BMI IS BS!
So, What’s your goal?
That's one of the first questions I ask every client is, “What's your goal?”, 99% of the time I hear a version of either,
“I want to lose weight” or ”I want to gain weight”
The problem with having only a weight goal is, it’s not specific enough. Using a weight number as the sole goal of where you are and where you want to be, doesn’t make a lot of sense. There’s more to body weight than the number you see on your bathroom scale.
You’re not a copy!
If you’re here, you’re probably looking for the best diet, advice, tools, plans, and resources to help you reach your health and fitness goals right?... If you said no, then you might be as internet challenged as my 85+ years old Dad, and landed on the wrong page.
If you said yes, then I can help. As a Nutritionist and Nutrition Coach, I’ve worked with thousands of people. All my clients are different, shapes, sizes, heights, weights, ages, and fitness levels. Every one of my clients has different goals.
A lot of people come to me when they've tried other diet plans and failed to reach those goals. Often, what they were doing before, was the same diet plan their friend, spouse, or neighbor was doing.
The problem with following a diet, or nutrition plan made for someone else is, it's not made for your body. YOU are not like everyone else. You have different, and specific nutritional needs, based on your unique body.
No two bodies are exactly the same. Even identical twins don't have the same bodies or nutritional needs, as a recent study proves.
As quoted in Time Magazine:
"A Study on Twins Offers Proof That We All Need Personalized Diets” https://time.com/5600706/personalized-diets-study/
The same study quoted in, Medical News Today:
"Nutrition: Even identical twins respond differently to food"
We all need a different daily intake of food to fuel us to look, feel and perform at our best. When it comes to diet, don’t try to follow a plan made for everyone else. Find out what works the best for YOU and your specific body.
Get Specific… What Exactly is your goal?
You want a goal that will take you from where you are to where you want to be, but having a singular goal of a weight number isn’t enough. Your body’s total weight (the number on the scale) consists of several pieces and parts. Those parts of your body divide into two main parts, LEAN MUSCLE MASS and FAT MASS.
Body Fat Percentage
You need to know your body fat percentage (The percent of total body weight composed of body fat in proportion to lean mass, organs, tissues, and water.). You need to know how much of your weight is fat mass and how much is muscle mass. Your body fat percentage is one of the key measurements you can use to assess diet progress.
Other measurements include inches, hydration and biofeedback. Biofeedback tools should be custom-tailored to you. Biofeedback tools can track feelings, emotions, performance, sleep patterns, strength, endurance, mood, etc... Knowing and tracking results from many views gives a better picture of where you are.
Knowing how much your weight is, is the beginning. Breaking down weight into more specific numbers is much more effective. Knowing the percentage of muscle and fat, will give a more defined view of what’s going on inside your body.
Two people of the same height and weight can have completely different amounts of muscle and fat.
Are they the same?
Joe Willy One: 6 ft tall, 200 pounds and 30% body fat= 60#’s fat with 140#’s muscle
Billy Bob Two: 6 ft tall, 200 pounds and 15% body fat= 30#’s fat with 170#’s muscle
Big difference huh? Same height and weight, but COMPLETELY different bodies. So, does it make sense they would have the same diet and nutritional needs, based on their individual body?” NO! Of course not.
Just stating the obvious, Billy Bob Two has 30 pounds more muscle than Joe Willy One and muscle is made up of protein, so Billy Bob Two needs more protein in her diet (What, you never heard of a girl named Billy Bob?...) than Joe Willy One does.
Yes, there is more to it than different protein requirements. They both need a certain amount of carbs, fat, water, etc…but you get the point right?
You can and should gain and lose at the same time.
If weight loss is your goal, you should almost never want your loss to be muscle. Have you ever heard the term, muscle wasting? Loss of muscle is bad for many reasons. Losing muscle slows down your metabolism and decreases fat burning. Loss of muscle reduces strength and can weaken your immune system. The less muscle you have makes it more difficult to tone, tighten and define your body.
To make it simple, the more muscle mass you have, the more body fat you burn at a faster rate even while you sleep. "Putting on a little more muscle is like throwing another log on the fire. With more logs on your fire, you'll speed up the heat of the fire, increasing the temperature and core burn rate. More muscle=burns more fat!"
Or, If your goal is to gain weight, it should center on gaining muscle only and not excess blubbery fat. High levels of body fat are in direct correlation to poor health issues. Many health issues relating to higher body fat levels include; high blood pressure, heart attack, strokes, cancers, arthritis, diabetes, fatty liver, decreased mobility, etc... With high amounts of body fat, you can also have higher cortisol levels, stress, and depression. Excess fat does nothing good for your body, at all.
I can promise you, as a Nutritionist with over 16+ years of experience, I've never heard anyone say...
“Sammy, I need to lose 50 pounds of this muscle, cause I’d like to be weak, jiggle more, and be more flabby and loose!”
Nor have I heard,
“Can you help me? I need to gain 50 pounds of super sexy, chunky-monkey lard, 'cause that’s gonna make me look and feel awesome!”
... At least not yet, Thank God!
So, What is BMI and why is it bad?
You wanna hear straight from the US government? This Text is Copied from the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) website. https://www.cdc.gov/
“Body mass index (BMI) is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters. BMI is an inexpensive and easy screening method for weight category—underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obesity. BMI does not measure body fat directly…”
“How is BMI used? BMI can be a screening tool, but it does not diagnose the body fatness or health of an individual. To determine if BMI is a health risk, a healthcare provider performs further assessments. Such assessments include skin-fold thickness measurements, evaluations of diet, physical activity, and family history.”
So, let’s simplify what BMI is: BMI is a measurement of height and weight that puts you in one of 4 weight categories:
Trying to gain or lose weight to fit yourself into a certain “weight category” won’t help you reach your goals. If your goals are to be healthier, improve performance, and change the way you look, or feel, BMI won't help. BMI does not tell you how much muscle mass or fat mass you have.
Knowing how much muscle vs fat you have is much more important to assess and focus on. Instead of focusing on what category you fit in, or what your weight is... start focusing on your Individuality.
You need a clear picture of where you are!
When I first start working with a nutrition coaching client, I help them break down their weight goal. We break their singular goal into more specific and measurable goals. That way I can design a nutrition plan tailored to fit their unique and specific needs. I design a plan based on their unique body, goals, fitness level, routine, food choices, needs, and wants. Their plan is centered around balancing blood sugar, building or maintaining muscle mass, and shedding excess fat. To do that we have to know how much they have of both, muscle and fat. We also need to be able to track the percentages of those parts as they progress.
We also need to be able to measure their progress from many points as they move forward. Measuring how much muscle and fat they gain, maintain, or lose, gives a much better view of progress.
A Reasonable amount of fat to Burn is 1.5 pounds of fat per week. Likewise, it's reasonable to gain 1.5 pounds of muscle per week. Yes, you can do both at the same time.
If you lose or gain any faster than that, you’ll plateau, slowing down results, and causing rebound. Rebounding can cause you to gain more fat, and lose more muscle than you had before you started.
Never risk losing muscle to reach a certain weight.
Also, most of us can fluctuate 5-6 pounds in a day, based on how much we eat, drink, sweat, exercise, sleep, pee, and poop (yep I said that.). So, there's another reason not to focus on your weight.
Know where you are and measure your progress from many angles
There are many ways to measure body fat percentage; Skinfold Calipers, bioelectrical impedance analysis, Bod-Pod, DXA, Hydrostatic (underwater) Weighing, 3-D Body Scanners, Body Circumference Measurements, etc...
My advice is to use many angles, views, and measurements to get a clear picture of your whole body. A combination of different measurements is better than a singular viewpoint.
With my nutrition coaching clients, we assess many factors to get a clear view of their progress. We measure weight, body fat percentage, inches lost or gained, adherence, and biofeedback. Biofeedback gives us another way to customize the individual's needs. We can assess sports performance to happiness and confidence levels. The more angles you assess, the better picture you have of what you need.
Once we have a clear picture, from many angles, we can assess and make changes needed to maximize results.
Get a Better View
To get a better picture of your body, feel free to use the same calculator we use with our clients. This body fat percentage calculator is one of many tools we use to assess our client's needs and progress. You can find it on our website at transformationnation.net
When you’re ready for the next step, sign up for a free nutrition consultation with me either in person or online here:
The right nutrition plan and fitness routine can help you maximize your body, health performance, and happiness.
Live your best life… The MAXED out version of YOU that God intended you to be.
As always, Let me know if I can help.
Nutritionist and Nutrition Coach.