Being overweight is really common nowadays. I meet people from all walks of life who are overweight if not obese. But what is obesity and when are you overweight? And how are the two different? When you consume more calories than you can use or burn out, you start accumulating the excess calories in your body as fat. This gets deposited as a layer under your skin. You are overweight when you cross the threshold of your ideal body weight.So, for example, if you are 5 feet 2 inches and your ideal body weight is fifty-four kilos but you are sixty-two kilos, then you are overweight. However, if your weight is 30 per cent more than your ideal body weight you will be termed obese.

Obesity is, literally, an advanced stage of being overweight, and actually a disease which can lead to serious medical conditions like high blood pressure and other heart diseases, diabetes, osteoporosis, digestive problems, sleep disorders, backache, and many more.

Body Mass Index or BMI is used to ascertain whether you are overweight or not, and by how much. It is calculated on the basis of your weight and your height.


For example, if you are 5 feet 3 inches and weigh fifty-two kilos, your BMI will approximately be 20. What I have done here is converted your height into metres; so in this case it is 1.6 metres, and then divided it by your weight, which is the number of kilos by the square of your height.

So we have,

52/1.6 x 1.6 = 20.3

If your BMI is less than 18, then you are underweight. However, if your BMI is between 18 to 25, you are considered to be normal. In case your BMI is 25 or more, then you are overweight. Here, too, there are different categories; so if your BMI is between 25-30 then you are overweight but still in the pre-obesity stage. However, if your BMI is more than 30, it indicates obesity, and you seriously need to do something about it.

Interestingly, fat or adipose tissues are formed in most of us right in our childhood. And once these tissues are formed they keep troubling us intermittently. Don’t we all adore plump babies? But what most of us don’t realize is that we are harming them by over feeding them and making them lethargic and dull. This is really a troubling trend. In fact, I have noticed a sudden rise in obesity among children in the past five years or so. Most of these cases are a result of the parents’ negligence as infants eat only what is given to them.

Although there are many reasons for putting on weight, the most common ones are wrong eating habits, overeating, and leading a sedentary lifestyle, or even a combination of all these factors. You might not be getting enough time to exercise due to a heavy workload, which leaves you feeling exhausted by the end of the day. I have also met many people who have a complete lack of motivation to lose weight, and do not take fitness seriously. Some of them feel that since they are not in the spotlight or don’t have to face the camera, it doesn’t matter much. However, the most common category is of people who love to eat and are not very disciplined with their diet or exercise. Such people don’t mind putting on a couple of extra kilos as they think it is no big deal, and wouldn’t really make them look out of shape. This reminds me of my client Michelle Thomas, an effervescent banker who puts on around five to seven kilos every year during Christmas and New Year, and spends the rest of the year burning it out.

When you are overweight, you have the opportunity of losing weight sooner than when you crossover into the obese category. In fact, in some cases you can immediately get back to your ideal body weight by just making a few alterations in your daily routine like correcting your diet, doing a 30-minute physical routine and getting out of your sedentary lifestyle.