Am I Fat? 5 Ways to Honestly Answer That Question

For those people who aren’t able to lose weight easily, the process of slimming down can be frustrating, and the results might not happen as quickly as one might hope. With a growing number of unhealthy Americans, a surprising number are considered overweight or obese, including three-quarters of men and more than 60% of women, along with nearly 30% of children under the age of 20, a number which has risen from 19% since 1980. If you’re concerned your weight might not be where it should, ask yourself these five questions to help determine whether you’re considered overweight or obese.

1. What’s your BMI?

close-up of a man measuring his waist with a tape measure

Knowing your body mass index can really help. |

Obesity is determined by a person’s body mass index, or BMI, which compares your weight to your height. According to the medical community, overweight people have a BMI of 25 to 29.9, while those in the obese range will have a BMI of 30 or higher. If you’re not sure where your current BMI falls, start by using this simple BMI calculator. And while measuring your BMI, keep in mind that other factors should be taken into consideration on a case by case basis, as well. For instance, because BMI doesn’t directly measure body fat, some people, like muscular athletes, may display a BMI in the obese category, even though there are no actual signs of excess body fat.

2. Are you burning as many calories as you’re taking in?

Man wearing gym clothes and a gym bag grabs fruit and a bottle of water for after his workout

Make sure you’re not taking in excess calories. |

Most people know that caloric intake shouldn’t stray far from caloric output, because when it does, your body will store more fat. If you’re not active, you’ll take in more calories than you’d burn had you been exercising regularly. According to the Center for Disease Control, a healthy diet plan includes eating whole grains, fruits, vegetables, lean protein, low-fat and fat-free dairy products, and drinking water. Additionally, the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity activity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity, and two days of strength training per week.

3. Have you been diagnosed with certain medical conditions?

female doctor writing notes while talking to a patient

There are health problems associated with excess weight. |

If you’re doctor has informed you that you have a medical condition, or are at risk of getting one, you might be overweight. You know there are many health problems associated with an unhealthy lifestyle, so if any of these have come up, it’s time to make a change. If you are currently obese or overweight, you’re at an increased risk for serious health diseases and conditions, including high blood pressure, type-2 diabetes, coronary heart disease, stroke, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, sleep apnea or breathing problems, clinical depression, and more.

4. Is exercising uncomfortable?

Obese man

Physical activity of any kind shouldn’t be terribly hard. |

We’re not saying that you should be dominating every workout circuit you try, but being overly gassed out every time you attempt activity isn’t normal. Breathing heavily while hiking a mountain means you’re getting a great workout in, but wheezing as you stroll down the street could mean that you’re more than mildly out of shape. As you know, regular exercise and maintaining a certain level of physical fitness is vital to achieving a healthy weight.

5. Are you constantly tired?

Tired at library

Being overweight can make you feel tired. |

If you’re feeling lethargic, sloth, and just plain tired on a daily basis, there’s a problem. You’ve heard before that, the less active you are, the more tired you’ll be, and it’s true. If you have a week of getting home from the office and lying on the couch, only to do the same thing again for the next several days, you’ll be feeling tired and unmotivated. However, if you have a productive week of going to work, hitting the gym, staying on the move, and cooking yourself healthy meals, you’ll have way more energy. In an article published in Cosmopolitan, Dr. Myo Nwe, M.D., a weight loss physician and author of Fat-Me-Not: Weight Loss Diet of The Future, said that “internal inflammation caused by excess fat can lead to a perpetual state of fatigue.” Life’s too full of opportunity, and no one has time to let it slip by while they sleep the day away.