How to calculate BMI, set a weight loss goal and monitor progress.

How to calculate BMI and what the BMI index is it?

BMI, or Body Mass Index, is a way to measure how much body fat you're carrying in relation to your height. It's a way of determining whether you're within a healthy weight range or not.

It's not a difficult calculation, and it's a good place to start in setting a goal weight.

How to calculate BMI: firstly know your height in metres, and your weight in kilograms, then divide your weight by your height squared.

BMI = weight (kilograms) divided by height (in metres) squared.

So, for example, I weigh 60 kilograms, and my height is 1.62 metres, so my BMI is 62 divided by 2.62 = 23.6

Now that you know how to calculate BMI, what does it mean?

A Body Mass Index of between 19 and 24 is considered to be a healthy range. While between 25 and 29 is considered overweight and over 30 is where obesity officially begins.

As with all measurement systems they're not exact, if you have a lot of muscle, or you're under 18 or elderly, these won't apply to you.

For the rest of us they're a good general indicator of whether we're carrying around too much excess baggage. If you're BMI is 18 or under, you are underweight...and that isn't healthy and I'd hazard a guess doesn't feel good either.

If you're BMI is over 30...well I knowthat doesn't feel or look good, my BMI 9 years ago was 35!!

Use a BMI chart to motivate you.

Now that you know how to calculate BMI, here's a great way to see how you're losing weight journey and maintenance is going.

Draw up a chart. across the bottom write in your current weight, then in 1 kilogram or 2 kilogram lots, reduce the numbers from left to right till you get to your target weight.

On the vertical side of the chart, write your current Body Mass Index at the top and go down the chart till you get to the BMI number that you're target weight would be.

Now every 3 or 4 weeks mark your chart accordingly. As you go along join the dots, so you'll have a line graph of your progress. The great thing about this is that you'll instantly have a visual representation of what's happening.

If you monitor your progress on a BMI chart like this, even if you forget and go back and find your chart goes up a little bit, you'll instantly see how much better off you still are than when you started.

And you'll also be motivated to pay a little more attention to what you're eating and doing, and see the line drop down again. Life is full of ups and downs, and so is maintaining a healthy weight and lifestyle.

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