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How to Achieve a Healthy Body Mass Index

body mass index and food pyramid chart on a table with a notebook filled with healthy foods

We’ve all heard that being overweight is bad for our bodies, but why? Excess weight puts strain on our hearts, increases the risk of diabetes, makes illness more dangerous, and can create many other health complications. One way professionals gauge if a person is overweight is with the body mass index (BMI).

It is important to note that BMI is a useful screening tool but does not diagnose a person’s overall health. The BMI chart is used as a first indicator for whether or not a doctor should perform further assessments. BMI numbers combined with family history, diet, exercise, and other health evaluations, decide if a person is at risk.

What is Body Mass Index?

To better understand how the index affects our health and how to achieve a healthy BMI, it is important to first understand what it is. Basically, BMI is a person’s weight in kilograms divided by the square of their height in meters.

This method was devised all the way back in the 1830s by a man named Lambert Adolphe Jacques Quetelet. It is easy to assume that something from so long ago is outdated and inaccurate, but that is surprisingly not so. In the 1970s, scientists did a study that supported this method as the most accurate measure of weight relative to height. The only issue is that the BMI doesn’t differentiate between fat and muscle so should not be used as the only indicator of health.

What is a Good Body Mass Index?

A quick google search will provide a BMI chart. If you don’t have one in front of you, the numbers to remember are:

  • Underweight: BMI is less than 18.5
  • Normal weight: BMI is 18.5 to 24.9
  • Overweight: BMI is 25 to 29.9
  • Obese: BMI is 30 or more

To get these numbers, divide the weight by the square of the height. Since we don’t use kilograms and meters much in the US, we can convert the original formula into pounds and inches. It would look like this:

BMI = (your weight in pounds x 703) ÷ (your height in inches x your height in inches)

For Example: Weight = 150 and Height = 5’3”

(150×703) / (63’x63’) = 26.5

Muscle mass is denser than fat mass, so if you are trying to body build, BMI is not a good measurement. For a general indicator, BMI is a great place to start. It can give you a healthy target weight to discuss with your doctor.

How Z.E.N. Foods Can Help You Achieve a Better BMI

The best way to achieve a better BMI is through gradual, long-term weight loss. Z.E.N. Foods helps you achieve this by customizing a nutritional meal plan and delivering it straight to your door. The menu is calorie-controlled, balanced with the 40-30-30 philosophy. Each meal contains 40% complex carbohydrates, 30% lean protein, and 30% healthy fats. The meal plans are not about denial but about a healthy balance.

The Z.E.N. meal delivery plan allows you to choose delicious, reasonably priced meals, with your long-term goals in mind. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, a snack and dessert are delivered daily, saving you the time it takes to shop and prep meals. Good habits are easier to create when they take a lot of work. The meals are easy to slot into busy lifestyles and help you avoid reaching for convenient junk food.

Z.E.N. Foods strives to provide easy access to nutritious foods in Los Angeles and other Southern California areas. Just like any food plan, the meals are most effective when coupled with exercise, good sleep, and proper water intake. Taking care of your body is more than just eating right. A food delivery plan gives you time to focus on other healthy habits without adding shopping and cooking to your schedule. View the various food plans available on our website today.

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