Weight vs Fat

I have a couple of friends who took me spot on when I wrote about Eating Disorders asking what can they do to add weight.

Some asked what they could do to get fat. My question of those times was to ask why they wanted to add some weight or why do you want to get fat . Sadly, it was due to the fact that they felt they were too slim or skinny.

My next question was : do you really want to add some weight or you want to get fat? They would look at me as though I was confused. It was at this point I thought I needed to write something about the difference between adding some weight and getting fat.

Can we do some definitions?

Did I hear a Yes?

Look at this:

1.  Body Mass Index : The body mass index (BMI) is a measure of a person’s weight taking into account their height. It is given by the formula: BMI equals a person’s weight (mass) in kilograms divided by the square of the person’s height in metres. The units are kg/m2 but BMI measures are typically used and written without units

BMI= measure of a person’s weight(kg) * height (m2 )

2. Underweight : is a term describing a person whose body weight is considered too low to be healthy. The definition usually refers to people with a body mass index (BMI) of under 18.5 or a weight 15% to 20% below that normal for their age and height group.

3. Overweight :  is having more body fat than is optimally healthy. The degree to which a person is overweight is generally described by body mass index (BMI). Overweight is defined as a BMI of 25 or more, thus it includes pre-obesity defined as a BMI between 25 and 30 and obesity as defined by a BMI of 30 or more. 

4. The Body Volume Index :  The body volume index (BVI) was devised in 2000 as a computer, rather than manual, measurement of the human body for obesity and an alternative to the BMI

The term ‘overweight’ is not a generally acceptable term as it is not the same everywhere hence BMI is used instead.

This translates therefore that a low BMI is underweight while a high BMI is overweight.

Most dieting and health advice focuses on losing fat, not gaining it. Accordingly, you may be at a loss for information about how to properly put on fat. Whether you’re gaining fat for health reasons or are an actor preparing for a movie role, there are safer and healthier ways to gain fat than not exercising and eating junk food. By following  the correct regimen, you can gain the fat you want while maintaining your health.

What Is Fat ?

Fat refers to a person’s body fat or the amount of fat a person carries. The healthy body fat level is around 10% for men and 15% for women. If fat loss/gain is your goal, you need to stop relying on your body weight since it can fluctuate due to a variety of reasons like water retention/loss, muscle gain/loss, stomach/bowel content, etc. Also, two people who have the same height and weight may look very differently due to body fat and muscle mass.

How Are Weight  and Fat Related?

Most people use the term weight loss/gain but what they really mean fat loss/gain. Technically, this is not correct but people are used to the term weight loss/gain for the reduction/increase of body fat. The problem with weight gain is that an increase in a person’s weight may be due to increase of fluids or muscle mass. This is why you shouldn’t rely on the weighing scale and this is also the major flaw of the body mass index (BMI) for determining overweight and obese people. Instead you should rely on body fat levels which can be measured using several methods like body fat calipers.

body fat callipers

Body calipers

Now that  you know the difference, do you want more fat or more weight? Think about it. You can also buzz me if you want to talk about it.

Until then, eat healthy, stay fit.



Toluse Francis

Toluse Francis believes a healthy lifestyle is paramount for everyone. He is a long -time volunteer with Solid Foundation Teens and Youth Ministry. He loves to care for people. Toluse Francis is a Health Coach and author He is interested in seeing people eat healthy and get productive. He believes a healthy lifestyle is paramount for everyone.

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ayomide - August 1, 2015

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