Am I Overweight?
Feeling overly stuffed and tight around your waist after having brunch with your girlfriends is something we all can totally relate to (because we've all done it!).
And it's surprising how one small thing can truly make us convinced we are fat and overweight and even worry we might just be obese.
But just because you feel overly sensitive about how tight your jeans feel doesn't necessarily mean you are overweight and need to lose weight.
According to Women's Health Research Institute, women constantly misjudge themselves (1).
Just as 1 in 4 overweight American women believes her body weight as normal, around 1 in 6 normal weight women regards herself as overweight.
Whether your concern for your weight is legitimate or not, it's important to know what qualifies as a healthy weight, overweight and obese, and when to start taking weight loss seriously.
First, we need to understand what's considered overweight and obese.
When Are You Considered Overweight or Obese?
The terms "overweight" and "obese" describe weight ranges that are above what is medically accepted as a healthy weight.
This can be measured using a person's Body Mass Index or BMI for short.
Your Body Mass Index is calculated by multiplying your body weight in pounds by 703, then divide the result by your height in inches, then divide again your height one more time.
The result is your BMI.
For instance, let's use this simple BMI calculator formula for a person who weighs 120 and is 5"5 inches tall.
- 120 x 703 = 86,760
- 86,760 * 65 = 1,334
- 1,334 * 65 = 21 BMI
Step: 1. Multiply the weight in pounds by 703
- 120 X 703 = 84, 360.
Step: 2. Multiply the height in inches by 84, 360
- 65 X 84, 360 = 1.625 m.
Step: 3. Divide the result by your height in inches one more time.
The result for step 3 is your BMI, which is 21 based on the calculation above.
A healthy BMI range falls between 18.5 and 25, according to Havard Public School of Health (2).
At BMI 21, this person is actually at a healthy weight.
Not overweight or obese.
Overweight is defined as BMI of 25 to 29.99, and BMI over 30 is considered obese.
You can also use an Online BMI Calculator to fasten the process.
Here's the one I use here.
To know exactly where your weight falls using the BMI Calculation above, use the BMI Chart below.
Body Mass Index (BMI) Chart
If your weight is above 24.9, you need to lose weight to restore to your healthy range.
Being in either the overweight or obese is considered a risk factor and increases the likelihood of your risk for certain diseases and health problems.
As your BMI increases, so do your blood pressure, LDL, blood sugar, and inflammation. These changes translate into increased risk for coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and other related disease associated with being overweight or obese (3).
Getting your weight to the healthy weight range.
Weight Loss Tips
Here are a few tips below to help you lose weight and get your BMI to the healthy weight range.
In some respects, losing weight is quite simple.
You lose weight when there is a deficiency of energy in your body.
Simply, you need to burn more calories than you take in.
Conversely, if you consume more calories than your body uses, you'll gain weight.
That's because extra energy is converted into fat and stored in your body.
When calories are deficient, your body will tap into its fat stores to obtain the energy it needs to function.
And that'll show up as weight loss.
You can achieve this calorie deficit in several ways:
7 Simple Tips to Lose Weight
- Eliminate all sugary drinks and fruit juices: Cutting fruit juices and sodas will cut hundreds of calories from your meals per day, thus help you lose weight fast.
- Eat a protein rich diet: A protein-rich diet can rev your metabolism, keep you feeling full for longer, and decrease your appetite (4, 5, 6).
- Eat soluble fiber: Similar to protein, soluble fiber is linked to suppressed appetite, causing the feeling of fullness, which will reduce the number of calories you take in per day. Studies show that soluble fiber may help lose fat especially belly fat (7, 8). The recommended intake of fiber is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men per day.
- Drink green tea: According to research, you may rev up your metabolism by 5% and boosts your fat burning by about 17% by drinking green tea (9, 10).
- Exercise: Working out regularly forces you to use up more energy (in the form of calories). Cardio exercises seem to be the most effective in terms of burning calories and losing weight.
- Strength training: Resistance training or weight training, in addition, can help prevent muscle loss. This will prevent your metabolism from slowing down. Muscles mass is responsible for up to 20 percent of metabolism (11).
- High-intensity exercise: HIIT, short for high-intensity interval training is a workout with a series of intense exercises done in short bursts. Unlike typical lower-intensity cardio, HIIT puts a higher demand on the body and its energy system, leading to a higher metabolism and hours of calorie burning after your workout (12, 13).
The Bottom Line
If your goal is to lose weight for good, you need a calorie deficit.
And achieving this means taking in fewer calories than you burn.
Following the list above, you can help cut hundreds of calories from your diet, burn more calories, and ultimately help you lose weight quickly.
Related Calories & Weight Loss Articles:
- How Many Calories Are in a Pound of Body Fat?
- What to Eat to Lose Weight?
- How Many Calories Should You Eat to Lose Weight?
At the end of the day, it comes down to this.
What you eat influences your calorie input, and exercise maximizes your calorie burning.
Just remember what you eat matters, and not all calories are created equal. Some foods will boost your metabolism, burn calories just by eating them, while others will cause you to store fat.
Always consult with your doctor and incorporate some of the rules set here to reach your ultimate goal.