Doctors usually rely on the “Body Mass Index” to determine whether their patient is underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese. However, the definition of BMI also refers to a “measure of body fat.” And while BMI still gives a wide range of healthy weights for different people of various ages, heights, and body types, it doesn’t fully apply to every single person who has, for example, lost muscle due to aging and excessive dieting, or has more muscle weight due to being an athlete, etc.
Allow me to explain. According to BMI, someone under the range of 18.5 is considered underweight, 18.5-24.9 normal (or healthy) weight, 25-29.9 overweight, and 30 and over obese. But, of course, this isn’t certain – or black and white – for every person who may be just a few pounds overweight or are on the high-end of healthy. For example, a woman who is 5’3-5’4 and 140-145 lbs is considered on the high end of a healthy BMI or a few pounds overweight. And while losing a few pounds wouldn’t hurt – especially if she has a well-proportioned hourglass or pear figure with a bigger bone structure and moderate metabolism – technically, according to the BMI chart, she could lose almost 50 lbs and still be on the low-end of healthy at 100 lbs weight. But, is this necessarily healthy? No, of course not. Even though she would still be within a healthy BMI at 100 lbs, for that reason of a different body type, you wouldn’t expect her to go from a size 10 to a size 0! It just wouldn’t be necessary and with that different body type, it is probably more realistic for her to stay at 130-150 lbs then to be 100, 110, or even 120 lbs. Because she has a specific body type and bone structure, she would really need to malnourish herself to reach that point, hence dangerous dieting habits that can lead to a severe eating disorder – all when she doesn’t even have to!