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BMI formula – how to calculate the Body Mass Index

June 18, 2021
  • Nutrition
BMI formula – how to calculate the Body Mass Index

The Body Mass Index is a simple tool that quickly gives you an idea of your body weight in relation to your height.

All you have to do is enter your height, weight and gender in the BMI calculator or in the BMI formula and you will find out whether you are underweight, normal or overweight.

BMI calculator – quick and easy BMI calculation

Here you can calculate your BMI value in a very simple and quick way. All you need to do is enter your gender, weight and height and the calculator will work out your BMI.

BMI Formula – What does the BMI value say?

The BMI – Body Mass Index – is a good guideline for assessing your body weight in relation to your height. Using the BMI, you can quickly and easily check whether you are at a healthy weight.

How do you calculate BMI with a calculator?

It is calculated with the formula “body weight in kilograms divided by height in metres squared” (kg/m2). For example, for a woman who is 1.60 m tall and weighs 52 kg, the formula gives a BMI value of 20.3, which means that the woman is of normal weight.

Which BMI values are important?

The most important BMI values are 17.5 and 24 for women and 18.5 and 24 for men, as these mark the range of normal weight.

Weight classBMIBMI
womenmen
underweightunder 17,5under 18,5
normal weight17,5–2418,5–24
overweight,
preadiposity
25–2925–29
severely overweight,
obesity, adiposity
30–3530–35

What does the BMI and the individual weight categories mean?

BMI Formula – Underweight

Being underweight can have many causes:

  • Stress
  • a lot of sport
  • chronic illnesses – especially in the gastrointestinal tract and metabolic diseases
  • malnutrition
  • serious illnesses such as cancer or mental illnesses such as anorexia, etc.

At the latest when your BMI is below 16 (severe underweight), you should see a doctor and get help. In the short term, being underweight not only leads to listlessness, weakness, coldness or concentration problems, but in the long term it can have serious consequences for your health: Bone loss (osteoporosis), infertility or damage to internal organs.

Therefore, if you are underweight, always make sure you eat enough, starting with a good breakfast, to bring your weight back into the normal range.

BMI Formula – Normal Weight

Normal weight is the weight at which most people are healthy and at which there is little increased risk of disease or health problems.

If your BMI is between 17.5 for women/18.5 for men and 24, you don’t need to worry about losing or gaining weight, which is why it is often called “ideal” or “normal” weight.

If your weight is outside this range, you should make sure you eat a balanced, healthy diet and exercise in your daily life to bring your BMI into a normal range.

BMI Formula – Overweight

A BMI of over 25 (overweight) or over 30 (obesity) has been proven to increase the risk of health problems.

However, a high BMI does not always automatically mean you are overweight (e.g. if you are an athlete), as the BMI calculator does not take your body composition into account.

However, if you suspect that your fat mass is higher than your muscle mass, it is advisable to see a doctor to clarify your high weight and to reduce your weight by changing your eating habits and lifestyle.

Unaddressed overweight or obesity, just like underweight, can lead not only to minor complaints such as sluggishness or aching limbs, but also to serious health problems such as diabetes mellitus type 2, high blood pressure, arteriosclerosis (= hardening of the blood vessels) or even heart disease or heart attack.

When is the BMI formula not meaningful?

First of all: The BMI is only a guideline! The BMI does not always provide a reliable statement about your state of health, as factors such as body composition, age, lifestyle, etc. are not included in the calculation.

For whom is the BMI therefore less meaningful?

  • People who do a lot of weight training and/or have a high muscle mass: Muscle weighs more than fat, resulting in a higher weight and consequently a higher BMI value more quickly. However, this value does not mean overweight because of the body composition. In order to better assess your weight and health, it is advisable to have a body fat analysis (BIA measurement).
  • Extremely short or tall people
  • Children and adolescents: The BMI value table above is not suitable for people under 18 years of age, as their own guideline values apply to them.
  • People over 60: The older you get, the higher your BMI may be. This means that the normal weight value for older people increases up to BMI value 29.
  • BMI values are not the same for all population groups. For example, African-Americans have a higher normal BMI, Thais or Indonesians have a lower normal BMI than the western population.

Achieve an ideal BMI with a healthy breakfast

If your BMI is far from normal, first consider your lifestyle, body composition and how healthy you feel. Do you know your daily calorie needs?

Ein gesundes Frühstück wirkt sich positiv auf dein Gewicht und somit auch auf deinen BMI aus

If you still suspect that you are overweight or underweight, you should definitely take action. It is advisable to start the day with a healthy breakfast that will keep you well-fed until the next main meal.

Ideally, this breakfast should contain a lot of complex carbohydrates such as oatmeal, which will provide you with energy. Your healthy breakfast should also include proteins and fats that keep you satiated, such as nuts, avocado, seeds and dairy products.

Whether you want to gain weight, lose weight or maintain your weight, a healthy breakfast will help you on your way.

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