So, you've been to the docs, they've measured your weight and your height.
Then, BAM! They tell you..... Mr Smith, according to the BMI scale you are obese!
- You spend the next 6 months, starving. Desperately trying to get rid of this STUPID LABEL.
- You drop your calorie intake to 1200, per day for 6 months and hit the gym!
- You're exhausted, life is no longer enjoyable and you are irritable (with headaches to boot!)
Cardio and starvation will work, RIGHT?
Wrong (Well, at least it's not a long term solution!)
For many years the NHS and other health care professionals have used BMI as a single measure of health......
This is too simple, because your total weight is more than that, contained within your total body weight is a number of other measures, which make up your composition:
- Body fat percentage (visceral and subcutaneous fat)
- Bone mass/ weight
- Intracellular and extracellular hydration
- Muscle weight/ percentage
According to the national centre of biotechnology information “Caution should be observed when using the BMI as a measure for interpreting overweight and obesity as body composition can be highly variable yet have the same BMI. Therefore, BMI is not a reliable measurement of body composition in individuals particularly in older and younger people.”
More here: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15615272
So what should I concentrate on?
In order to be truly healthy I recommend that you shift your focus away from your weight and the DREADED SCALES and focus your workouts on a combination of cardio vascular exercise such as fast walking or running (anything that increases heart rate) and strength exercises. Strength exercises could be: working with a resistance band, resistance machines in the gym or hand/ free weights (other strength exercises exist!).
Having strength and health will allow you to live a fulfilling, happy life, activities of daily life are much easier when we have a strong body and muscles (queue ARNIE!).
If you have any questions or would like to talk to me about how you can improve your own strength and lifestyle, then why not get in touch? Call me on 01273 258212
Andy Payne is a Personal Trainer, based near Brighton in East Sussex, and founder of Three Pillars of Fitness, Exercise : Diet : Mind. You can follow him on Facebook and twitter