Monday, February 24, 2014


Healthy Weight - it's not a diet, it's a lifestyle! 

In recent times, with the world becoming more health and fitness conscious, every person desires to look fit, attributing to good health. The question that is predominant in every persons mind is if their weight is in proportion to their height. To determine this, several factors ought to be taken into consideration such as the height, bone density and muscle fat ratio of the person. Nevertheless, the best way to check your ideal weight and height to weight ratio, is by calculating BMI, known as body mass index.


BMI or Body Mass Index is a tool to calculate body fat based on a person’s height. It is the best way to check ideal weight for height.Body Mass Index (BMI) is a number calculated from a person's weight and height. BMI provides a reliable indicator of body fatness for most people and is used to screen for weight categories that may lead to health problems.

BMI and Your Health

People with very low or very high BMIs tend to have the greatest health risks. Even so, BMI is only one factor in your overall health. For example, if your BMI falls into the normal weight category, you will still have a higher risk of health problems if you:

Smoke cigarettes
Do not participate in regular physical activity
Eat lots of nutrient-poor foods with added fat and sugar.

If your BMI is in the overweight category, you will have a lower overall health risk if you:

Get regular physical activity. Have blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol levels that are within normal limits.This means BMI is one aspect of your health to discuss with your care provider. Together, you can decide if other assessments need to be done and whether lifestyle changes such as eating smarter and moving more will improve your health.


The simplest way to calculate BMI is to divide weight in kilograms by height in metres squared. In order to convert the measurements of height, normally calculated in centimetres to metres, divide height in centimetres by hundred.

For example if a person weighing 68 kilograms and 165 centimetres tall then the BMI is calculated as height 165 centimetres converted to 1.65 m, therefore the weight 68/÷ (1.65)2 works to 24.98.

BMI Measurements in Children and Teens

While BMI calculations for children and teens use the same formula as adults, criteria used to define obesity and overweight are different for young people because of factors like body fat differences between boys and girls and variations in body fat at different ages.


A standard BMI limit for adults is from 18.5 to 24.9.


An indication of lean body mass could denote a depleted weight. This can turn down the body’s immune system that may lead to a number of diseases such as anaemia, osteoporosis and amenorrhoea. Besides, this could also be an indicator of some underlying health issues or a diet devoid of calories. Therefore, it would be wise to seek the counsel of a medical practitioner and follow a wholesome nutritious diet plan.


This range, considered overweight carries a potential risk of weight related problems. Hence, it would be wise for people belonging to this group to consult a general medical practitioner, followed by a strict exercise regime combined with a low calorie diet, to avoid piling up those extra kilos.


This is a range considered obese with chances of developing Diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Weight loss can help avoid risks of these diseases and help maintain healthy triglycerides and blood sugar levels.


OverweightThis range requires healthy lifestyle changes, as it denotes a body that is unfit and in poor shape. This could lead to life threatening diseases such as Diabetes, heart disease, High LDL cholesterol levels, Hypertension, stroke, renal disease, gall bladder disease and certain types of cancer.

However, though BMI gives an indication of the individuals’ weight in proportion to the height, there is a significant drawback, as it does not acknowledge muscle weight that is more than fat. This is especially so in case of athletes and heavy weights, whose BMI accuracy is often questioned, for despite possessing healthy amounts of fat, their BMI indicates an obese level. Likewise, BMI cannot be calculated precisely during times of nursing and pregnancy. In older and a few others, BMI may not be correct due to loss of muscle mass.


Ideal Waist Size
An ideal waist size for a male 6’ foot tall ought to be 36 inches and for a female of height 5’ 4” the perfect size being less than 32 inches. Maintaining a waist size that is less than half of the height, tend to increase life span in a person.

Waist-Hip Ratio

According recent studies the best way to ensure ideal body weight is to measure the circumference of the waist after exhalation, to ascertain the exact measurement. The measuring tape ought to fit snugly at the slimmest part of the waist, and measuring the hip at the ample part. The waist circumference is then divided by the hip measurement to obtain the waist hip ratio.

If the circumference of the waist is 33 inches with the hip measuring 39 inches , then the reading for waist-hip ratio is 0.85.If the ratio is higher than 1.0, in a man and 0.8 in a woman it denotes that the man/woman is an apple shape. An apple shape is a sure indicator of numerous health hazards such as cardiovascular diseases and stroke. Although studies indicate this method to be more effective than BMI calculations, there is a major drawback with regard to this as a person’s percentage of total body fat or muscle fat quotient is not measured.

Waist-Height Ratio
The waist to height ratio is another method used as a tool for health analysis to predict potential risk for diseases such as stroke, hypertension, high triglycerides levels, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. This method is measured by dividing the waist circumference by an individual’s height.

What is Body Fat Percentage?
The weight of fat divided by the body weight determines the percentage of body fat, signifying storage as well as essential fats in the body.

What is essential fat?
Essential fats are the total fat required for continued existence ranging from 2% to 5% in males with females requiring a higher percentage of 10 to 13%

What is storage fat?
The accumulation of fat in the fatty adipose tissues with a healthy few protecting the internal organs in the chest and abdomen are storage fats.

Total body fat percentage.
A combination of both the essential and storage fats surmises the total body fat percentage. The American Council recommends the following percentage as ideal.

How to calculate percentage of body fat?
Although there are several means of calculating an individual’s body fat percentage with a close number, none of them can be depended upon for precise reading. There are various devices used in gymnasiums and Doctors clinics besides bioelectrical impedance analysis, dual energy X-ray, absorptiometry and near-infrared interactance to determine body fat percentage. There is also enhanced system with great accuracy, and more complication, to quantify body fat, such as MRIs and DEXA scans, which are not practical alternatives considering their affordability.

With these few simple tips, the ideal weight for height may be assessed without difficulty. Nevertheless remember every size and shape of a body is determined by genetic inheritance. Therefore, for a person with an expanding waistline, it would be advisable consuming a well-balanced diet comprising of low- calorie, high-fibre food with sufficient vitamins and minerals. This combined with a strict exercise regimen is more vital for a healthy mind and body.


  1. Calculate your BMI by using our Body mass index Calculator for adults & children. Calculated by dividing the weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters. BMI Calculator

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