So you want to commit to a workout programme (and a diet) that’s going to help you achieve your body goals.
The smartest way to do this is to start by defining your body composition. You’ll know whether you should focus on weight loss, or fat loss, to achieve the body you want. And as you progress, you can keep checking your body composition, to make sure you are indeed on track.
The easiest and most commonly used measure is the Body Mass Index (BMI) or Quetelet index, which categorises you according to your ideal weight for your height.
It’s a simplistic measurement that doesn’t take into account elements such as muscle mass, morphology or body fat percentage, which is why it’s only used as an indicator. More accurate body fat and body composition tests are always advised, however knowing your BMI is a good starting point.
How to calculate your BMI
Your BMI can be determined by dividing your body weight, in kilograms by the square of your height, in metres. This will give you a measurement in kg/m².
- A BMI of 20 to 24.9 kg/m² may indicate optimal weight.
- Less than 18.5 kg/m² indicates that you may be underweight
- Anything above 25 kg/m² may indicate that you are overweight.
- A BMI below 17.5 may indicate an eating disorder
- A number above 30 suggests you are obese, with over 40 morbidly obese.
Having done this test you may find that you are either under or over your ideal weight. If you’re under weight, follow a nutrition plan that adds extra good, healthy calories. Engage in weight training to pick up lean muscle mass.
If you’re overweight, you need to look at a calorie-controlled (but very healthy and balanced) eating programme, and should also train to lose fat and build lean muscle.
If you find that you are your ideal weight for your height, or just slightly over then you should look into determine your body fat percentage if you are still unhappy with your body shape or condition.