Apart from hopping on to the scale every fortnight to keep tabs on your fitness progress, there are a number of instruments that help your journey. Instruments such as the BMI Calculator and Macronutrient Calculator can help you gauge your current position/ body composition with increased clarity. They can serve as a solid benchmark for future progress and as a great reminder if you tend to go off the rails every now and then. Does this mean that the calculators are 100% accurate? We aren’t that naive and neither should you be. These calculators help you find a starting point and provide data in perspective of a larger populous. They do not have the ability to read on an individual level and do not account for age, sex, gender, ethnicity, or muscle mass. These are all factors that can cause varying results.
So, let’s take a look at how a BMI Calculator and a Macronutrient Calculator can help you with your fitness goals.
What is BMI and why do I need to calculate it?
BMI, short for Body Mass Index shows the value of body mass divided by the square of the body height. It is a tool used to assess whether an individual is underweight, overweight, or at a healthy weight given their height. Having a healthy BMI decreases your chances of suffering from ailments such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and obesity. This is commonly seen in people that rank on the higher end of the spectrum. On the other hand, people with a low BMI have the risk of suffering from anemia, malnutrition, and osteoporosis.
What information do I need to find my BMI?
Finding out your BMI is fairly simple, you need to know your weight and height and use the formula. That’s about it. To calculate your BMI in metric units, divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters.
Alternatively, if you can calculate your BMI in Imperial units. To do this multiply your weight in pounds by 703 and then divide the height in inches squared (in2).
If these methods seem like too much work don’t worry. You can use an online BMI Calculator to get the job done in a few seconds. These are the ranges of BMI with the associated classifications and health risks.
What should my ideal BMI be?
The normal BMI of an individual is influenced by their gender, age, height, and weight. It lies within 4 ranges, they are
- <18.5- This segment represents an individual that is underweight. Individuals can suffer from chronic health issues such as eating disorders, depression, and blood deficiencies.
- 18.5-24.99- This is the normal category in which individuals are at a reduced risk. However, BMI does not account for fat percentage. It is important to maintain a lean body mass and lower fat percentage to remain healthy. A nutritious diet and exercise are key for maintaining a healthy BMI and body fat percentage.
- 25-29.99- Here lies the overweight category, however, this is only to be taken seriously if you live a sedentary lifestyle. Being overweight can put you at risk to a number of chronic ailments. Athletes with lean body mass and fluid retention may pop-up as overweight despite having low body fat levels. This is a limitation of gauging purely on BMI.
- >30-Now this is an area of grave concern, people in this range are prone to strokes, obesity, risk of type 2 diabetes, and high cholesterol. People in this range experience a dip in energy levels, aches, and inflammation among other issues. Their bodies store high amounts of visceral fat which need to be tackled at the earliest, to avoid serious health issues.
What is a Macronutrient Calculator?
Before we get into the calculator and its benefits, let’s brush up on macronutrients. Macros, for short, are the 3 essential food groups that provide the energy (known as calories) needed to sustain life. These are proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Each gram of carbohydrate and protein contain 4 calories each, while each gram of fat contains 9 calories. Of course, when chomping down throughout the day it is near impossible to know how many calories you are consuming nor can you gauge how many grams of protein, fats, and carbs you are taking in. A macronutrient calculator can help you set up your own macros as it gives you the number of grams of each macro you need in order to achieve your physique goals according to your bodies unique requirement. A calorie calculator fails to give you a break down of how many calories should be consumed from each food group. Doing so will help prevent loss or gain of any unnecessary weight.
However, keep in mind that a Macronutrient Calculator isn’t 100% accurate and should be used as a general indicator. Before setting up your macros be sure to understand your maintenance weight. The ‘Why buy the best digital weighing scale’ article can guide you in setting up your macros flawlessly. Then you can use an online macronutrient calculator and know your needed calories to achieve your physique goals.
What information do I need to enter?
When it comes to using a macronutrient calculator you need to enter your age, gender, height, weight, physique goal (lose, gain, maintain), and your current level of activity. In doing so, you will get a breakdown of how many grams of carbs, proteins, and fats you need to consume on a daily basis to achieve your target weight goal.
What should my macros be?
Your macros should be a figure that is derived from your weight goals. Aggressive weight loss requires a greater calorie deficit (which isn’t’ advised). In terms of rate of loss, losing one pound requires a deficit of 3500 calories. So maintaining a 500 calorie deficit each day of the week will enable you to lose one pound. You can use a calorie calculator to identify this number and then equate how many grams of proteins, carbs, and fats you need using a Macronutrient Calculator. Usually, the recommended intake of calories is 45% from sources of carbs, 35% protein. and 20% fats.
Weight loss is a numbers game
When it comes to losing weight, there is no secret or genetic hack. Losing weight is simple math of energy in vs energy out. These two calculators can help you understand how much you need to eat and what your ideal body composition is. From there, setting up your macros and following them over time dramatically alters your appearance. For best results, couple it with resistance training. Further, a healthy BMI keep you not only lean and active but healthy. People with a good BMI tend to have lower levels of visceral fat and reduce the chances of harmful diseases and health issues.
Along with a measuring tape, ensure you invest in the best weighing scale to help you track your progress in both inches and weight. This can provide a huge mental boost on the days you feel low. If you do find yourself in the dumps, take a look at where you started from and appreciate how far you’ve come. Begin snapping pictures of yourself to use as visual indicators of your progress and update it weekly. Sometimes change occurs visually that we cannot notice on an everyday basis. Weight loss isn’t easy but it is simple. Start today, your mind and body will thank you for it.