Many people are confused when it comes to looking at their Body Mass Index (BMI) versus their body fat percentage, since they do not always agree. So which should you go by?
First of all, body fat percentage is an estimate of the fraction of the total body mass that is fat mass, as opposed to lean body mass (muscle, bone, organ tissue, blood, and everything else that makes you work). This index is often used as a means to monitor progress during a diet or as a measure of physical fitness for certain sports. BMI is just a simple measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height.
That being said, body fat percentage is a much more accurate way to measure excess body weight than BMI since it differentiates between the weight of muscle and fat, while BMI just lumps it all into one figure.
So why are there so many BMI calculators on the internet? This is simply because measuring body fat percentage requires a few things: Special equipment, the physical presence of the person wishing to have their fat evaluated and the physical presence of someone who knows how to work the equipment. BMI is just a loose guideline for anyone curious about where they sit, but it is not a one size fits all answer. Curious about your body fat percentage? Then talk to a fitness professional at your gym or even your doctor. Curious about your BMI? Then check out [sorry, shameless plug] the Fit Calculator.
To read what the body fat percentages mean, read more