Re: A personal experience
I always thought that the BMI stuff was bollocks too, but I think it is largely right if you are of average size.
I wasn't just a little tubby, I was morbidly obese and unfit. I'm a smidgen under 6ft, and weighed over 20 st/285lb/130kg, a BMI of 37, and was massively fed up of it.
I quit smoking (ish), and cut my diet to around 1000 calories per day - 3 satsumas for breakfast, an Eat noodle salad and another satsuma for lunch, more satsumas in the afternoon, and an M&S "Fuller for Longer" ready meal with some extra veg, and lots of cups of tea during the day.
1000 calories a day is damn hard. At the start, I'd keep failing to keep to it, but eventually, your stomach shrinks, and you feel less hungry all the time as a result, and the number of days a week where you fail gets smaller and smaller.*
At the same time, I started doing more exercise. Not actual "put on special exercising clothes" exercise; I walked to the station after work as fast as possible without sweating too much for 20 minutes. If it starts taking less than 20 minutes to get to that station, go a different route.
This diet and moderate exercise has let me lose weight regularly at the rate of 2lb a week; I've been doing it just over a year now, and I've lost about 105 lb, or 7 stone. My waist has gone from 46" to 34" - I have had to buy new trousers and belts almost every other month...
This was about BMI, right? So, the interesting thing about losing so much weight is that I have passed through every BMI stage apart from "Underweight" in the last year. For me, they all seemed pretty on the ball. I was definitely still overweight when I was "Overweight (25-30)", and I still have some more to lose now. When I was 14 stone I was sure that another 7lb would do it, now I am 12st 10lb, and I still think another 7lb needs to come off. I'm not a beanstalk either, I have very broad chest and shoulders.
My BMI now is around 24.5, which puts me in the "Healthy" category, but I'm still dieting to remove the last of my visceral fat and doing some more intensive exercise (couch 2 5k) to try and tighten up my loose skin.
* I changed the diet after about 8 months, as I found a) I was getting slightly bored of satsumas, and b) there was not enough roughage in that diet (Pro tip: do not get dehydrated when eating a diet with poor roughage..). Changed breakfast to two weetabix, a banana and the smallest amount of milk possible to make it edible, and I now mix and match my fruits, satsumas, pears, apples, peaches, nectarines; whatever looks good at the corner store.