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My age is 22 from Pakistan, my weight is 125 lbs (56.7 kg) and have a height of 5ft and 4in (1.62 m), so do I need to lose some weight?

As far history I have lose about 18lbs in two months, my actual weight was 143 lbs (64 kg). So should I lose some more weight or its enough ?

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2 Answers 2

Keep in mind that BMI is really only useful as a statistical measurement. It has no concept of body fat percentage, and is merely a ratio of height and weight. As a statistical measurement the outlyers (those with above average lean mass and those with below average lean mass) cancel each other out. BMI is just a rough way to determine who may be at risk--typically because of too much body fat which is hard to measure accurately.

If you have average lean mass as defined by the charts used to interpret BMI, than it is an easy indicator of your weight loss progress. There are two cases where BMI simply is not useful:

  • Above average lean mass: typically anyone who does strength training routinely, or has a very physical job such as construction. Your abs can be showing, and veins popping out all over the place and register as overweight on BMI indexes.
  • Below average lean mass: most common in elderly people where the lean mass has atrophied due to sarcopenia--or people with eating disorders like anorexia or bolemia. These people can register normal or even lean on BMI and still have enough fat reserves to be unhealthy.

It's much more useful to use a mirror to determine if you need to loose weight or gain muscle. If you have a small frame and you lack definition, you probably should focus on gaining strength before losing weight. If you have a normal frame and your shape is round and lacks definition, you can probably stand to lose some fat. If you have plenty of definition, don't worry about the scale or BMI.

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You're certainly within the normal range among all governmental recommendations that I'm aware of (including relatively stringent definitions like the Japanese government). BMIs below 18.5 are associated with increased risk of death, as are BMIs over 25. I'd suggest checking your body fat percentage and evaluating from there: BMI is a somewhat limited measure to determine overall health, but can be useful for quickly diagnosing extreme (obesity/overweight/underweight). At this point, you should probably focus on other fitness outcomes than just weight: strength, flexibility, blood lipids (HDL/LDL, trigycerides, etc), blood glucose, subjective appearance, waist circumference, body fat percentage, etc.

That said, south Asians do have a significantly elevated genetic risk of type II diabetes relative to most Europeans or east Asians, so maintaining a low BMI is likely to significantly improve your health. Indeed, a BMI over 23 is considered a risk factor for diabetes in south Asians, and while you're not close to that BMI any more, getting farther away from it might reduce your risk of diabetes.

Overall though, good job! And remember that weight maintenance is frequently harder than actively losing weight, so you'll probably have to stay vigilant to even maintain your losses. Dr. Arya Sharma put it very well in this video about Weight-Loss Plateaus.
The important part is continuing to maintain healthy diet and exercise habits, not necessarily to lose ever more weight.

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Please keep in mind that BMI is not intended to be used as a metric for individual health. Checking a height/weight chart to determine if Yousuf should lose more weight is simply not good. You qualify your response, but that's the core of what you're doing. –  Dave Liepmann Jan 19 '13 at 13:57
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