How to Plan Your Meals Based on a BMI Calculator

With all of the fad diets and misinformation about food that circulate nowadays, it’s difficult to know where to start in creating a healthy meal planner. One way to do so is by sticking with the straight numbers of a Body Mass Index calculator.

Using this plan of action in conjunction with visits to the doctor, monitoring potential health issues, and retaining a healthy outlook on food is a great way to manage weight. Using a BMI calculator can even reduce the likelihood of certain illnesses like heart disease by keeping an eye on body fat percentage.

On its own, a Body Mass Indicator can’t serve as a diagnosis, but it can be a jumping-off point to address underlying issues. Make sure to consult a doctor or health provider before using any of these calculations for major health changes.

What a BMI calculator is

A Body Mass Index calculator, also known as a BMI calculator, uses a few different stats to calculate body fat. To use a Body Mass Index calculator, input the age, weight, height, and gender of the subject in question. It then divides the subject’s weight in kilograms by the square of height in meters.

Essentially, a BMI calculator will place its subjects into four categories: underweight, healthy weight, overweight, and obese. The World Health Organization maintains a recommended body weight chart for all genders using the Body Mass Index calculator.

These statistics are relevant for people ages 18 to 65. Do not apply the adult BMI calculator to children. There is a separate calculator created for minors that takes growth into consideration that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made for boys and girls.

A Body Mass Index calculator also can’t be the sole resource in determining healthy body weight. It would be impossible to mathematically include all body types, muscle distribution, fat, and bone density into the calculation. It is simply one resource that can help people determine their most healthy weight, used in conjunction with other tools.

People with the same body mass index can have different percentages of fat, and that’s ok. Remember that a BMI calculator does not directly measure body fat but rather the percentage of body fat according to height, weight, and age.

What are Macronutrients: Calories in Each Macro

If bodyweight becomes a concern after using the BMI calculator, the next step is using a meal planner. This will make it easier to stay on target with macronutrients while also simplifying trips to the grocery store and last-minute dinners.

But first, what are macronutrients? Essentially, they are the three basic components that make up every diet: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. They are important for a  wide range of physiological purposes and keep people functioning properly.

These nutrients give us energy, which is calculated in calories (also abbreviated as kcals). Carbs and proteins both contain 4 kcal per gram, while fats contain 9 kcal per gram.

Carbohydrates function as the main energy source and are found in most foods as different types of sugar. The human body digests sugar the most rapidly for conversion into energy.

There are two different types of carbs — simple carbs and complex carbs. Simple carbs include items like sugar and syrup, while complex carbs include bread and pasta. Complex carbs take longer to break down and are therefore a more reliable form of energy.

Proteins are composed of amino acids and are essential for growth; tissue repair; and protection and development of muscle mass. Protein sources include fish, meat, eggs, cheese, beans, seeds, and soy. Some protein can even be found in fruits and vegetables.

Despite the cultural stigma it carries, fats are also an essential part of the human diet. There are three types: trans fats, saturated fats, and unsaturated fats. Trans fats are associated with fried food, and saturated fats come from animal products like beef and butter. Unsaturated fats are typically considered the most healthy and come from sources like fish and nuts.

Humans need a balanced diet of these three types of macronutrients to function properly. Make sure to have all of these in moderation.

How to calculate the number of calories in your food

The easiest way to calculate calories in your food is to look at the nutrition facts if the item comes in a package. It will have all of the different macronutrients broken down, as well as the total calories per serving.

If you are cooking with whole food ingredients, you can use this calorie calculator from the Calorie Control Council. You can easily search from their huge database of food types, which it then breaks down by serving size, calories, fat, protein, carbs, fiber, and total sugar.

Calories are not an inherently bad thing. They are simply a measure of the amount of energy food can contribute to an organism. The USDA also allows for a 20 percent margin of error, so the nutrition fact list on any food item will only be a rough estimate of the nutrients within,

Make a meal plan

A meal planner can simplify a lot of the day in addition to addressing body mass index goals. Having a meal plan cuts down on preparation time and removes the difficulty of deciding what to make last-minute.

Making a meal plan can also be a fun way to try new foods. Deciding on certain recipes for the week and going to the grocery store with a plan saves time by planning beforehand. It also saves money because it can reduce impulse buys.

Meal plans are easily customizable and can quickly be manipulated to fit any lifestyle. It’s also helpful to have a list of pantry and produce staples that are always on hand for basic recipes that you can make in no time.

Meal plans are a great tool to eat healthier and get more organized. Remember to try new recipes and have fun!