You often hear about BMI, whether on websites, in magazines, or from health professionals. When someone is looking for information about you, about your health, the passage on the scale is mandatory and leads to the calculation of the Body Mass Index.
But what is it for? And what does it mean?
What is the BMI?
The BMI, or Body Mass Index, corresponds to the calculation of a person’s weight/height ratio. The calculation is simple: weight in kg divided by height squared. It allows you to know where you stand, to estimate your body fat. Based on this index, you can identify certain problems, or prevent the risk of disease. In terms of health, it is extremely important.
It is estimated that below 18, a person is underweight. Between 18 and 24, the person is within his or her healthy weight. Finally, if the BMI exceeds 25, it is overweight, then obesity above 30. People with a BMI higher than 25 are considered to be favorable to health risks such as diabetes, certain cancers, cardiovascular diseases, strokes, etc.
It is during the 19th century that this index was created, from the research of Adolphe Quetelet. The latter first gave his name to this index, which was called the Quetelet index. Even today, we still use it regularly to measure weight/height balance.
Is there an ideal BMI?
There is no such thing as an ideal BMI, in the sense that we can hear it (the same Body Mass Index for everyone).
Everyone is different, their sex, their bones, their build… Many considerations come into play. A man will not have the same body as a woman, not the same shapes and certainly not the same musculature. Saying that there is an ideal BMI is the same as saying that there is an ideal weight.
However a person who is an athlete and therefore has developed muscles will have a higher BMI than a non athletic person of the same size. However, neither would be overweight.
Similarly, a man and a woman of the same height will not have the same index, and this is due to their bones, their genes as well, which may plays a lot.
The ideal BMI would correspond, finally, to the one in which you feel good and where you are in good health. It all depends on each person. This is why several other methods for finding the ideal weight have been developed, which you can see here. We can, therefore, conclude that everyone has their ideal.
How to have an ideal BMI?
An ideal BMI is a person of normal weight and optimal health. Two criteria are intrinsically linked to this good body mass index: nutrition and physical activity.
Having a healthy lifestyle, opting for a healthy and balanced diet, is the best way to make sure you stay in the right BMI. To do this, it can become interesting to know your metabolism. Everyone has a different metabolism, just as there is a metabolic difference between men and women. This corresponds to the speed at which the body works: the faster it works, the more calories, and therefore fat, it burns.
By taking note of this, you will know how many calories you can consume without risking weight gain. In this way, you will be able to prepare your meals by choosing healthy foods that play an important role in satiety.
Practicing physical activity several times a week, according to your preferences and needs, will also help you maintain your ideal BMI, but also excellent health. The healthy lifestyle factor is very important in this index.