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Can you be fat and fit at the same time? An expert weighs in

Some people believe that a person can be fat and fit both. But it seems more like a myth than a fact. Let’s learn about it more.
fat and fit
Read this to know whether you are fit or fat. Image courtesy: Adobe Stock
Aayushi Gupta Published: 9 Jan 2023, 19:30 pm IST
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The idea of weight loss is mired in myths. These range from the idea that dieting is the only way to lose weight to the idea that weight reduction and fat loss are the same things. These myths about weight loss make it difficult for us to comprehend what it really is! In this reference, there is a concept that people think is true – that you can be fat and fit at the same time! Do you wonder if it’s true?Well, let’s find out!

Can a person be both fit and fat?

You might infer that someone is unhealthy if they are overweight. But it is possible for you to be both overweight and fit? What matters most is that you grasp what “fit” and “overweight” mean in terms of your health.

To understand this in detail Health Shots reached out to Dr Asha Hiremath, Consultant – Obstetrician, Gynaecologist, and Laparoscopic, Motherhood Hospitals, Indiranagar, Bengaluru.

She says, “You may be fit and overweight at the same time. To evaluate this you need to understand the role of body mass index (BMI).

Importance of Body Mass Index for your health

Body mass index is essentially the result of dividing a person’s weight in kilograms by their square of height in meters (or feet). According to Dr Hiremath, this assessment of fat mass, which is dependent on weight and height, determines whether or not you have a healthy body or not.

fat and fit
Know your weight status with BMI. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

As a result, those with a BMI of less than 25 are considered normal and healthy. Overweight persons are those with a BMI of 25 to 30 whereas obese people are those with a BMI of 30 or above, which puts them at risk for a number of health issues. Here’s how to calculate your BMI! Once you’ve done the calculation, you know whether you’re overweight or not.

The question to ask is are you healthy if you’re overweight?

The problem with knowing this is that a person’s health cannot be fully gauged by their BMI. This is due to two reasons:

  • Lean muscle mass and gender (women have more fat than men) are not taken into account in the method.
  • The amount of lean tissue (muscle, bone, and organs) and fat you possess are also not taken into consideration, nor is your body composition, which measures how much fat you have in relation to other body parts.

This means that we cannot use BMI alone to draw a healthy or unhealthy picture of any one person because individuals vary. Two people with the same BMI can have completely different physical characteristics.

Also read: Being overweight is NOT the same as being obese! Find out more

BMI

Keep an idea of your risk of weight-related issues.

Check BMI

You can be fat and fit with this condition!

You can be overweight and fit at the same time, according to the National Institutes of Health’s 1998 study Clinical Guidelines for the Identification, Evaluation, and Treatment of Overweight and Obesity in Adults.

fat and fit
Keep a check on your fitness levels. Image Courtesy: Adobe Stock

The study notes that individuals who are overweight can be deemed healthy if they have a waist size that is less than 40 inches for males and 35 inches for women, and do not have two or more of the following conditions:

  • High blood pressure
  • High blood sugar
  • High cholesterol

The guidelines further explain that an overweight person should not gain any additional weight. Instead, he/she should try losing the weight to avoid the risk.
The recommendations went on to say that an overweight person should aim to lose weight rather than add any more weight in order to reduce the risk.

Also read: Weight loss v/s fat loss: What’s the difference and what’s better

Can being overweight make getting fit harder?

In your fitness journey, being overweight does become a challenge, especially for high-intensity cardiovascular exercises and training. However, it doesn’t prevent anyone from improving their fitness levels and health. Being overweight can be tackled by improving nutrition and getting on an exercise routine that takes the individual’s weight into account. This can then result in better fitness gains, no matter what weight a person starts out at. At long-last results will start to show if you stay consistent, says Dr Hiremath.

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About the Author

Aayushi Gupta is a health writer with a special interest in trends related to diet, fitness, beauty and intimate health. With around 2 years of experience in the wellness industry, she is connected to leading experts and doctors to provide our readers with factually correct information. ...Read More

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