The body mass index (BMI) is the relationship between body weight and height. A formula has been developed to make the calculation quick and simple and is a useful guide for people working in the fitness and weight loss areas. Some professionals agree that it is not an accurate method, because it fails to take into consideration elements such as body structure, age and genetic factors. Men have a lower percentage of body fat compared to women; as muscle weighs heavier than fat, muscular people will show a higher BMI than someone who has less muscle development.
Understanding body fat percentages.
When considering whether a person is obese, it is helpful to know what percentage of their weight is fat. When the body fat percentage is higher than average, it means that steps need to be taken to reduce weight by eliminating some of this fat. The main methods used to effectively achieve this will be good diet and nutrition combined with suitable exercise.
Measuring body fat
3 methods will be discussed here.
• Hydrostatic weighing: this is also known as underwater weighing and is the most accurate of all methods. It has to be carried out by a professional and involves the body being completely submerged in water.
• Body fat calipers: calipers are a hand-held device with a scissor-like action. A pinch of skin and flesh is taken in the calipers and a measurement taken. This is repeated in several different places on the body and results recorded. A formula is then used to calculate the fat percentage. This is the most common method used.
• Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA): uses a device that sends a slight electrical impulse into the body which can measure the amount of fatty tissue. It is completely safe and painless, and surprisingly accurate.
How does this help me?
Overcoming obesity is a challenging experience, but it is necessary to preserve good health and longevity. Constant support and encouragement is necessary and a degree of self motivation will be needed to stick to the measures that will be put in place in order to achieve weight loss results.
When body fat measurements have been taken, there is a record that can be used as a comparison for future measurements. This will show the progress that has been made and will give a psychological boost to know that the effort to lose weight is yielding results. Likewise, BMI calculations will show an improvement as body fat is lost due to the weight loss program put into place.
Another good way to measure results is to make a weight chart. Fill in the first day you were weighed, your BMI and your weight, and do this after every weigh-in. You can see how you are progressing and how much weight is being lost.
BMI and body fat measurements are tools used by healthcare professionals to assess clients in the weight loss industry. They provide a guide to help to understand how they can help the client to lose weight. Weight loss will rely on increasing movement and controlling eating and drinking habits.