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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:

noeffingidea · 09/10/2018 12:03

BMI is shit
No it isn't, and it's irresponsible to keep saying it is.


CazY777 · 09/10/2018 12:16

Personally I think calling people 'obese' once you reach a BMI of 30 is unhelpful. I have a BMI of 30, I know I'm overweight, carrying too much fat but I don't feel like an obese person. I can still run after my daughter, run for a bus,climb stairs easily, walk 10 miles plus, fit easily in seats on buses and trains etc. I'm not an athlete or bodybuilder but I used to exercise quite a lot. I ran a marathon weighing 13.5 stone, it just took me 40 mins longer than when I did it weighing 10 stone! I don't feel unhealthy, though I know I am increasing my risks of health problems by carrying extra weight.


THEsonofaBITCH · 09/10/2018 12:17

BMI is a guide only not a goal or strong indicator of health. Better indicators are blood levels of cholesterols, sugars, blood pressure, etc. BMI has many failings but it is easy to use and as a sign post for health not bad which is why its frequently used but for health analysis it is rarely used alone.


Dontfeellikeamillenial · 09/10/2018 12:22

14 stone, 5'6 and a supposed size 14 is not healthy no matter which way you look at it.


Threehoursfromhome · 09/10/2018 12:33

I'm dubious about claims that muscle will be the reason why people are overweight according to BMI. It's not that easy to put on muscle, particularly for women, particularly for the middle-aged.

When I was weight-lifting the general rule of thumb was for women following a progressive heavy lifting programme three times a week, the maximum level of muscle gain which could be expected was half a pound a month and this rate of gain dropped off for the over-30s.

So, unless they have regularly been lifting heavy weights for several years - the chances that it's muscle which is putting a woman several stone over target BMI are basically zero. That level of muscle gain is not something which can be achieved by accident or by low level cardio vascular exercise, such as walking.

That said, I don't think BMI is the be all and end all, and it's definitely worth getting blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterol checked too. There's a reason why blood pressure is called the silent killer, and it's because you can feel fine while it's too high.


kaytee87 · 09/10/2018 12:42

Our perception of what obese looks like is completely wrong. A lot of this is due to vanity sizing and normalisation of fat people (eg the more fat people you see the more normal it becomes). My mum was a 'fat' child in the 1960's, I've seen pictures of her and she looks like a perfectly normal, even slim child by today's standards.
I've piled on weight in the past year due to an injury - I was already slightly overweight and a size 10! I'm now almost obese and a size 12.
Aim for a healthy BMI.


SerenDippitty · 09/10/2018 13:11

In my opinion slim would be a 6-8, or a 10 if you’re tall.

So I Imagine you'd think that at 5ft 2, BMI 22 and 26 in waist and size 10 I'm a bit fat then?


RaeRae2010 · 09/10/2018 13:18

Bmi charts are a crock of shite. Possibly OK for a rough indication of health but even at my slimmest and fittest with a six pack I was well into the overweight category at a size 10/12.
Now I'm pregnant I'm classed as morbidly obese at a size 14/16 and my body building OH is also classed as obese even though he is fit as hell.
It doesn't take into account different body types... I was the type of child adults would pick me up and exclaim at how solid I was even though I wasn't at all chubby.
Don't worry about the charts... Just get to what you feel is healthiest and most comfortable for you 😉


DrCoconut · 09/10/2018 13:25

I do think women in previous generations were smaller built (generally). Perhaps due to nutrition, their mother's diet during pregnancy, more physical work and exercise etc. My grandmother's wedding dress had a 22 inch waist. Even as an 8.5st 6th former I was never that thin. So we are on a population level getting bigger.


ShirleyPhallus · 09/10/2018 13:32

In my opinion slim would be a 6-8, or a 10 if you’re tall.

So I Imagine you'd think that at 5ft 2, BMI 22 and 26 in waist and size 10 I'm a bit fat then?

No, that poster is saying that you’re not slim though. Which, at a BMI of 22 puts you in the healthy category and suggests you’re not slim. Just normal.


IsTheRainEverComingBack · 09/10/2018 13:32

RaeRae2010 have you actually read the thread? We know it’s not relevant for very athletic people/people with a lot of muscle mass. For everyone else it is useful.


A580Hojas · 09/10/2018 13:50

Always brings out the cunts, threads like these. Op, I think you are right ... having been rather overweight you'd be better off getting it down by a reasonable amount rather than trying to reduce to a weight that you'll struggle to maintain.


Chouetted · 09/10/2018 14:06

To be honest, if you're tall, a size 10 sounds really quite underweight, rather than slim. That's really quite small if you're at the top end of the height curve - the size of a young teen. I'm 6ft, so not that tall, and was fitting into size 14s at about the same time I hit puberty. That's a difference of about four inches - quite a large amount, I'd say.

Although, if you're tall, clothes sizes are just a massive disaster. I couldn't buy jeans at all because any trousers that fit my hips could then fit two of me in at my waist. The proportions are all wrong!


noeffingidea · 09/10/2018 14:20

Always brings out thecunts, threads like these
What, you mean people who accept objective facts and reality? Happy to be called a cunt then.
I'm thankful that there are people on here (and other forums) who are able to tell the truth about being overweight. It's motivated me to achieve a healthy weight rather than just what I thought was fine.


ShirleyPhallus · 09/10/2018 14:53

Always brings out the cunts, threads like these

Lol. Also brings the people who are just looking for excuses not to be a healthy weight.


Bluntness100 · 09/10/2018 16:08

I really don't get the issue here. The op has clearly stated she's not some muscle bound type.

As such, whether you use bmi or not, nearly fourteen stone at five foot six is over weight, if not obese.

However if the op can maintain that it's better than being much more over weight. There is no point in her going lower if it impacts her mental health and she can't maintain it.

But pretending she's some sort of abnormally heavy muscle bound type with low body fat and secretly slim is bonkers.


A580Hojas · 09/10/2018 17:21

I am referring to the people who enjoy crushing someone who has already achieved a lot by just baldly saying "yeah but you're still fat if you're 5'6" and 14 stone". It's smug and unnecessary.


Sallygoroundthemoon · 09/10/2018 21:36

The OP has done very well losing weight but 5 ft 6 and 14 stone is still very overweight and it would be disingenuous to suggest otherwise. That's not crushing someone or being a cunt, just recognising an achievement and saying keep going, you are doing well and you can do it. Frankly as women we should be supporting each other to get to a healthy weight rather than having a bun fight over it.


Sashkin · 10/10/2018 01:41

I’m STILL a size 8. If that’s a size 12 from years ago how thin would I have had to be to wear it

Very thin, that’s my point. Size 8 used to be really small and actually quite hard to find in the shops. Size 6 didn’t exist, it didn’t need to. There was certainly no size 0.

I was 47-50kg when I was an old-style size 10, and I’m also short so probably less broad than most taller people. I’m now closer to 60kg (BMI 25), and happily fit in size 6-8. My old size 10 clothes don’t fit. I am not muscular, I am definitely overweight. It is the sizing that has changed.


Gwenhwyfar · 10/10/2018 08:28

" I'm 6ft, so not that tall, and was fitting into size 14s at about the same time I hit puberty. That's a difference of about four inches - quite a large amount, I'd say."

Yes, but sizes have gone up so unless you're just a few years off puberty, size 14 when you were 12 years old is not the same as a size 14 now. Also. you probably shopped in youth shops where the sizes are smaller.


Gwenhwyfar · 10/10/2018 08:29

"Frankly as women we should be supporting each other to get to a healthy weight rather than having a bun fight over it."

Yes, it's quite sick idea of sisterhood that we have to pretend any size is healthy 'as long as you feel comfortable'. How does that really help anyone?


Gwenhwyfar · 10/10/2018 08:31

" Size 6 didn’t exist, it didn’t need to."

Size 6 existed when I was young in the 90s, but it was mainly bought by pubescent or teenage girls.


Fozzleyplum · 10/10/2018 08:52

Size 8 when I was in my teens (I'm 50) equated to about a 22" waist and 32-34 inch hips. I am a good size 12 going by my measurements (35.5, 29, 38), but many of the clothes in my wardrobe are marked size 8 or 10. Size labels are meaningless nowadays.


GreenMeerkat · 10/10/2018 08:56

If you're not exercising a lot then I would suggest making an attempt to get into the 'normal' weight range.

Yes muscle does weigh more than fat but unless you are weight/resistance training 3/4 times a week and supplementing protein it is unlikely muscle mass is having any effect on your BMI.


ADayAlwaysHasToEnd · 10/10/2018 09:02

Bmi is a good measure of an average person. Also with your previous weight and clothes size it doesn't mean it will be the same. Before I used to be 10.4 and a size 8 but I'm currently 9.7 and a size 10. I have less muscle more fat and all my body fat has seemed to gone onto my hips and butt this time

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