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BMI is wrong? I think not realistic.



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REVENWYN
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6/4/12 11:49 P

I'm 5'4", 190, and have 22% body fat (verified by hydrostatic weighing) so I KNOW it's complete crock. AND I'm a woman, so theoretically this shouldn't even be possible. I'm not sure waist to hip ratio is the way to go either. I have no hips, but I also have a completely toned waistline.



CRAZYCATLADY40
Posts: 137
4/26/12 10:44 A

My biased opinion, I think BMI is full of you know what.

It does not take into account your lean muscle mass or your body type. Especially for women more than men.

I think hip to waist ratio is a better indicator of health.



TINYCURLS
Posts: 401
4/26/12 9:45 A

The BMI is definitely not always correct. It doesn't take in to consideration a lot factors.



-POOKIE-
Posts: 11,848
4/26/12 9:29 A

Just a side note...

The creator of the BMI scale made it for the military.

He said it shouldn't be used for the general population. Its not good enough.

But yeah, it was jumped on and used widely. So, it often doesn't "fit" people outside the very standard of avarage.



KYLAR_STERN
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4/26/12 9:27 A

Yep, BMI can't be relied upon but it just gives a height to weight ratio. I'm shorter, 5'8" and when I started I was 210 pounds. 164 was the absolute upper range of healthy range for me and I thought it was tiny. I bench maxed 305 so I thought there was never a way I would be that light and I thought 180 would be good for me. Now I'm down to 172 and I figure I need to lose another 10 pounds still so apparently my initially estimate was off. I'm still a big strong guy, but there are definitely places fat can still come off easily. I'll probably try to lose 15 more and then put 5 pounds back on once I increase my eating again. Like you said, cross that bridge when you get there, and congrats on losing 100 lbs. Amazing



THERECGUY
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4/26/12 9:14 A

Thank you very much!! Yes, I'll cross that bridge when I get to it.. 225 then 200 and then 190. Looking ahead will cause me to lose focus so, I will try and focus on a meal at a time. I gave myself a year to lose 100lbs and I'm past that in 6 months. All I have done is stopped sugar and flour products gone to whole foods. No exercise yet just walking and some sports. I think Mat I will start strength training.

Thanks again!

Dan



DANNIELLEMARIE
Posts: 1,416
4/24/12 9:01 P

Oh that's a great point!

It's nearly impossible to assess your frame size when you're overweight because it's hidden. I always considered myself large framed because I'm tall and because I carried extra weight pretty evenly in my body so looked 'sturdy'. My wrists were quite thick back in the day. I could never buy a bracelet in a store.

But now I know I don't have a large frame. Now that I can actually see my frame, that is.



RADIOTIKSPARK1
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4/24/12 8:02 P

Anarie, you rule! I always seem to agree with you.

I am just scratching my head at how clear everyone here is on how much any particular man should weigh. My boyfriend is 5'11 and weighs 145 pounds. Based on wrist and elbow measurement, he is "medium framed". Based on BMI, he is smack in the middle of healthy. He looks *AMAZING*, he is also one of the few people his age around who does looks so trim and healthy, which is a bit sad. American/Canadian/UK society is much more accepting of slightly overweight men than it is slightly overweight women. I was reading recently how men, especially, have difficulty viewing themselves as overweight. They rank themselves as being in the healthy range when they are not far more often than women.

You ARE doing great, you've lost weight, and you are still going. If you stick with this, I bet you will find that you might be totally capable of being within the (yes admittedly problematic) healthy BMI range. Don't look for an excuse to stop your diet early. Keep going, keep evaluating your body, keep seeing how you feel, and follow Anarie's advice

One thing to question. You say you are large framed...do you *know* that you are? There is a lot of controversy over how that is measured or if it actually means anything. People often imagine that they are large framed when they are not. I sure did. Turns out I am actually "small framed" when my wrists or elbows are measured! I was just overweight and kidding myself. My wrists are downright dainty! This, this is why you have your percentage body fat measured. "Frame" is just as random or more random than BMI.


Edited by: RADIOTIKSPARK1 at: 4/24/2012 (20:03)


DANNIELLEMARIE
Posts: 1,416
4/24/12 4:36 P

I totally agree with Anarie.

I first set my goal weight at 180 (I'm 5'10") thinking that any lower wouldn't be possible. When I reached 180 I knew I wasn't done. I looked fine but still had some pudge. I then set a new goal of 145.

Oddly enough I was happy with 145 but my healthy eating habits didn't support it. I ended up losing an extra 15lbs I didn't even realize I had.

Our perspective is a bit skewed at times. It really is easier to keep focused on those new habits and take a 'wait and see' approach with final goal weights, BMI, and such.



ANARIE
Posts: 12,406
4/24/12 12:41 P

Honestly, I think this is a bridge you should ignore until you get a lot closer to crossing it. In most cases I believe in planning ahead and having a clear vision of the future, but not with the minutiae of weight loss goals and outcomes. When we're obese, we ALL start out thinking that the BMI standards are utterly absurd and ridiculous. "Hah! My BONES weigh more than THAT!!! A 25 can't be healthy for anybody." When we've lost some and we're overweight but not obese, we start thinking, "Mmm, yeah, I can sort of see how SOME people might be okay at that weight. It's not right for me, of course, but I could probably get to that weight and not die. I'd look like I was going to, though." And then all of a sudden we're there, we cross that threshold into the "healthy" category, and we say, "Hey! Wow! I actually do feel better! Maybe this wasn't so crazy after all."

But that's a long way off for you still. At 250, you've made fabulous progress and lowered your health risks tremendously, but you know that you're still not as healthy as you could be. This whole question of when to stop is something you should revisit when you're in the neighborhood, say around 200. If you start worrying about it now, you run the risk of talking yourself out of getting rid of the 50 pounds you know are excess, just because you don't think you should lose the whole 65. Don't let the perfect become the enemy of the good, as they say.

But there's no health advantage to being lower in the "healthy" range (except possibly for certain people of Asian descent and some older women.) You're absolutely right that a BMI of 21 probably isn't right for you. And the lower end of the range is the lowest safe weight for *anyone* at that height. That's the weight for 18-year-old Chinese ballerinas, not for full-grown men.

Once you get down to the 190s, if you find it hard to go the rest of the way, THAT'S the time to start looking at hydrostatic weighing and so on. There's some pretty good reason to believe that it's probably okay for formerly obese people to weigh a tiny bit more; we spent years basically doing strength training every time we stood up out of a chair. We tend to have greater bone mass and density. There are no proven health risks of a BMI below 27, so it might be reasonable to think about stopping at that point if you want to.

Of course, another important thing to keep in mind is that weight loss is not amputation. It's completely reversible. If you get to 173 and you're too thin, you can be back up to 185 in a matter of weeks.

So, cross that bridge when you come to it, or at least when you can see it clearly without binoculars.



SILVERMOONFAIRY
Posts: 259
4/24/12 12:21 P

BMI is being viewed with increasing skepticism by some in the medical community, as well. Doing a quick google search turns up lots of interesting things.

I agree.. I'm 5' 7" and the low end of BMI for me is like 130 or something.. my old boss was my height, weighed 155, and was RAIL thin.. her doctor was encouraging her to gain a little weight. I would look deathly if I weighed 130 pounds. Just skin and bones.



THERECGUY
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4/24/12 11:51 A

Good stuff thanks!!



JUSTDOIT011
Posts: 1,378
4/24/12 11:34 A

Another method (just remembered this!) would be to, for men, to add up 106 lbs for 5 feet, and 6 lbs for every inch above 5 feet, and then add or subtract 10% for small or large frames. So a 5'10" male would be 106 + 10(6) = 166 lbs for a medium frame, or 149.4 lbs for a small frame, or 182.6 lbs for a large frame. So since you say you're a large frame, you might aim for a number closer to 182.6 rather than 166 lbs.



DRAGONCHILDE
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4/24/12 11:30 A

BMI does nothing but compare your scale weight with your height; it can't possible include the other factors you need to determine your health! It doesn't tell you your fitness level, your endurance, your body fat percentage, your muscle strength, or anything else but how your weight relates to your height.

It's a good general guideline for people who aren't terribly active, but once you start getting your fitness level up, it can be pretty inaccurate! I mean, there are body builders with 0% body fat who are technically obese because of their BMI!

I'm like you (although female) in that I do not look good at a "healthy" BMI... I look and feel much better with a higher weight with lots of muscle than I do skinny fat. Right now, I have better strength and endurance than a lot of women half my weight with a low BMI, because I'm HEALTHY! My goal is actually at the very top of the healthy BMI range for miy height.

Don't fret over your BMI. Set a healthy goal weight for YOU. Remember that as you get down to the last 10 or so lbs, your final weight will likely be determined by your body's needs, as weight is not a static number, and it's unlikely that you'll be able to stay a single number. :) Most of us fluctuate around 5-10 lbs, and that's healthy and fine!



JUSTDOIT011
Posts: 1,378
4/24/12 11:29 A

I'd encourage you to get a body composition test done to see how much lean body mass & fat mass you have. I've done the bod pod, which was easy...there's also underwater weighing which is very accurate. That way you can find your "ideal weight" by what fat % you want to have. For example, I am 5'7" and have 125 lbs lean body mass. So if I want to be 14% body fat, that's 125/.86 = 145 lbs. That's a BMI of 22.7. If I had 0% fat, and was just the 125 lbs lean body mass, that'd be a BMI of 19.6 or "healthy" yet 0% body fat is NOT healthy! So you can see BMI is not very accurate, but I think your best bet would be to figure out your lean body mass & go from there.

Edited by: JUSTDOIT011 at: 4/24/2012 (11:30)


SMERRIMAN7
Posts: 296
4/24/12 10:58 A

BMI is a guide - not an absolute.

I agree with you that 151 for 5'10" is too low. My Hubby is 5'9" and I don't think he should aim for less than about 170-175.

It really depends on the person. Look up before/after pictures for Les Brown. There are articles about him because he was an unlikely signed to Miami in NFL draft. He went thru an intensive 10-week training program to get ready for the draft. He added 25 pounds - went from 215 to 240 - and cut his body fat in the process. When you compare the pictures side by side - he looks much healthier/fit at 240. (He is taller than you, 6'3", but I think its a good example of how being at a 'low' weight does not always mean healthy.)

Edited by: SMERRIMAN7 at: 4/24/2012 (11:01)


TORIAMAE
Posts: 1,080
4/24/12 10:46 A

It seems like this is a pretty common question (at least ,the second time I've seen it in the last 25 minutes!)

You got a really good answer and I will be interested to hear what feedback you get.



THERECGUY
SparkPoints: (130)
Fitness Minutes: (50)
Posts: 5
4/24/12 9:26 A

Thank you appreciate the feed back. Yes, Hydrostatic weighing! I forgot about that in college.
I'm thinking 185-195 should be a good goal. I have lost 106.3lbs since the start of this get healthy program. People are actually saying at 250lbs I'm getting too thin. Hmm what will they say at 225-200- 185. I'll let you folks know~ Thanks again for the feed back. I hope not to skew this up.lol Thanks



NIRERIN
Posts: 11,855
4/24/12 8:34 A

here is the thing. bmi is an average. it does not include exercise or lifestyle factors. which means the bottom third of the range is where most people with small frames should be. the middle of the range should be full of medium sized frames and the really athletic small framed people. the top third of the range is where you'll find people with large frames and the medium framed very athletic. right above the range is where you'll find where people with large frames who are very athletic.
it's not saying that a large framed person should be at the bottom of the bmi range. that's what you're skewing. it's saying that something like 95 percent of the population will fit into those parameters and be healthy there. again, this is without exercise. if you workout a ton, you're going to carry more muscle and that means you're going to weigh more and be healthy doing so.
bmi is somewhat inaccurate, but it's an easy way to guesstimate where you are. because bodyfat is the gold standard, but it's really hard to get an accurate bodyfat reading. pretty much anything but a dunk tank and properly used calipers has a margin of error of something like 20%. so bmi stands in to say that yep, odds are that you're good. if you can get an accurate bodyfat reading, that's the way to go. but since it's kind of expensive to get an accurate one done, go by bmi. are you closeish to the top of the range? with a large frame being right around that 170, 180, 190 might be great for you.



THERECGUY
SparkPoints: (130)
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Posts: 5
4/24/12 8:10 A

Hello Folks,

Does anyone ever question the BMI or Ideal weight charts? So, I'm an educated man- college degree and all that life experience. Athlete in high school and college. This does not add up.

Here is my issue. The Mid range for Healthy BMI is 21.7 or in my case 151 pounds. I am 5'10 and a large frame There is no way on earth I should be weighing 151, nor the edge of the Healthy BMI scale of 24.9 or 173 pounds.

Oddly, 18.6 BMI was 140 pounds? Really for 5' 10 large framed male. I'm saying it does not add up.

Can someone explain this? What is the ideal Weight and BMI for an American Caucasian male, who is 5'10, large frame.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks Dan



 
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