The body mass index or BMI is a simple calculation used to categorise people into underweight healthy weight, overweight or obese ranges. However, it is flawed in that it doesn’t take into consideration someone's body composition (such as muscle mass or bone structure) and therefore is more of a guide.
What we do know is that it is a measure of relative risk towards having a chronic illness because of weight. If a BMI is under 18.5 then a person has higher relative risk of malnourishment.
If their BMI is greater than 30, they have greater relative risk of illnesses such as cardiovascular disease or diabetes.
Is a low carb diet bad for me for weight loss?
This is mainly used for weight loss and for some, a lifestyle. It’s not necessarily bad but it’s important to define what ‘low’ is.
Many people associate the keto diet as the low carb diet.
Typically, the keto diet has a carbohydrate content of 20-50g per day, but it is not necessary to be this low to achieve weight loss.
Around 50-100g carbs per day and higher protein is just as good for weight loss and is much more practical and sustainable.
There are numerous fasting methods out there: the 16:8 method where you fast for 16 hours and eat all food within an 8 hour window; the 5:2 where on 2 days of the week you drop your calories down; and some also do an extended fast of 24 or 48 hours every few weeks or months.
From research coming out in these it appears fasting has a lot of benefits. It’s possible that the constant consumption of foods may not be ideal for our bodies.
Weight loss is simple - “it’s just calories in vs calories out”
To an extent this is true.
However, some people need to go very low in calories to see any results, which makes weight loss from calorie counting a very challenging experience.
The metabolic system also has hormonal expression to factor in and not just the metabolic rate.
For many people, a diet that focuses on composition rather than quantity often can get weight loss and is not as difficult as cutting calories down to low levels.
For example, if all that needs to be considered is calories in versus calories out that is equivalent to saying that 100 calories from broccoli has the same metabolic impact as 100 calories from ice cream.
The sugar in the ice cream causes much more secretions of insulin than the broccoli.
Insulin is a key hormone in fat storage and stopping fat breakdown.
So there is more to weight loss than just calories!