top of your head. Remember - no shoes!

Is my body fat percentage normal?

Once you calculated your body fat percentage, you should compare it with the recommended values. The list below comes from the American Council on Exercise and shows the average percentages in specified groups.

  • Essential fat: 10–13% (women), 2–5% (men)
  • Athletes: 14–20% (women), 6–13% (men)
  • Fitness: 21–24% (women), 14-17% (men)
  • Average: 25–31% (women), 18–24% (men)
  • Obese: 32%+ (women), 25%+ (men)

This data means that if your body fat percentage is lower than 31% for women and 24% for men, you are in the average range and you have nothing to worry about. Higher levels of body fat may be dangerous for you.

Why should I control my body fat?

You need some body fat to regulate the production of hormones. An excessive percentage of body fat, however, can cause multiple health problems, such as:

  • Heart diseases: Obesity and high levels of body fat can lead to high blood pressure and high levels of bad cholesterol, which are also risk factors for heart diseases. In extreme cases, they can lead to strokes, the third most common cause of death in the United States.

  • Male hormones problems: High body fat level in a woman's body can lead to an excessive production of male hormones, causing facial hair growth and acne.

  • Diabetes: High body fat can lead to type 2 diabetes. There's a strong correlation between diabetes and being overweight; people most at risk for developing type 2 diabetes are those who have a high body mass index (BMI) and a high body fat percentag

  • Pregnancy complications: Women with high body fat levels are more likely to give birth prematurely or have children with health problems, including obesity. They are also more likely to need a Cesarean delivery.

Basal Metabolic Rate

What is BMR?

Your basal metabolic rate (BMR) is equivalent to the amount of energy, in calories, that your body needs to function if it were to rest for 24 hours.

What does BMR mean?

BMR stands for basal metabolic rate. It is the minimum number of calories that your body needs for basal functions like breathing, digesting, and keeping the body temperature steady over a day.

What is a good BMR?

The average BMR is about 1409 kcal (5900 kJ) for a woman and about 1696 kcal (7100 kJ) for a man.

How do I increase my BMR?

To increase your BMR (basal metabolic rate), you can try:

  • Eating more protein in every meal.

  • Doing more HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts.

  • Increasing your daily activity – choose stairs over the elevator, walk more, switch to a standing desk.

  • Eating more spicy foods.

  • Doing more resistance workouts – muscles burn more calories than fat tissue.

How do I calculate BMR in pounds?

To calculate your basal metabolic rate in imperial units, use the equations:

  • For men: BMR 66.47 + (6.24 × weight in pounds) + (12.7 × height in inches) − (6.75 × age in years)

  • For women: BMR = 65.51 + (4.35 * weight in pounds) + (4.7 * height in inches) - (4.7 * age in years)

How do I use BMR to lose weight?

Counting your BMR can be a good starting point if you want to lose weight. First, it tells you how many calories your body needs to function properly, so you never want to eat less than that. Then, if you multiply it by your physical activity level (PAL), you know how many calories you actually burn each day. Subtracting a reasonable number of calories (e.g., 500 kcal/day) will let you lose weight gradually and steadily.

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