BMI vs Activity

Ok slightly confused on this whole BMI issue vs weight, vs actual activity. According to the BMI scale I am classed as obese. now I have lost 1st 6lbs in a year in slow time and without a diet based purely on increased activity. I am 172cm now weigh 15st and aged 50. I run times a week, total circa 10 miles, I ensure I do 12k to 15k steps a day, I play football on a Monday and football train on a Thursday, in essence I have max 2 rest days a week. So I know fat turns to muscle and weighs more, so have lost weight, exercise for approx 10 hours a week but BMI says I am obese, something is not stacking up here?


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11 Replies

  • You sound very fit! Have you triedasking a ddietician for advice? Or how about those scales in boots that scan your body and tell you how much is fat? Do you FEEL overweight?

  • Well done on being so active. however, fat does not turn to muscle. We burn fat and it is got rid of from the body. This may happen at the same time that we are building muscle because of increased exercise. 172cm and 15 stones sounds overweight to me and the type of exercise you've mentioned wouldn't build a huge muscle mass would it? To lose weight you have to be using more calories than you consume and it is possible to be fit and overweight and unhealthy (!) so I would also suggest getting access to a body fat analyser if you can and then also looking at what you are eating - not necessarily to lose weight if you are happy with the scales but for other health problems like diabetes.

  • i say ignore the BMI.... that is what my doctor & PT said to me anyway - Im 5ft 8" as well..... it's a number that is trying to fit everyone into an 'average'. We are all made differently and even healthy athletes weigh a lot more than what their BMI says ! You sound pretty healthy to me and very active and bet you are probably carrying a lot more muscle. keep doing what your doing x

  • BMI favours the tall! But seriously, don't stress the numbers. Take the BMI as motivation. I'm guessing you joined because you want to lose weight so take a look in the mirror, set yourself some targets, stay active and eat sensibly. Go for it.

  • No, BMI is prejudiced against the tall.

  • Hi, You might want to give this a go I'm not sure how accurate this is (although it claims to be). You need a tape measure to carry out the test.

    BMI is a person's weight in kilograms (kg) divided by his or her height in meters squared it's just a rough and ready measurement that's been in use since the 19th century. Plus the range is HUGE my 'healthy' BMI is given as almost 8st to almost 11st! I know at 11 stone I'm well chubby as my waist measurement is way over the 32 and a half inches suggested for a woman. (35 for a man).

  • Do your clothes feel looser? This may be an indicator of fat loss. You might consider taking other measurements:

  • Yes, agree BMI is only an average indicator, but a good insentive target! There is a "New BMI" calculator which takes your build into consideration. Another guide is that waist measurement shoul ideally be half your height or less. Lots of ideas on Google!

  • Get a set of scales that calculate body fat percentage. That is a far better indicator than BMI. You can get decent one for a tenner -

  • I agree, BMI is a blunt instrument and doesn't work as well for tall people. However, you can be fit and overweight or obese. I did a triathlon and ran a good 10k time (just under an hour) whilst just a few lbs short of being obese. That said, I could also do Zumba twice a week at quite a decent level whilst 8 1/2 months pregnant.

    Ultimately, I think it is better to be fit and overweight, then a healthy BMI, but very unfit. If I were you, I would take some measurements - a waist size above 37 inches, then you definitely want to continue trying to lose weight, as that puts you at higher risk of diabetes etc. If lower, then you are probably fine. A body fat monitor, as others have suggested, is also a good idea

    Also, I hear a quote quite often, that really rings true with me: "you can't outrun a bad diet". I don't take this literally and still eat junk from time to time, but I think the principle is true that if you are eating too much, all the exercise in the world won't stop weight gain. An example of this is my partner, who gained weight whilst training for a marathon (which he then ran in under 4 hours!). He was eating a lot of pasta and trying to fuel his training, which he managed very successfully, but he must not have gotten the balance quite right and put on a bit of weight.

    Sorry for the essay, hope this helps a bit. I'm in a very similar situation - I run a few times a week, go to Zumba, swim and try and hit 10,000 steps. My weight is still pretty high and coming off slowly, but I think its important to fuel the exercise, so I'm okay with the slow losses.

  • Indulgence in physical activity is great for your body, but maybe you are missing out on a balanced diet.

    BMI is a fairly accurate measure of ht/weight proportions and associated risks, and it is not skewed or biased towards Tall or Short People.

    Fat does not convert to muscle. Fat buildup/burn is a separate process while muscle buildup is a separate process.

    There another measure of Height/Waist ratio.. you could check that... As per your height the waist should be half... in your case waist should be about 34 inches.

    Also you can get your body tests done for Sugar/Cholesterol/Blood Pressure etc since you are touching 50.

    As per your height your weight needs to be max about 75, I think 95 is bit too high even if you are an athlete. Excess weight puts you at risk. Imagine your knees have to support 20 gs extra every-time you stand.

    BMI Scales or any ratios is not a judgement, it is just a suggestion. :)

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