Let’s discuss this fictitious person: Male, age 33, 5 feet 10 inches 220 pounds: BMI is 31.6. With the definition of “obesity” being a BMI 30-40 (above 40 is termed “morbid obesity”) the person is clinically “obese”. With obesity being a major risk factor for heart disease, diabetes, cancer, arthritis and Alzheimer’s Disease, this 33 year old guy is destined for lots of serious health issues down the road. Correct?
Nope…This fictitious person I described is an NFL football running back. Yes, his BMI is 31.6 BUT when we place him on our body composition machine we note that his percentage body fat is 7 % (normal is less than 25% for a male, less than 30% for a female) and his muscle distribution shows him to be above 140% in arms, legs and trunk.
Despite a BMI showing “obesity”, the 5 feet 10 inches, 220 pound person with a % body fat well within the normal range is quite healthy and from a medical perspective, this person does not need to shed one pound.
The strategy of a high protein/low carbohydrate dietary plan is to burn off body fat and maintain muscle mass. It is the excessive body fat as opposed to muscle that places our health at risk.
When a patient enters our program and asks me what would be his/her “best” weight from a health perspective, I am focusing much more on the % body fat as opposed to the BMI. If we can help drive the % body fat into the healthy range, I really do not care much about what the BMI is at that point.
What is your body composition? Come in for your FREE body composition analysis to find out!
Paul Simon will help motivate us with one of his popular songs…”Run That Body (Fat) Down”