Are You Obese? What's Your Ideal Weight?

Raymond Burton

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Are you obese? A lot of people wonder because the stereotypes in the media really get people thinking about their appearance and if they are fat or at their ideal weight.

The general definition of obesity is if you are 30 percent over your ideal weight. This is where most people would like to know just what their ideal weight is of course.

Your ideal weight is a subject of much hoopla to me (I'll put my view points on this after). Most doctors involved with obesity or weight loss deem ideal weight as " A body mass index (BMI) of 25 up to 30 kg/m2. "

The centers for disease control and prevention list the following details for BMI and will let you see where your stand according to them:

Below 18.5 Under weight

18.5 – 24.9 Normal

25.0 – 29.9 Over weight

30.0 and Above Obese

So in order to know if you are obese you should supposedly know if your BMI is around 25 to 30 kg/m2. Lets figure out BMI then. Here is how you figure out your BMI by math: BMI = (Your weight in pounds divided by (Height in inches by Height in inches) all multiplied by 703

Do you have it done? Good! So where did you end up? Are you obese? Are you starting to freak out a little? Okay, lets break for a second. Take a breath and let me tell you the low down.

I am a personal trainer; you can see pictures of what kind of shape I am in on the website. I am five foot nine inches and 182 pounds. I am usually around 10-14% body fat. I have a BMI of 26.9! According to all the doctors and some fitness experts out there, I guess I must be overweight and close to obese!

So what's the deal then? Well like I said earlier, I have a little beef with BMI and obesity, as most people would quantify it. I think being over weight or obese should be gauged by your body fat percentage and not this ridiculous BMI. Let me explain why.

Well normal BMI readings are taking into account your whole body, bones, muscle, and fat. So even if you have barely any fat and can see your abs they think you are obese and not at your ideal weight, just like me. If you have a lot of muscle and little fat, you can still fail the BMI even if you are healthy and fit.

Now body fat percentage tests are a different story. The only thing looked at here is how much fat and muscle you have by percentages of your overall body weight. Obesity this way states that above 25% body fat for men is obese and above 32% body fat is obese for women.

If you come in on or around these figures, then you should get to work and apply some solid training and nutrition planning basics. Doing an actual body fat test will truly tell you where you are and where you should be because it is the fat amount and not the overall weight of a person that has detrimental health consequences.

You can get a body fat test done at any local gym or you can buy a cheap tester that will put you in the ballpark figure. Just make sure that you keep using the same method all the time, as you want to compare the change and not the actual figure. One method may differ from the other by as much as 3%. Small but still important if you are gauging all your hard work!

Ray Burton is a motivational speaker, an ISSA-certified personal trainer,

philanthropist, and author of the best selling weight loss book, “Fat To Fit - The Journey” Ray

has written hundreds of articles and been featured in Rising Women, The Calgary Sun and Crosstrainer. ca.

For info on Ray's book, visit the home page at: . To read Ray’s free workout tips visit his exercise blog.


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