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Frustration with BMI

I have always calculated my BMI with my height being 5'2. That puts me at 28, not great but better than the 32 I started at. Yesterday I discovered I am actually 5"1 which puts my BMI at 30. I am very conscientious about my diet, I don't diet, I eat healthy. I exercise regularly both cardio ( with a heart monitor in intervals, raising my heart rate appropriately) and lift weights 3 times a week. Two liters of water a day, yoga throughout the week. I am beginning to realize that this is as good as it is going to get. I don't feel BMI gives me credit for the muscle mass I have (very defined legs, arms and back). But this is what doctors and more importantly insurance companies are going to look at.

Tue. Nov 28, 8:07am

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You are right that the BMI calculation is flawed for people with lots of muscle and if you can actually see muscle definition then I would think there cannot be that large of a layer of fat between the skin and the muscle. I also think the BMI is weighted against those who are shorter, I think it's hard to have muscles and be shorter because muscle weighs so much and you don't have the height to make up for it.

My suggestion would be to get your body fat percentage calculated... if it's actually around 30 and your BMI is correct then I think you need to look at portion sizes and the amount of healthy food you are eating. If your body fat percentage calculates and is in the 24, 25, 26 range then you know your BMI is really off and your fine, no matter what it says.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 8:34 AM

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i read somewhere that shaq and tom cruise are "obese" based on the current BMI standards. they are a good screening tool at doctor's offices - to easily find the people who need further evaluation. but they don't specify whether your weight comes from fat or muscle. so if your BMI is 30, the doctor might know to question you further about diet and exercise, but you shouldn't automatically be labeled as overweight or obese. but it sounds like you are on the right track.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 8:40 AM

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Well Tom Cruise is my supposed to be my same height and just under 5'8 so unless he weighs less than 168 (which I doubt) he would be overweight and unless he's 195 or less he would be obese.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 9:29 AM

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if you feel comfortable with your weight and health, don't change anything. otherwise, take a really close look at your diet - you may be eating too much of those healthy foods. I used to eat healthy (nuts, granola, dried fruit, whole wheat bread, olive oil, veggie burgers, Clif bars) but I just ate too much of those high-calorie foods. I lost 35 pounds by eating the same foods, just less of them.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 10:36 AM

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BMI=Bad Measuring Instrument

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 10:49 AM

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I think Tom Cruise is more like 5'4", on a tall day. I don't think he's anywhere near 5'8"!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 3:20 PM

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LOL!! 10:49 Poster. I once wrote a paper in a college nutrtion class with that title, but the professor was so set in her ways that she gave me a bad grade on it!! I had a really well-thought-out argument that pretty much said what you guys so far have. She wrote, "Well, pound for pound muscle and fat weigh the same." WHAT?!?!? GRRRR!! This still annoys me to this day!! LOL!!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006, 8:13 PM

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