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Why the BMI is a Bogus Measure to Lose Weight Healthy and Fast?

why bmi is misleading

It can be frustrating when you finally make up your mind to lose weight healthy and fast through proper food choices and exercise only to be met with antiquated formulas, such as the BMI and inefficient benchmarks such the a number on a scale, to gauge your progress. We have been conditioned for years to focus on numbers as measures of success. In school it was a grading percentage ranging from 0-100. For losing weight fast and healthy, it has been the number reflected on the scale or the results of your Body Mass Index calculation, or BMI.

The BMI as Mathematical Snake Oil

But as we all know, numbers often don’t tell the full story. The BMI has actually been referred to as “mathematical snake oil”. Just like snake oil, it’s not a one size fits all formula. In fact, some would argue it’s not an effective formula at all. And it’s even more frustrating for those that want to lose weight the healthy way.

Consider this: the initial calculations for the BMI measurement were produced over 200 years ago in order to help the Belgian government allocate resources. They wanted a simplistic way to measure how many of their general population were obese. While some mathematical equations can stand the test of time, such as the laws of gravity, the laws of obesity have evolved.

Why is the BMI Bogus?

In the same manner that a ton of cotton will take up more space than a ton of iron, the parts that make up your body – bone, muscle, and fat- all weigh in differently because of their varied densities.

Muscle weighs more than fat.

If you are strength training and building muscle, which is a healthy way to lose weight, then you could weigh more than a sedentary couch potato of the same height. Your doctor could actually determine you are “obese” based on your BMI calculation even though you are toned and fit with lean muscle.

So what’s the solution when you want to measure your progress and gauge your efforts to lose weight healthy and fast?

There are more accurate measurements available which can determine the amount of body fat you possess. The most accurate, yet most expensive, method is the water test where you are submerged in a tank of water for measurement. You can also have a caliper test which measures various sections of your body to determine your overall fat percentage. Both tests can better determine your percentage of muscle weight versus fat weight.

Take Away to Lose Weight Healthy and Fast

Don’t get hung up on the vagueness of the BMI. Don’t be defeated if the number on the scale doesn’t move in the direction you are hoping for. These are just numbers and you are more than a number.

The BMI is an average method to determine obesity in an average, sedentary population. This is not you either. Remember, you are the motivated person who wants to lose weight healthy and fast. You are the one that has educated yourself about healthy eating and an overall healthy lifestyle, right? By getting a more accurate reading or your body’s composition you will have a better chance of achieving your long term, lifetime fitness goals. Use the right measurements and stay motivated to lose weight!