Before starting any weight loss program, you should begin by assessing your current level of physical fitness. There are many ways to do this, including weighing yourself, or measuring you body fat percentage.
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The BMI is a common measure used by physicians to measure the relative fatness or thinness of a person.
In the most general sense, the BMI formula is a ratio consisting of your weight to your height squared. Depending on whether you use the metric or English system of measurement determines which formula for BMI you use.
The formula for BMI using the metric system is pretty simple. It is the ratio of your weight in kilograms to your height in meters squared.
The formula for BMI using English units is similar to the metric version except that you use pounds and inches squared and multiply by 703.
There is one other version of the formula to calculate your BMI that is rarely used in places other than the United Kingdom. It is the ratio of your weight in stone to your height in meters squared multiplied by 6.35.
You can use the version of the formula you are most comfortable with to calculate your BMI yourself, or you can use an online BMI calculator.
Lean more about the BMI formula from Wikipedia.
Remember, the BMI is not for everyone. BMI does not directly measure body fat percentage. Athletes and bodybuilders, for example, often have BMI numbers that indicate that they are overweight or obese while maintaining a low body fat percentage. Therefore, the BMI should not be your only measure of physical fitness.
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