I recently started checking my weight everyday first thing in the morning to see how my weight fluctuates day to day. Since monitoring my blood glucose levels I began incorporating some IF (intermittent fasting) into my diet and wanted to see how IF affects my weight day to day. I’ll share more on IF in another email but today I want to talk about BMI (body mass index).
Weighing myself everyday is new to me because I rarely if ever would weigh myself before this. In fact I would only weigh in on the rare occasion I went to the doctor or a handful of DEXA scans in the past few years. So probably ten total weigh ins in the past five years. Now I am weighing each morning.
First off, it is crazy how much my weight fluctuates. In these past couple of weeks I have gone from weighing 191 one morning and then 196 the next. Or maybe the most extreme was 197.8 one morning and 189 the next.
A little background on my weight…
I have been as heavy as 242 pounds in my life and as light as 182. I can tell you that my body is more comfortable lighter than heavier. Over the past decade (2012 to 2022) I have hovered in the 202 to 208 range. If I am rigid on my eating then I was more towards the lighter side of those numbers and if I was more lax then I was towards the heavier. Interestingly while training for my Ironman in the fall (Aug 2022 to Nov 2022) I got down in the 186 to 190 range and currently (2023) I am hovering in the 190 to 198 range.
The mornings I weigh in 190 pounds or heavier, which is most mornings, I have a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 25. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) I am overweight. WHO defines overweight and obesity as follows:
- a normal BMI falls between 18.5 and 24.9
- overweight is a BMI greater than or equal to 25; and
- obesity is a BMI greater than or equal to 30.
If you are not familiar with BMI here is a definition of what it means and how it is calculated.
BMI provides the most useful population-level measure of overweight and obesity as it is the same for both sexes and for all ages of adults. Body mass index (BMI) is a simple index of weight-for-height that is commonly used to classify overweight and obesity in adults. It is defined as a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of his height in meters (kg/m2).
Why do I share all of this with you?
First I want to highlight that I like most people hover in a range from day to day. It is completely normal for your weight to fluctuate anywhere from 2 to 5 pounds and sometimes more. That range has to do with factors such as nutritional quantity, exercise, hormones, sodium intake, hydration and more. Don’t let this freak you out.
I have always felt that BMI was not the best indicator of being overweight because it doesn’t take into consideration your body fat percentage. For example, when I weigh in at 200 pounds I am 10% body fat which is overweight according to the BMI standard. But recently as I have researched longevity and healthy aging I am changing my opinion of BMI.
My body likes me more lighter than heavier.
The more I read and learn the more I realize that my body likes me being lighter than heavier. In fact if I am 190 pounds it is easier on my body to do all the things it has to do both physically and biologically on a daily basis. Therefor if my goal is longevity and healthy aging keeping my weight at 190 or below is in the best interest of my body.
I want to add that including body fat percentage and BMI is the best way to determine health. If a person is in the optimal BMI range but has a high body fat percentage they are not going to age well or feel well for that matter.
What is the optimal body fat percentage?
For a male it is 8 to 12 percent and a female it is 18 to 22 percent.
Here are some current statistics.
Average American men and women have ~28 and 40% body fat. When categorized by BMI and age, the data also show high percent body fat values, particularly in lower BMI categories.
In overall weight, men gained an average of 8.5 pounds and women an average of 6.8 pounds the past decde. According to a recent government report, the mean body mass index (BMI) of adults in the United States in 2022-23 was 29.1 for men and 29.6 for women — about a point higher for both genders than a decade earlier, in 1999-2000. The mean weight for men is now 197.9 pounds. For women, it’s 170.6 pounds.
I know weight is a sensitive subject but the reality is people need help with their weight and the numbers are going in the wrong direction. Where will we be 10 years from now? 20 years from now?
If you are struggling I want to help. Lets get ahead of this and get you feeling good once and for all. No gimmicks and no BS. Just doing it the right way and making the progress that will last a lifetime. Reach out to me and lets get started today.