The majority of people involved in weight management programs tend to lay too much stress on BMI compared to body fat percentage. In reality, BMI numbers are too simple to provide exact the health levels of a person. BMI is obtained by studying the data of numerous people, but these levels don’t provide any information regarding the composition of the human body. This reading alone cannot provide the exact information regarding the fat percentage of your weight or whether your body is obese. Even if you have extra muscle mass then according to BMI, you can be overweight.
On the other hand, body fat percentages do not have much support in the form of research and you cannot predict the risk levels of a person based solely upon his or her body fat percentage. In order to monitor your weight management, it’s recommended that you should use both parameters to understand the health levels of your body.
Body Fat Percentage
It’s recommended by dieticians that, in addition to regular weighing to monitor your fitness levels, you should also monitor your fat percentage in order to reduce the risk of developing serious health problems in the future. By monitoring your body fat levels, you can ensure that you’re losing unnecessary fat rather than important muscle mass of your body. The majority of the fat scanners available on the market use Bioelectric Impedance Analysis, which involves sending a low-level, safe electrical signal through the body and then measuring the resistance faced by the signal while it travels through fat.
The Importance of Body Fat percentage
Are body fat monitors accurate? It’s almost impossible to say as the data simple isn’t there. As body fat monitors come in different forms so, too do they provide different levels of accuracy.
You can get monitors as simple handheld devices or as a standing platform for weighing. You can also buy them as a combination of both, with a platform and a handheld device. They all allow you to keep an eye on your body fat percentage and, thus, to make sure that your exercise and diets regimes are helping you to get rid of body fat rather than muscle mass. This should be shown by the level of your body fat coming down, rather than just your weight.
Accuracy of Body fat Scanners
Unfortunately, body fat scanners are not one hundred percent accurate. It’s a rather inexact science, after all, and their readings, being taken by the resistance an electrical signal faces as it passes through your body, can be affected by things such as hydration and temperature. Even weighing yourself in different rooms at different times of the day will affect results.
Therefore, it’s suggested that you weigh yourself either first thing in the morning or a few hours after meals on a regular schedule and in the same room that you always use.
Body Mass Index
Body Mass Index plays an important role in the overall health and development of human body. This index works as a tool to determine whether a person has an appropriate weight to height ratio. BMI is used as weight-to-height comparison in different fields related to medical sciences, health and fitness. By using this index, a person can be classified as underweight, normal, overweight or obese.
Even though it’s a very useful tool, it should be used along with other body parameters in order to accurately classify the weight limit for a person. BMI can be simply calculated by dividing weight in kilograms with height in meters square. There are many online sites which provide simple BMI calculators to provide your exact BMI status. You just have to provide your height and weight in the metric system and your BMI is automatically calculated. You can compare this result with the given BMI chart to understand your current health levels.
How to Interpret BMI
Apart from calculating your BMI online, you can also opt for bathroom weighing scales with a BMI feature. Such instruments provide the user with current weight reading along with a BMI percentage. It doesn’t make a difference whether you calculate BMI by using a calculator or an expensive BMI monitor; the only thing which matters is that you’re aware of your physical condition and can correlate this data with the chart to understand if you’re overweight, underweight or obese. As per data provided by World Health Organization, a person with BMI of 25.0 to 29.9 can be classified as obese. If your BMI status is greater than 30 then it’s a case of obesity. For a normal person, BMI ranges from 19.5 to 24.9 and if your BMI is below 18.5 then you can be classified as underweight.
The Importance of BMI
If your BMI is below 18.5 then, most probably, you’re malnourished or your body may not be able to absorb the required nutrients from your diet. The majority of underweight people suffer from deficiency diseases which have a negative impact on their health, resulting in an underweight body. In such a condition, proper dietary care is required to nurse the underweight person to normal health.
Contrary to this situation, if your BMI is more than 30 and you’re suffering from obesity then you must be aware of the fact that you’re more prone to cardiovascular disease as well as diseases related with the endocrine system. If such a situation arises, then you should consult your physician so that he can refer you to a dietitian for proper counseling.
Limitations of BMI
The most common limitation with BMI is that it doesn’t take into consideration the fat percentage of the human body. As muscles are heavier than fat, even a healthy muscular man or women can be classified as overweight and even obese. On the other hand, BMI stats also place an individual in the healthy category if he or she is going through a serious weight loss problem due to disease. It’s scientifically proven that even when a person is not overweight, he or she still can have a huge accumulation of fat in their body. The majority of internal fat is concentrated around organs like the heart, liver and pancreas, and visceral fat accumulates between your intestines and kidneys.
After going through the limitations and benefits related to both BMI and body fat percentage, it’s quite clear that both of these techniques are an essential part of any weight management program. By using these readings, you can clearly understand the health levels of your body and make any necessary changes in your diet and exercise regime. If you monitor both of these parameters from time to time then you can help yourself to keep working on your body and to gain the required motivation to carry on your good work!