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At what point does a low BMI start to cause problems?

Am aware that I'm getting a bit ahead of myself, I was only at Portsmouth AFCO on Friday asking if I could rejoin.

My BMI hovers around 18-19 and I vaguely remember having some issues with it the first time I joined up at 16. Have just started the process of rejoining and my BMI/weight hasn't changed despite having 3 kids.

I've recently upped my phys and am having to eat HUGE amounts to stop myself losing weight. I've sat down with my gym instructor, we've gone through my daily food intake and exercise regimes, his answer was to try and sell me a bucket full of protein powder - I declined.

I've been to my doctor who helpfully told me that I was lucky and not to worry as BMI was an inaccurate science - which I agree with incidentally but that doesn't help me if the Navy has a low BMI as a bar to re-entry. So if it is a problem, what can I do about it?! Over eating is not helping!

Apologies if this has been a done a thousand times but any search of the boards takes me to an error page.


Sounds like its normal for you. If you have a healthy diet then you have no health concerns, and 18-9 isn't low enough to concern us from a recruitment point of view.

Enjoy your steak!


As doc is 18-19 isn't low enough, but if you're looking for a website with lots of information. This has been talked about at my local gym, (bit of a gay website) but has lots information. Ectomorph Workout
Nice link - "achieve that muscular alpha male body you’ve always wanted." Ahh the husband will be pleased ^_~

Thanks both, that's reassuring.

Have managed to get the search function working and it seems it's not an uncommon worry.


War Hero
The "good book" states the following on the issue of weight for those joining the Royal Navy (not the Royal Marines): A candidate's weight should not normally vary from the average by more than 25% (Aircrew by no more than 15%). No underweight limit is set, but doubts may be expressed if a candidate is considered to be suffering from anorexia.

There was a Gunnery Sergeant in my old squadron (VFMA-134; R.I.P.) whose BMI dropped below 4%. Like you, he tried everything to raise it, to no avail. It didn't seem to cause him any problems, however; he was in great physical shape. I have to side with your doctor on this one. As long as you work out, have a good diet, get proper rest, and have good sex, you shouldn't worry about it.
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