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How to Calculate BMI: Are You Overweight?

Updated on September 12, 2017
Alison Graham profile image

Alison is a freelance writer on health, nutrition, skincare and pets, especially cats and dogs.

Calculating BMI

If you are wondering "how do I calculate my BMI" (Body Mass Index) it is pretty simple to do and can be a useful tool to find out whether you are underweight, are at your ideal weight, or are overweight. However, it is not so accurate if you are very muscular or athletic because muscle weighs more than fat. This means that when you do the BMI calculation, it can push you into a higher BMI category even though you may have a perfectly healthy level of body fat. For obvious reasons, it is not accurate for women who are pregnant either. It is easy to calculate your BMI manually or online using a free calculation tool and once you have the information you can decide whether you want, or need, to take steps to adjust your weight.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

How do I calculate my BMI?

Calculate your BMI manually yourself

You need to know two things before you start –

1. Your height in metres

2. Your weight in kilograms

Calculate your BMI

Step 1. Take your height in metres and multiply it by itself (so for example, if your height is 1.6 metres, you do the calculation 1.6 x 1.6 = 2.56

Step 2. Divide your weight in kilograms by the answer to step 1 (i.e. by your height in metres squared). So, for example, if your weight is 67 kilograms, do the calculation 67 divided by 2.56 = 26.17

Your BMI or Body Mass Index is the result you have calculated in step 2.

You would be classified as:-

Underweight if your BMI result came out at 18.4 or below

Normal Weight if your BMI result came out at between 18.5 and 24.9

Over Weight if your BMI result came out at between 25 and 30

Obese if your BMI came out at over 30

Severely or Clinically Obese if your BMI came out at over 40

Use an online calculation tool to calculate your BMI for you

Go to the NHS website where they provide a helpful calculator for female and male adults and children so you can check the whole family! Use the link below

Smoothies for Weight Loss
Smoothies for Weight Loss

If You Need To Lose A Little Weight ...

If you have decided that you need to lose some weight as a result of checking out your BMI, there are lots of diet plans online that can help you. It is very important that you ensure that you get the right balance of good quality nutrients, vitamins, minerals, and fiber in your diet - especially when trying to lose weight.

Smoothies are an excellent tool in helping to lose weight, healthy smoothies for weight loss and meal replacement smoothies are easy to make at home in your smoothie maker. Both these links go back to my site Best Buy Smoothie Maker which is designed, not only as a guide to choosing and using a smoothie maker but also includes delicious recipes and ideas for healthy fruit and vegetable smoothies that are easy, quick and inexpensive to make at home.

What other methods can I use to check if I am a healthy weight?

For many reasons, including those mentioned earlier, BMI alone is not a good way of telling whether you are at risk of obesity, cardiovascular disease or other problems associated with being overweight such as high blood pressure, increased risk of stroke, diabetes, sleep apnoea and even depression.

Your waist circumference may be a much more accurate way of measuring whether you are likely to suffer health problems in the future because, it seems, that what matters most is where you carry your excess weight.

Women will be familiar with the terms ‘apple shape’ and ‘pear shape’ used as descriptions of body shape. Apple shape people, store fat around their midriff and are far more likely to go on to develop heart disease or diabetes than those of a similar height and weight who are a Pear shape.

The guidelines are that if you have waist measurement of more than 80cm (32in) for women and 94cm (37in) for men, this may indicate an increased risk. If your waist measurement is more than 88cm (35in) for women and 102cm (40in) for men, this may be a cause for concern and something you should discuss with your Doctor.

Waist-hip ratio

An even better measurement of risk may be the ratio of your waist circumference to your hip circumference. To calculate this, divide your waist measurement by your hips measurement. For example, if your waist measurement is 70 cm and your hips measurement is 100 cm, your waist-hip ratio will be 70 divided by 100 = 0.7

A ratio of more than 1.0 for a man (which would mean that your waist is bigger than your hips) or 0.8 for a woman is the level at which you need to take action to reduce your weight.


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  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 5 years ago from UK

    Thanks Ambr, that is another good free tool - however if anyone is looking for a tool to check the whole family's BMI (including the children), I still recommend the NHS tool mentioned in my hub.

  • Ambr Sina profile image

    Ambr Sina 5 years ago from Chandigarh, India

    calculate your BMI from and check if you are over weight or under weight.

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

    Thanks Henry, yes it is really simple to do a BMI test but it should be remembered that this is not necessarily the best way to tell if you are carrying too much fat.

  • profile image

    Henry 7 years ago

    Taking an BMI test is really simple and I think a lot of people would be surprised of the results they get.

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

    Thanks Catherine.

  • catherine74 profile image

    catherine74 7 years ago from London

    Nice hub. Practical and simple ways to measure your BMI. Thank you.

  • Alison Graham profile image

    Alison Graham 7 years ago from UK

    Thanks for your kind comments Marie and the welcome to HubPages, it is a great and very supportive community - I love writing here!

  • MPG Narratives profile image

    Marie Giunta 7 years ago from Sydney, Australia

    Welcome to hubpages, you have an interesting range of topics. Looking forward to reading more. I've written about BMI as well and you're right, there's more to weight loss than just BMI. Cheers Marie.