Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Fat, Fit, BMI, Folly, Guesswork, Smoking, Weightloss.



Better than BMI, not nearly as good as not smoking-->



I have long poo pooed BMI ( Body Mass Index) readings as anything more than guesswork. It's a 'guideline' I suppose, but hardly a good one. Most of the bigger dudes in my gym would be classified as having a high BMI, yet none of them are carrying any excess unhealthy weight. A pound of muscle weighs exactly the same as a pound of fat, so you cannot rely on scales to work out fat in a body.
Healthy and weight don't always go hand in hand. Some of the runners I know would be told to eat more if judged on BMI alone, yet their streamlined shapes are exactly what is required for their sport and none of them strike me as unhealthy either.
I know some folk that work in fashion and have delightfully low BMIs, hurrah! Of crouse they only eat cigarettes and only drink coffee and nibble on sushi if they feel faint headed. Healthy, nope, but look look, their BMI is so rosy!
BMI takes nothing into account other than height to weight ratio, and the margins are pretty vague too, there can be as much as twenty pounds or as little as one pound difference between 'frowned upon BMI' or 'Thumbs up BMI'. What a load of hooey.
Short of getting immersed in water and callipered to within an inch of your life, the average person can quite clearly see if they're carrying too much weight by stripping off their clothes and standing in front of a full length mirror in good natural light- I do however like the shape chart as a guide. This looks to me to be far more accurate than BMI, even though it's hardly completely sound either.
I'm wittering on about this because I had to waste twenty minutes this morning talking about BMI with someone obsessed with it( due in no small part to their doctor's rather outdated views)
This person has given up smoking of late and has put on a few pounds ( it's not Gimmie, he's svelte as a greyhound) This has led the doc to witter on about BMI and unhealthiness. I suggested the fact that they no longer smoke thirty fags a day surely had added IMMENSELY to their health, and that pounds gained can be removed as he gets fitter and fitter. I said one can get fitter much easier when one is not fucking up one's lungs with the millions of poisonous chemicals.
But no, all of this fell on deaf ears, it was the sodding BMI that was all important.
BMI, I find I am against it this morning.

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31 Comments:

Anonymous sheepworrier said...

Phew - looks like im doin ok by that scale then. Still could do with losing some chubbyness off the stomach, but that would require giving up the hooch, and a sacrifice of such magnitude scares the bejaysis outta me to be honest.

11:38 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Oh everyone has got to have something vice-ular ( pats Haribo person sized bag of cola sours)

11:51 a.m.  
Blogger Conan Drumm said...

It seems I'm good to go with all thst choc I consumed over Rosemass. Easter's now coming early at the Drummstead.

12:17 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

Yeah i get the ok from the chart above too, but I've signed up to a new fitness plan created by my mate.

It's a bit depressing having tall athletic friends when you're 5"9. (a 6"5 royal marine, a 6"1 gym instructor and a 6"3 lifeguard).

Time to get buff. HOO-YAW!

12:57 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ah blessed be Rosemass, and may Cadbury keep you safe from harm.
Fair play Morgor! What plans are you about to embark on? Weights? Running? Rowing? All of the above?

1:53 p.m.  
OpenID grimsaburger said...

Dear me, looks like I should "take action." Oh wait, I'm all belly for the next four months.
The BMI is like something my mom (I love her, I do) would come up with. She eats very little of substance, fortifies the rest of her diet with sweets, still smokes a few cigs a day, hydrates only with Pepsi, and gets little to no exercise. And then complains about my dad's weight, which is admittedly over the top, but at least he's up and moving all day long and eats broccoli every chance he gets. But, see, she's thin, and he's not, so she must be doing something right?! Urgh.
I like the waist measurement thing, even if I'm generally box-shaped and couldn't get down below 29" unless I starved myself and worked out twenty hours a week. It's the belly fat that's the most dangerous to one's health, so I understand.

2:03 p.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

my plan is weights in the morning before work and running after work.

3 days a week . . . gulp!

Plus eating more veg and less pizza.

Must procure some weight lifting equipment and some decent running shoes.

I had signed up for capoeira but the tutor quit or something.

2:09 p.m.  
Blogger gimme a minute said...

Morgor, exercising twice a day, even just three days a week, is too much to begin with. Aim for that, but start with just one or the other. And try to think 'every second day' rather than three days a week. It's almost the same thing!

I can't believe I just slipped into my personal trainer voice.

Anyway, BMI is a load of bollox. As FMC says, look in the mirror. Are you a fat bastard? Then you're a fat bastard.

That's better.

2:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

I'd second what Gimmie said about breaking it up over different day Morgor, especially with weights, you need the rest days to help your muscle repair. But good luck either way.
Grims, I've seen your new photo, that's a fine looking belly you're currently sporting! Plenty of room for expansion.

4:29 p.m.  
Blogger Medbh said...

I'm thin but wouldn't exactly claim to be at the peak of health. Although yesterday I took the "feed a cold" maxim to the extreme.
*burp*

5:36 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Feeling any better today?

6:16 p.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

BMI is valuable but useless on its own, you also need to know what percentage of your body mass is fat. Many people could have a decent BMI but their fat mass could be too high. You can get some hitech weighing scales which will break this down for you.

http://www.tanita.com/IronManScales.shtml

Morgor, I second Gimme, your workout program will prove to be counter productive. Unless you are a professional athlete and can afford to nap during the day you shouldn't do two workouts. This will stress your body. Alternate Aerobic and strength, stretch after both, and take two days off a week, (many pro atheletes believe rest is as important as training). learn proper nutrition - your body will have different requirements if you work out regularly and not eating properly is also counterproductive.

10:31 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

Reading this made me think of my Pilates teacher who basically bribes us to do more work by talking about all the bad food we eat (me pretty much excluded apart from the odd crisp sambo and a biccie with my tea after dinner) and then keeps on going on and on about bellies arses etc, it motivates some people, but really doesn't motivate me, I am thinking "just suck off my small love handles and I will be happy" I am doing it for myself, not to lose anything. I am not perfect, I have a healthy diet, I have a normal BMI (but think it's bollox also and so it doesn't make any difference to me) but I am happy with myself the way I never was before, apart from the love handles that I have no idea how to get rid of, they're not big, not even an inch to pinch really, but I need rid, for my own sanity! Anyone got any tips?

10:39 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Helloe John mc! WElcomd to 2009, hope you and yours are all well and hale and indeed hearty.
Babs, if only we could find the secret to spot reduction eh? Damned stubborn places.

11:16 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

FMC it kills me, I do all sorts of crazy manoeuvres trying my hardest to get rid of them and still they are there. I am not tight all over or anything like it but they are the only thing that piss me off, funnily enough some of the males in my life who I have moaned about them to have said they like them, I don't understand this at all.
That's it...I'm getting lipo! :P

12:25 a.m.  
Blogger John Mc said...

Thanks FMC

All is well, although not so hale and hearty, temporarily. Just had sinus surgery yesterday. Long postponed, and after suffering the after affects of general anesthetic I know why. However should revolutionise my life in the long wrong.

12:49 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Ouch, sound painful, may your recovery be swift and you breathing fully funcional.

Babs, Indeed! Something to hold on to perhaps?

7:24 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

yeah i was planning on every second day, but i was told doing weight training in the morning is the best (followed by a big breakfast) and then rest for the day (work in IT) then running afterwards.

Have no intention of starving myself, just will try to eat less crap and more veg.

Gave up sugar too!

9:20 a.m.  
Blogger morgor said...

PS : not a fat bastard and not terribly unfit just getting slightly plumper looking than i want.

9:22 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Happens to all of us Morgor, one minute you're eighteen and can't put weight, next you're in your thirties and even glancing at a bowl of pasta makes your waistband tighten

10:13 a.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

FMC - They should be well able to hold onto my arse no? It's a proper arse, roundy and good for holding.
Someone....help me....I need rid of the handles of loveliness!

11:53 a.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

Think of them as love handlebars!

12:06 p.m.  
Anonymous Babs said...

I just snotted my green tea out my nose, so now it's even greener eh? Love Handlebars indeed!

9:21 p.m.  
Blogger fatmammycat said...

'Authentic love handlebars' the very best kind darling!

10:31 p.m.  
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