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Body Mass Index (BMI) is a simple value that measures weight with respect to height, which is then used to classify someone being underweight, overweight or ascertain obesity in adults. It is calculated to know the nutritional status of a human being.

BMI is a good indicator for a person’s health patterns and to find out what one would need to do to bring it up to an ideal level, to ward off illnesses, chronic conditions or ailments later in life.

  1. Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator
  2. Body Mass Index (BMI) chart
  3. Overweight
  4. Obese
  5. Why do you need to lose weight?
  6. Why do you need to gain weight?

BMI can be calculated with a simple formula where the weight (in kgs) of a person is divided by the square of their height (in metres). To calculate your BMI, you can put your height and weight in the calculator given below:

The BMI chart is a reference to the number which you get on the BMI calculator. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has given four categories in the BMI chart - underweight, normal range, overweight and obese.

  1. Underweight
  2. Normal range

Underweight

If your BMI is at or below 18.50, it means that you are underweight. It has been further classified as:

  • Severe thinness: You will be considered severely thin if your BMI is at or below 16.
  • Moderate thinness: You will be considered moderately thin if your BMI is between 16 and 16.99.
  • Mild thinness: You will be considered severely thin if your BMI is between 17 and 18.49.

Normal range

The range of BMI that is considered normal is from 18.50 to 24.99.

A person is called overweight if their BMI is at or above 25, and when he/she weighs more than what is considered normal for that height, age and sex.

Another category called the pre-obese category falls under the overweight criteria. A person is in a state of pre-obesity if their BMI falls between 25-29.99.

If your BMI is at or above 30, then you will be considered obese. A person is called obese when there is excessive generalized deposition and storage of fat in the body. There are three sub-categories seen in obesity:

  • Obese class 1: You will fall in this category of obesity if your BMI is between 30 and 34.99.
  • Obese class 2: You will fall in this category of obesity if your BMI is between 35 and 39.99.
  • Obese class 3: You will fall in this category of obesity if your BMI is at or above 40.

People falling in the category of overweight or obese are prone to many life-threatening diseases such as:

Here are some foods that can help you lose weight:

  • Dairy products: Dairy products like low-fat milk (almond milk and soy milk), cheese and yoghurt are rich in protein and improve your gut health and digestion.
  • Healthy Oil: You should switch your oil to more healthy ones like olive oil or coconut oil.
  • Green tea: Green tea is rich in antioxidants and catechins which improve metabolism, thus helping in weight loss.
  • Nuts: Nuts like hazelnut, walnut and almonds are rich in fibres and also a healthy weight-loss snack. 
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: A healthy diet rich in fruits like apple, orange, lemon and kiwi, and vegetables like lettuce, carrots and cabbage would help you lose weight as they are rich in fibre and keep you full for a longer period of time.
  • Fibre: A fibre-rich diet filled with quinoa, bran rice, flaxseeds, along with fresh fruits and vegetables can help you lose weight.
  • Proteins: Food products like eggs, lean meat, pulses and soy are rich in protein and help in losing weight when taken in smaller portions.

People who fall under the category of being underweight are prone to diseases like:

The goal should not only be to gain weight but also sustain that gain. Here are some foods that can help you gain weight:

  • Proteins: Food items like eggs, fish, pulses and legumes are rich sources of proteins and can help in gaining weight by increasing muscle mass.
  • Carbohydrates: Considerable amount of carbohydrates help in gaining weight without harming the body. Food items like potato, whole grain bread, flour, pasta, cereals, rice and legumes are a rich source of carbohydrates.
  • Fruits: Fruits like mangoes, bananas and avocados are considered good for weight gain as they are rich in calories and provide healthy fats to the body.
  • Fats: Moderate amount of fat, present in whole milk, egg, meat, salmon and tuna can help you increase body weight.
  • Dairy: Whole milk, cheese, paneer, yoghurt are rich in fats, proteins and essential amino acids that can help you gain weight.

Maintaining a healthy BMI, especially for working individuals or after the age of 30 can be a difficult task, which is why it is recommended for people over that age to get regular medical check-ups done, along with measuring their BMI in order to live a balanced and healthy life.

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