If you want to know whether you're at a healthy body weight, knowing how to calculate and interpret your body mass index (BMI) can come in handy. Used by physicians as a preliminary screening tool rather than a diagnosis, your BMI is convenient to calculate, because it only requires that you know your height and your weight. You can use a BMI reference chart to interpret the significance of your BMI once you calculate it.
Stand on a scale and weight yourself. You'll need to divide your weight by 2.2 if you measured your weight in pounds. This will provide your weight in kilograms.
Measure your height with the tape measure. You'll need to multiply your height by 0.0254 if you measured your height in inches. This will provide your weight in meters.
Derive your BMI. Divide your weight in kilograms by your height squared in meters. This will provide your BMI in units of kilograms per square meter (kg/m^2.) You need to know your BMI in metric units because this is what most BMI references use.
Consult the BMI chart to determine your results. A BMI below 19.1 for a female is classified as underweight. The normal range for a female BMI is 19.1 to 25.8. A female BMI that's between 25.8 and 27.3 is classified as marginally overweight, and a female BMI between 27.3 and 32.3 is classified as overweight. A BMI above 32.3 for females is classified as obese.
Items you will need
- ✓ Scale
- ✓ Tape Measure
- ✓ Calculator
- ✓ BMI chart
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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.