A person’s BMI, or Body Mass Index, is used to determine what percentage of an average person’s body weight is muscle and what percentage is fat. In the majority of cases, this is an accurate calculation. It is used to help a person reach an ideal weight if they are embarking on a weight loss program. Men and women will have different percentages of fat, according to their natural physical makeup. Women tend to carry more fat and will have a somewhat higher BMI. There are times when a person’s BMI can be misleading, however.
How Important Is Body Mass Index?
During weight loss, a person’s BMI helps determine how much fat needs to be lost to reach a healthy body weight. The goal is to lose only body fat and not muscle tissue, which can happen if a person loses too much weight, too quickly and the body begins to burn muscle for fuel. While knowing a person’s BMI is important to help establish an effective weight loss program, it is not the only tool that should be used. A person’s BMI is a good starting point, but there are many other factors that can be used as well. Working with a qualified weight loss physician will help to determine exactly how much fat a person carries and the best way to lose it and keep it off.
Muscle Vs. Fat
Individuals who lead an active life and already carry an abundance of muscle tissue will often have a high BMI. This can be extremely misleading. The problem is that muscle weighs more than fat, so the majority of a person’s weight is from their muscle. The numbers from the BMI index make it a loss as if the person is overweight by their percentage of body fat. When using a BMI index it is important to consider how much muscle a person has and take that into consideration before moving forward. Having a doctor’s help is extremely beneficial and will help to prevent muscle loss.
BMI Isn’t The Only Factor
A person’s BMI isn’t the only factor when determining an ideal weight. Age, gender, height and overall physical condition will all play a role in creating an effective weight loss or weight management plan. As a weight loss tool, a BMI can guide a person through the process and motivate them to move forward. A doctor can determine your fat to weight ratio by using the BMI index and other tools to give you a more accurate view of your body’s physical makeup.