I'm so glad someone took the time to write an article like this. For too long we've heard that BMI is the way to go for measuring your weight, health and disease risk. BMI, however, doesn't take critical measurements into account. The weight of your body is made up of bone mass, muscle mass, fat percentage and water percentage. That will be completely different for every person, and much of one's natural body composition is genetic in nature. Just because someone's BMI is 32 doesn't necessarily mean they're super unhealthy.
For example, a couple of weeks ago I lost a bit of body fat but gained a bit of muscle. That's a GOOD thing, an indication that I'm moving in the right direction. However, my BMI went up. To a traditional doctor, that would be a bad thing. Never mind that the loss was fat and the gain was muscle. They just see the BMI getting higher and want to instill fear in you.
I stopped paying attention to BMI a while ago, and I wish health professionals would as well. Instead, I bit the bullet and invested in a body composition scale. It was expensive, but worth it. At least now I have a way at home to measure more than just my total weight and BMI. It may or may not be as accurate as whatever the professionals use, but it's got my thinking and behavior going in the right direction and that's what's important. Now when I weigh in, I'm not so naive. If I've lost weight, I'm more concerned about seeing WHY. Was it fat I lost, or muscle? If it was muscle, I evaluate my eating and activity level over the past week to see what may have caused the loss. I usually notice a drop in muscle mass when I have a few "bad" days and eat a bit more junk food, or don't get enough sleep. These are all good things to know and to be able to evaluate for better results, rather than just looking at an unexplained number on a scale and assuming I'm doing good because I'm losing weight.
- 1/13/2014 1:58:59 PM