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How much emphasis on BMI?

179 replies

nbvkfnh · 08/10/2018 12:12

I am currently losing weight through healthy eating and exercise (admittedly I am not able to exercise that hard yet due to my size but I am hoping to increase this as I lose more weight.

So far I have lost just over 2st since July. I have gone from squeezing into a size 20 to a comfortable size 18.

At my lightest in recent years (when I was a size 12-14) I weighed 13st 9. I was thinking originally I'd like to get back to that weight (I am currently 16st). However having looked at BMI, I see that even at 13.9 I would still be in the obese category, not even overweight. And that to be 'normal' I'd have to lose another 2.5 stone.

Now I'm not saying that I was super skinny at 13.9, not at all, I didn't have abs and a flat stomach but I certainly didnt feel obese, and if I had lost another 2.5st I feel that would have left me very slim indeed, not at the uppermost end of 'normal'.

So should my goal be to get to normal BMI?

OP posts:

redsummershoes · 08/10/2018 13:31

well done on losing that mych weight. that's a great achivement.

bmi is a good overall measure of healthy weight, especially together with 'string test' (measure of ratio between height and waist) and measuring fat.

studies have shown that even very fit people with a high bmi (the famous rugby players) have a higher risk of cardiovascular disease and diabetes.


Bluntness100 · 08/10/2018 13:32

Op, you done fantastically in losing two stone. Why don't you get down to the 13.9 and see how you feel?

Yes, it's still over weight. But it's a shit lot better than 16 or 18 stone. And the reality is it's better for you to hit something you can maintain at rather than go low and gain again.

My question would be, if you get to 13.9 could you maintain it, or would you slip back into hold habits and gain again?

And would a hcp recommend you lose weight at 13.9 and five foot six, yes, that's likely but depends.

Personally I'm shocked you could fit into a size twelve at nearly fourteen stone and only five foot six. I'm five eight and would be a good size 16 at that weight.


SweetSummerchild · 08/10/2018 13:36

The size of clothes is becoming increasingly irrelevant.

When I was 16-18 (in the early 90s) I weighted 8st and was ALWAYS a size 10. Gradually my weight crept up until I was a 12 and about 9 1/2 stone.

Over the decades my weight crept up and up but I was ‘fine’ because I was still a 12.

Eventually I started to feel fed up with my weight and lost a fair amount. I am now 8 1/2 stone but wear size 6 or 8.

So, if size 6 is what used to be size 10, size 12 is probably the equivalent of about a 16 from twenty five years ago.


SerenDippitty · 08/10/2018 13:36

I'm 5ft 2in and just under 9st which puts me in the top half of the healthy BMI range. I'm a size 10. Happy with that. I have a large frame and would look awful at 8st or whatever the middle of the range is.


noeffingidea · 08/10/2018 13:37

BMI is pretty accurate for women. If you combine it with waist/height ratio and accurately measured body fat % you will probably find they all say roughly the same thing, though it is true that a few women have very small waists in proportion to the rest of their bodies.
All 3 of these measurements are more accurate than clothes sizing.
Personally I would advise you to aim for a healthy BMI and waist height ratio, OP, even though you may have felt fine at your previous lowest weight.
Sethis I appreciate what you're saying, but there's a bit more to maintaining a healthy weight than just looking at yourself and saying 'I'm cool with this'.We already know that obesity is a major factor in some serious conditions, some cancers and diabetes type 2, and other cardiovascular illnesses.


nbvkfnh · 08/10/2018 13:37

I've always walked a lot but I would never describe myself as sporty! I am trying to do more in the gym, and will keep pushing that as I lose more weight.

I'm not dieting as such I have tried to make long term changes to my eating habits (no more stuffing myself with pasta, white bread, biscuits, chocolate etc) so I can carry on as I am indefinitely and see where my weight ends up. I am a bit fearful of plateauing around my previous weight but we'll see when I get there (realistically that will be early next year).

OP posts:

bakingdemon · 08/10/2018 13:39

I don't think you've said how tall you are - that is quite relevant. Eg I am 5'7" and when not pregnant hover around 10 stone, which I maintain through healthy eating and regular exercise. 14 stone is a lot unless you're a rugby prop forward and built like a tank.


TheOrigFV45 · 08/10/2018 13:40

BMI is a guide. The vast majority of us will have better health if we stick to within the recommended BMI. That's a fact. The BMI range is massive - so it does take into account build.

Are you about 5'7" 5"8?

I'd say 11 1/2 stone at that height is indeed on the upper end of the healthy range.

In answer to your OP, yes I think your goal should be to get to a healthy BMI, but do it in steps.


randomsabreuse · 08/10/2018 13:43

I'm a 12 at 13 stone and a 10 at 12 stone. But my frame is small and I have to be aware of cut of the clothes - at under 12 stone I couldn't get my thighs in very straight cut 16s...

Correct weight I would never be less than an 8 on top despite a probable 26 inch bra band because my shoulders are too broad. Can't work out what my lower half size should be - have always carried most of my weight there!


TheOrigFV45 · 08/10/2018 13:45

FWIW, I am very muscular, and also very slim - I am an endurance runner.
My BMI is very low.


Groovee · 08/10/2018 13:51

I'm still heavier than what my bmi says I should be. I have lost over 5 and a half stone. But people are surprised at what my weight is compared to how I look.

Muscle does not weigh more than fat. They are the same weight. 1lb of fat and 1lb of muscle weigh the same. Muscle takes up less space.

For me the weight I am after 2 years of weight loss is where I am happy and I have maintained this weight for over 6 months now.

How much emphasis on BMI?

PlatypusPie · 08/10/2018 13:52

I have some lovely, well preserved pieces of clothing from the 1960s, that belonged to my mother. They say 36" bust, size 14. They are much, much more like a modern size 10 -they are comfortable but not loose on my fine boned, size 8 daughter. But I also remember her always wearing a girdle and a long line bra, or a full body corselette for wearing with the very tailored look she favoured. - that nipped in waist look wasn't always a natural feature.


Autumnrocks · 08/10/2018 13:56

Do people wear very stretchy clothes or what?
I'm 5'7", weigh 10st9 and take a size 14 in most things, sometimes a 12 depending on style.
If I put on three stone I'd be an 18 at least.


SadieAB9 · 08/10/2018 13:58

I've always been told not to pay much attention to it - apparently quite inaccurate for most of the population and unhelpful to use


redsummershoes · 08/10/2018 14:02

it is quite acurate for most and for some (asian people) bmi should actually be lower as they tend to have more body fat.


SerenDippitty · 08/10/2018 14:02

Muscle does not weigh more than fat. They are the same weight. 1lb of fat and 1lb of muscle weigh the same. Muscle takes up less space.

If you filled two containers of identical volume with water and sand the one full of sand would weigh more. So it is with muscle and fat.


megletthesecond · 08/10/2018 14:03

BMI isn't perfect but it's better than clothes sizes.


Livinglavidal0ca · 08/10/2018 14:07

I'm 5.6 and weigh 11 stone. I dont look massive but I'm definitely overweight. We certainly have a screwed idea of what is healthy and normal as I always get told I'm slim but I'm really not. I'm aiming to lose another stone and a half. I'll be the very very top end of healthy at that weight. I think a size 8/10 is probably the best for me.


Mistigri · 08/10/2018 14:09

I don't agree that BMI is a poor measure (it's a good one for most people) but it should not be your current focus. You risk setting unrealistic expectations that are more likely to result in disordered eating or yo-yo weight loss/ gain.

If you increase the amount of exercise you do and lose some weight, your health will improve, and that's what matters. The first 2 stone is the most important bit and you've already done that. It does sound like it would be a good idea for you to to lose a bit more, but set yourself achievable goals - if a size 12-14 is reasonable for you, that's fine. Don't let the perfect be the enemy of the good: the nearer you get to a "normal" BMI the smaller the health gains for each kilo you lose.


emmeyebea · 08/10/2018 14:12

How tall are you? Because at the moment I am 13st 9 and I'm most definitely not a 12/14 as you say you were at that weight. I'm more like an 18 (or a 16 on an exceptionally good day). I'm 5'7" and a half.
My 'normal' average weight before dc was around the 11st mark.


Biibywiiby · 08/10/2018 14:15

Here's my query.. Any idea what boobs weigh? Mine are always large whatever my weight / dress size is eg if I was size 10 I'd still be at least 34d etc. I'm sure if I didn't have large boobs I'd be at least 10lb less!! If I wear a minimiser or bind my chest to as flat as possible the amount of spare fabric is unbelievable!


Waitingonasmiley42 · 08/10/2018 14:15

autumnrocks People are all very different shapes and carrry weight differently. I’m not quite 5 ft 4 and a size 12 at anything under 11 stone. Currently 9 stone 3 and a size 10. Shops like Next etc. would always be a size smaller. Nothing at all to do with wearing stretchy clothes.


user1471459936 · 08/10/2018 14:15

BMI has such a large range for each height that it would be very rare for healthy people to be outside it. But body fat percentage and waist to hip ratio are probably more important. (I think it's waist no more than 70% of hip size).


Mistigri · 08/10/2018 14:17

Do people wear very stretchy clothes or what?

People are just different shapes. My 17 year old and I are the same height and weight. I am a good size smaller for trousers but a size bigger for tops because I have narrower hips, a longer body and wider shoulders.


nbvkfnh · 08/10/2018 14:18

I'm 5ft 6.

I was trying to find a full length photo of me under 14st. This one was the only one I could find, about 14st, so not quite my lowest. Size 14 (non stretchy) dress.

I appreciate I am not slim in this by any means but also I don't consider myself to be massive or that I am built like a tank. I would have to lose at least 3st from this weight to be within normal BMI. which may be doable of course.

How much emphasis on BMI?
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