BMI, also known as Body Mass Index is the main measure used to find if you are overweight or if you need to gain a weight. You can calculate your Body Mass Index using various calculators online or you can use a simple height weight chart to calculate your BMI. Once you have the reading, you can map it in the chart to know if you are over-weight. There are some of the calculators which also use your other data to measure the BMI but the basic concept remains the same.
This is certainly a great method to understand your overall physic but it certainly comes with some of the drawbacks. To start with, you must know this BMI Theory was devised in the 1840s and it has not been updated since then. Another thing is that it doesn’t account for your gender and hence female and male are judged on the same scale. Another issue with the BMI is that if you have a lot of muscle mass then you will again get an inaccurate reading.
To deal with this, you can use some of the alternative methods to check your overall physic and in this article, we are going to share the top 5 alternatives to BMI. This way, you can use 2 or more methods to get an idea of your weight. Let us now read about these different methods.
Top 5 Alternatives to BMI
1. Waist to Hip Ratio: This method has always been used to understand the extra weight you have. The method uses the circumference of the waist and the hip to calculate your waist to hip ratio and you get a ratio when you divide the top. The higher the ratio, the higher you are prone to heart diseases and diabetes. To measure your wait to hip ratio, measure your waist circumference and also measure the circumference of your hip area. Once you have the numbers, you just need to divide the measurements of the waist with the hip. You will have a ration available to you now and below are the interpretation charts for you. ( If you want to check out BMI Chart it’s available here )
Male Ratio Female Ratio Condition Interpretation
>1 > 0.85 Obese
> 0.9 &< 0.99 > 0.8&< 0.84 Over Weight
< 0.9 < 0.8 Normal
If you are overweight or obese then you must start a diet plan along with the workout schedule. Remember that it is easy to take preventive measures to avoid diabetes but once you start suffering from diabetes, it will be really difficult for you to adapt to the lifestyle changes.
2. Body Adiposity Index: Body Adiposity Index is a little different from BMI. The main difference between the two methods is that BMI takes your weight in consideration but BAI doesn’t consider your weight. This means that, to calculate the Body Fat Percentage, the method only takes in account your hip circumference and the height which gets you a little more accurate results. There had been many clinical studies to compare the two but as of now, there are no research evidence to support that BAI is better than BMI or vice-versa. You can use both the methods to get the results and depending on the same, you will be able to judge your overall health.
3. Waist Circumference Measurement: This particular method is quite accurate in Asians. No, we are not being racist over here but as per many researches, Asians have tendency to accumulate fat in the belly area. This is more of genetics than any other factor. You can actually check the fat on your stomach or belly using a simple measuring tape and this will give you an idea about the extra fat that you store. Ideally, women should not have a waist size of over 35 inches and men should not have a waist size of 40 inches.
4. Hydrostatic Weighing: If you remember your physics classes, then you must remember that the weight is always the product of the mass and the gravitational pull of the earth. Hence, to calculate the mass, you need to cancel out the gravity. This was one angle to it. Moreover, you have seen the growing popularity of underwater exercises. People suffering from the joint problems are made to exercise with underwater treadmills. The advantage of this type of exercise is that they do not exert a lot of force on their knees. In such a case, hydrostatic weight is also a popular option. Many of the gyms and weight loss centres have started taking hydrostatic weight of the person. In this process, a person needs to sit on the chair under the water and place your head underwater for a few seconds. Once the chair is stabilized, the weight is taken and it is processed via complex formulas to device the body fat percentage.
5. Body Fat Percentage Method: Most of the dieticians use this method to calculate the calorie requirement for your body. This method uses information like your sex, weight, waist circumference, wrist circumference, hip circumference and forearm circumference to calculate your body fat percentage. With help of a formula, the body fat percentage is calculated and ideally, the percentage should be less than 20%. If you have anything above 20% then this is a matter of concern. Also, remember that you can’t have 0 body fat percentage as there is some fat which is required by the body to survive.
These are the 5 different alternatives to BMI. Remember, if you are trying to lose weight then BMI is an important component. You need to understand your daily calorie requirement before you start a weight loss program. Having a calorie deficit diet helps but never go below your BMR to lose weight as this can slow down your metabolism. Have a well-structured diet and remember that no one knows your body better than you yourself. Having a healthy lifestyle is the first step to a happy life.