Womens BMI Chart | BMI Calculator

The scale isn’t the only way to determine whether you’re at a healthy weight. Your body mass index, or BMI, is another metric to consider. Because it is a calculation of your body fat in relation to your height and weight, healthcare providers may use this metric to determine your weight category.

Knowing if you’re at a healthy weight for your height can help you figure out if you need to lose weight or avoid weight-related health problems like type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.

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Why BMI for Women Isn’t Always Accurate

BMI is typically calculated by dividing one’s weight in kilograms by one’s height in meters squared. The resulting number is supposed to signify whether you are underweight, healthy weight, overweight, or obese.

BMI is commonly used by doctors to gain insight into your overall health. However, when it comes to BMI for women, the picture becomes hazy.

“BMI is useful because it is a quick and easy way for the general population to evaluate their health.” “However, it’s one-size-fits-all,” Dempers says. “And there are key differences between men and women that may impact its stability as a health indicator.” Women, for example, have more fat levels than men. However, there is no different BMI chart for women.”

BMI Calculator for Women

Use this adult BMI calculator to calculate your BMI.

You can also calculate your BMI using the following formulas:

  • Units of measurement in the United States. BMI = (weight in pounds ÷ height2 in inches) x 703 
  • Metric measurements. BMI = weight in kilograms ÷ height2 in meters 

For women, a healthy BMI ranges between 18.5 and 24.9. To determine your weight category, find your BMI in the chart below.

BMIWeight classification
<18.5Underweight
18.5-24.9Normal
25.0-29.9Overweight
30.0 >Obese

If you are pregnant or intend to become pregnant, you can use your pre-pregnancy BMI to measure your recommended weight gain.

BMI Before PregnancyRecommended Pregnancy Weight Gain
Below 18.528 to 40 pounds
18.5-24.925 to 35 pounds
25.0-29.915 to 25 pounds
30.0 or higher11 to 20 pounds

Limitations of Using Bmi to Measure Women’s Health

BMI is a contentious tool, with many medical experts claiming it should be phased out. “BMI was established 180 years ago, and the majority of their data came from corpses.” “Since then, the average height and weight for both males and females have risen,” Dempers says.

Women’s BMI ranges may also be untrustworthy if you are:

An Athlete

You will have higher muscle mass if you are more active. “Because BMI does not take into account body fat or muscle mass, it is useless for athletes,” says Dempers.

Muscles with a higher density also weigh more, according to Mcdonough. “As a result, BMI values are skewed.” The majority of athletes will be in the overweight to the obese range.”

Postmenopausal

“As you get older, your body fat tends to increase,” explains Mcdonough. “When a woman reaches menopause, her hormone levels drop. As hormones decline, muscle mass deteriorates and abdominal fat accumulates.”

Even if you are the same weight at 70 as you were at 30, you may have a lot more body fat. Some postmenopausal women with a healthy BMI may actually be overweight or obese, according to research.

Five Ways to Measure Health and Weight (With or Without BMI)

There are additional effective techniques to check your health’s temperature, according to Dempers and Mcdonough. “If your BMI is high, don’t give up. It’s merely a piece of the puzzle. “Do more research and speak with your doctor or another specialist about various aspects of body fat measurement,” Mcdonough advises.

1. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DEXA)

DEXA is a bone density scan that determines your bone mass, muscle mass, and body fat percentage. “You get a better view of your body composition,” Mcdonough explains.

2. Electronic Body Fat Scanner

Body fat scanners are now available on several scales. Dempers explains, “They have metal plates on them that send a little current through your body to give you a ballpark estimate of your body fat percentage.” “Even though they have a standard deviation of roughly plus or minus seven on the accuracy scale, they nonetheless provide a respectable ballpark measurement.”

3. Mirror

Looking in the mirror may seem old-fashioned (or even triggering), but it can be beneficial, according to Dempers. “Some individuals may find it difficult, but it’s not about nitpicking oneself. Instead, it can be a useful tool for assessing your current situation and tracking your progress as you work toward your health goals.”

4. Essential Body Fat Percentage and Skinfold Calipers

“The minimal minimum of body fat that you need to stay healthy and maintain healthy brain function is your necessary body fat percentage,” Dempers explains.

“Have someone who is familiar with this procedure — such as an athletic trainer — do a six-site test on your body with calipers, which resemble tongs. The test determines your body fat percentage and whether you have higher muscle density than your BMI suggests,” Mcdonough adds. “For females, the typical necessary body fat percentage ranges from 25% to 31%.”

5. Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR)

The waist-to-hip ratio is calculated by dividing your waist measurement by your hip measurement in cm. It determines whether you are overweight and how that weight may affect your health. WHR is related to your health in the following ways:

WHR for womenHealth Risks for Obesity-related Conditions
0.8 or lowerLow
0.81 to 0.84Moderate
0.85 or higherHigh

Make that you are standing up straight. Place a tape measure around the narrowest region of your waist, which is normally above your belly button, to determine your waist circumference. Then measure the greatest part of your hips, which is usually the widest part of your buttocks, to determine your hip circumference. Subtract the circumference of your waist from the circumference of your hips.

“Enlist an exercise physiologist or trainer at a fitness club with experience taking these kinds of measurements for the most reliable results,” Dempers advises. “If I had to choose one of these tools, I’d go with body fat % measurement.” However, to achieve the most accurate results, it’s ideal to utilize a combination of measures, BMI, and body fat.”

What happens once you get your BMI?

What should you do when you’ve used these measurements to acquire a clear picture of your health? If your results indicate that you are overweight, speak with your doctor or another health professional about safe and effective weight loss options. Avoid crash or fad diets at all costs. Whether you use a BMI calculator or not, a realistic diet and exercise plan can help you look and feel your best in the long run.

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