BMI Calculator


Body Mass Index (BMI) is a commonly used indicator whether your weight is in healthy body fat range. This is because is very simple and easy to calculate. It is just given by:

BMI = weight / (height * height)

(in metric system –use the calculator above). The healthy range is 18.5 to 24.9 and and the range for men is same.

Unfortunately, this is just too simple to cover everyone. For example, think about two people with the same height and the same weight, but one person is a body builder and the other is a couch potato. Even though BMI is same for both, actual body fat percentages are quite different between them.

Waist to Hip Ratio and BAI

That is why waist to hip ratio and Body Adiposity Index (BAI) were introduced. Basically these indices show how much extra fat in your mid section and whether it is in the healthy body fat range. More and more health professionals are using these indices to check the status of health, however, none of them can accurately describe how much body fat you have.

How To Measure Body Fat Percentage?

There are several way to estimate your body fat. One is an electronic device which estimates your body fat. Most gyms have this device. If you don’t have an access to a gym, you can buy it at relatively cheap price at a gadget store or online. Some of the weight scales come with this capacity. The accuracy is not high, but it is easiest way to measure your body fat.

Slightly more accurate body fat measure is done with a skin fold measuring technique. Using a camping device, you measure how much under skin fat locates at certain spots of the body and estimate the entire body fat percentage. This is slight more accurate than the former, but it is hard to use the device by yourself and need a helper to use it. If the helper is not used to use the camping device, the accuracy is not much better than that of the electronics device.

The most accurate measure of the body fat is done with under water submersion. This one is not practical for most of people, since you need a facility with a small pool.

What Should We Do?

What I recommend is to compute your BMI, waist to hip ratio, and BAI from the calculator at the top of the page, and if you have a chance (go to a gadget store; they usually have a demo machine that you can use), use the electronics device. Then create a chart and plot the values. Measure regularly, say, twice a month so that when you started losing weight you can tell where you are. Quantify the progress is always a good way to keep motivating you.

Basal Metabolic Rate

I also added Basal metabolic rate (BMR), a target heart rate for workout, and the amount of energy you will use. BMR is also called the resting metabolic rate (RMR) which shows the minmum amount of calories you need to maintain your body weight even if you are staying in bed all day long.

Target Hart Rate

The target heart rate is the heart rate you should keep while working out to get health benefits. While working out at a steady pace, you should keep your heart rate between the lower and the upper heart rate. If you are doing interval training, you should try to elevate your heart rate closer to the maximum rate. If you workout regularly, the range of the target rates changes to higher value.

How Much Calorie Am I Spending?

It is also good to know how much calories you can use by walking for a mile. People think that running burn more calorie, but the amount of calorie you use per unit distance is same (if you remember physics, the energy used is proportional to weight times distance; not on a speed). There is, however, “after burn” effect. If you run, your body works harder, and the body need to burn extra 50 calories to recover after stop running. If you push harder, for example, if you do the hard interval training, after burn phase lasts longer, and you burn more calories. Father, the harder workout raises your metabolism throughout the day, and the body burns more calories. That is why the interval training is the favorite workout for weight loss.

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