Forget the Scales - The bmi is whack! Alternate ways to track your fitness progress.


The BMI (Body mass index) is currently used around the world to determine whether an adult is of a healthy weight for their height. It can however, be deceiving. A 5ft 10inch man that weights 80kg would be considered overweight and Arnold Schwarzenegger in the prime of his life (Not now) considered obese according to the body mass index.

Why the BMI is inaccurate

The bmi was introduced in the early 19th century by a man called Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. He introduced the formula as a quick and simple way to measure the degree of obesity of the general population. Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet was a mathematician, NOT a doctor!

Bone, muscle or fat?

The BMI does not take into account what proportion of weight is made up of bone, muscle and fat. Bone is denser than muscle and twice as dense as fat. Not only that, but the BMI ignores waist size, an extremely important factor when determining good health. Visceral fat is by far the most dangerous and should almost always be taken into account when determining whether an adult is of a healthy weight. 

Weight fluctuation 

We're told "The scales never lie" but actually, they do! 

Weight fluctuates greatly. Eating, drinking, bowel movements, urinating, and exercise all have an impact on your body's water composition. High-carb and high-salt foods often cause water retention aka weight gain, whereas exercise and excessive sweating cause temporary water loss aka weight loss. Boxers and other athletes have been know to "artificially" lose up to a whopping and very dangerous 30 lbs in the 4-5 days leading up to a pre-fight weigh-in. Only to then show up to the actual fight weighting 30 pounds more than the day before.


When beginning an exercise program

It's important to know, especially when beginning any sort of exercise program that includes weight training that you will almost certainly gain a little weight initially. Even more so if you've spent some time inactive. This for many can be extremely difficult and frustrating and before even giving it a chance, hop right off the healthy train and find themselves elbow deep in a tub of full fat ice cream!


Alternative methods to track your progress

1.) Body fat percentage using callipers - Body fat calculator
If your goal be to tone up and drop body fat, ditch the scales and use body fat callipers to accurately measure you body fat percentage. 

Check out how at: 

Body fat callipers - A cheap and effective method of measuring body fat. 

Body fat callipers - A cheap and effective method of measuring body fat. 

2.) Take your Measurements. 

Taking your body measurements can be a super way to track progress. Often you'll find you've lost an inch or two, even if the scales don't show it.

Check out how at: Livestrong (for men) and at: superskinnyme (for women).

3.) Before, during and after photos
Shown to have very positive and effective results. Taking selfies on a weekly/biweekly basis can act as a fantastic motivator.

Check out how at: fitwatch

For more fantastic health and fitness related articles, check out the ebylife blog or for personal training in Barcelona, contact us today