Many people judge their fitness by how much they weigh. However, weight is not always an accurate measure of fitness because muscles can weigh as much as, or more than fat. If you want to truly get fit, you need to take your body mass index into consideration and use this measurement to help you determine whether you need to make changes in diet or exercise.

Your weight is a simple measure of how much gravity is pulling on your body. This gives you an estimate of how fit you are, but isn’t necessarily accurate. The clothes you are wearing, the time of day that you weigh yourself, your muscles and many other factors impact your weight at any given moment. For this reason, your scale may say you are overweight when you are eating healthily, exercising enough and completely fit.

Body mass index is an alternative measurement of how fit you are. This measurement tells you the percentage of your body that is made up of fat. If your body mass index is too high, it means you have too much fat on your body.

Both men and women use the same range to determine healthy body mass index. Although men and women are shaped differently and distribute fat and muscle differently over their bodies, body mass index scores take these factors into account. Thus, there is no difference in scale based on your biological sex.

However, you should be aware that men and women’s BMIs correspond to their body at amounts differently. Due to the way fat is distributed on your body, people who are biologically female tend to have more body fat on them at lower BMI levels.

In general, you are fit if your BMI is between 18.5 and 24.9. This score is calculated using a formula. Divide your weight in kilograms by the square of your height in meters. Since most people in the United States use inches and pounds, you should use an alternative formula. Just multiply the square of your height in inches by 703 after dividing your weight in pounds by it.

For example, suppose you are 6’1″ tall and weigh 200 pounds. You could convert your height to meters and your weight to kilograms, but it may be easier to use US measurements. Do this, you would use the formula [200 lbs./(72 inches)^2 ] x 703 or 27.12, which is slightly over the healthy BMI index.

The best way to keep tabs on your fitness is to weigh yourself and calculate your BMI regularly. If you do both of these things, you can determine how much of your weight is coming from fat. Keep in mind that as you gain muscle, you will gain weight from your muscles even though you are losing fat. Checking your BMI can help you stay encouraged if you don’t seem to be losing weight.

Body mass index, or BMI, is an important measure of fat loss and gain. Focus on the loss of fat in your fitness efforts rather than the number on your scale so that you can stay encouraged and move towards greater health.