Body mass index (BMI) calculator – Are you overweight?

BMI Calculator:

Your Weight:
Your Height:

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N.B. For an explanation of Body Mass Index and a discussion about its limitations and alternative weight measurement calculations see the section below the action plans.

BMI Action Plans:

Below 18.5 Underweight

If your BMI is less that 18.5 it is a strong indicator that you are underweight. To put on weight the only healthy method is to increase calorie intake and exercise more. A low body weight indicated a lack of healthy muscle tissue. Ensure that your diet is well balanced and consider increase protein intake to aid muscle growth.

Start exercising a few times a week with a combination of cardio workouts (running, swimming, sports), bodyweight circuit training workouts and fitness classes.

You need to eat more, workout more and build some muscle. See also the articles about protein and weight training.

18.5 – 24.9 Normal

A BMI of 18.5 to 24.9 indicated that you are at a healthy weight. Well done, you are doing just fine. However, you may not be healthy, look to improve your diet and take regular exercise.

A healthy body weight is not always a fit and healthy body. If you are not fit and consuming too few calories then you may still be lacking in some essential nutrition as well as setting yourself up for longer term problems due to inactivity.

25.0 – 29.9 Overweight

A BMI of 25 to 29.9 suggests that you are overweight and are probably developing some belly fat. Unless you have built up a lot of muscle mass in recent years then there is a very good change that you need change your diet and exercise more to start burning off excess fat.

To lose weight you need to combine healthy diet and regular fitness activities. You do not need to join a gym although it can help. We have many suggestions for home fitness workouts and also advice on how to eat healthy. You may also want to consider following a weight loss plan. If you are looking for an effective diet solution then take a look at our Low GI Diet eBook.

30.0 + Obese

A BMI of over 30 indicates that you are obese. You really have to make some changes. You need to take urgent action to start losing fat and improving your fitness. Total lifestyle change is required. If you have not exercised for a long time then start easy with our walking for fitness plan and then move on to more intensive forms of fitness training.

Also read up on the basics of a healthy diet and start making changes to your diet to improve quality and reduce quantity. Also consider a low GI diet which will help you to control blood sugars and lose weight – Low GI Diet eBook.

Limitations of BMI

What does it mean to be overweight? Can we really calculate how overweight a person is? There are a few methods to determine whether or not you are overweight and while none are perfect they do all provide a good indication of whether or not you are healthy.

Body Mass Index is still the most commonly used calculation because it is so easy to measure – you just need to know your height and weight.

However, BMI does not take into consideration muscle:fat ratios, so male athletes can sometimes appear overweight on the scale while women with very little muscle mass may appear a “normal” weight when they are actually carrying too much fat.

For example, Arnold Schwarzenegger’s BMI is around 35 – based on a heigh of 178 cm and mass of 113 kg. He is certainly not obese or overweight.

Health professionals also use waist measurement, including waist-to-hip ratio, to determine if a person is carrying too much fat.

However, for simplicity we shall provide you with a body mass index calculator (just below this explanation).

We have also added a chart to provide a better visualization of obesity levels. At the end of the article there are also note on genetic / racial variations that should be considered.

What Is Body Mass Index (BMI)?

Body mass index (BMI) is a statistical measure of the weight of a person scaled according to height. It is a guide to how overweight or underweight a person is, but it should not be used in isolation to diagnose a weight problem.

While it can give a good answer to your question “Am I Overweight?“, it cannot provide a totally accurate answer is some circumstances – read below to learn more.

Many bodybuilders and athletes would be considered overweight according to the BMI calculation, as BMI does not take into account muscle mass, just total mass. As muscle is denser that fat, very muscular people can show a high BMI even though they are of a healthy weight.

It is generally considered that waist circumference is a better measure of how overweight a person is.

So to be healthy you really need to try to lose your belly fat and get a flat stomach, or at least get your waist below 36 inches. However, BMI is still a good indication of whether or not you are overweight.

BMI Chart

The chart below provides a visual guide to BMI. Draw a line from your weight (in pounds at the top or kilos at the bottom) to your height (meters on the left or feet/inches on the right) and where the lines cross is your BMI. If you are in the yellow zone you are a healthy weight.

BMI (Body Mass Index) chart

Please see below for some International variations on this scale and updated sub-categories from the World Health Organization.

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World Health Organization New BMI Classification

The WHO have now provided more detailed classifications for BMI.

The International Classification of adult underweight, overweight and obesity according to BMI

Classification BMI(kg/m2)
Principal cut-off points Additional cut-off points
Underweight <18.50 <18.50
     Severe thinness <16.00 <16.00
     Moderate thinness 16.00 – 16.99 16.00 – 16.99
     Mild thinness 17.00 – 18.49 17.00 – 18.49
Normal range 18.50 – 24.99 18.50 – 22.99
23.00 – 24.99
Overweight ≥25.00 ≥25.00
     Pre-obese 25.00 – 29.99 25.00 – 27.49
27.50 – 29.99
     Obese ≥30.00 ≥30.00
          Obese class I 30.00 – 34.99 30.00 – 32.49
32.50 – 34.99
          Obese class II 35.00 – 39.99 35.00 – 37.49
37.50 – 39.99
          Obese class III ≥40.00 ≥40.00

Source: Adapted from WHO, 1995, WHO, 2000 and WHO 2004.

Class 3 Obese is more commonly known as morbidly obese. When someone reaches a BMI of over 40 it becomes very likely that they will develop chronic health conditions such as Type 2 Diabetes and heart disease, plus also suffer from reduced mobility and a much poorer quality of life.

Many Class 3 individuals become house bound and suffer from depression which makes changes lifestyle and dietary habits next to impossible.

International BMI Variations

Many countries have changed the scale to suit the demographics of their people. All units in kg/m2.

Japan and Hong Kong

Japan and Hong Kong have lowered the thresholds for being overweight and obese as follows:

  • Normal: 18.5 to 22.9 
  • Overweight: 23.0 to 24.9 
  • Obese 25.0: above 

Singapore

Signapore has added an additional category to classify the very underweight – Emaciation. They also make a BMI of over 40 officially morbidly obese;

  • Emaciation: 14.9 or less
  • Underweight: 15 to 18.4
  • Normal: 18.5 to 22.9
  • Overweight: 23 to 27.5
  • Obese: 27.6 to 40
  • Morbidly Obese: greater than 40

References and Further Resources on BMI

  • BMI classification – World Health Organisation.
  • Big fat beat up” by Lousie Staley. IPA Review, Institute of Public Affairs (pdf file).
  • “Adjusting athletes’ body mass index to better reflect adiposity in epidemiological research.” by Nevill AM, Winter EM, Ingham S, Watts A, Metsios GS, Stewart AD. Published in Journal of Sports Science. 2010;28(9):1009-16. Abstract.
  • Know Your Risks – Singapore Health Promotion Board.
  • “The paradox of low body mass index and high body fat percentage among Chinese, Malays and Indians in Singapore” by Deurenberg-Yap M, Schmidt G, van Staveren WA, Deurenberg P. Published in Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2000 Aug;24(8):1011-7. Abstract.
  • “Overweight Japanese with body mass indexes of 23.0-24.9 have higher risks for obesity-associated disorders: a comparison of Japanese and Mongolians.” by Shiwaku K, Anuurad E, Enkhmaa B, Nogi A, Kitajima K, Shimono K, Yamane Y, Oyunsuren T.. Published in Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2004 Jan;28(1):152-8. Abstract.

  145 comments for “Body mass index (BMI) calculator – Are you overweight?

  1. MotleyHealth
    June 23, 2013 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Becky, it depends on how muscular you are, but really somewhere between 120 pounds and 160 pounds.

  2. angelique steyn
    June 26, 2013 at 8:45 am

    If you want to lose weight just cut out all sugar and salt from your diet and drink 8 glasses of water per day not only will you lose weight but you will feel better about yourself

  3. MotleyHealth
    June 26, 2013 at 8:54 am

    Angelique, sugar is pretty important. Unless you specifically mean cut out table sugar. We need sugars from carbohydrates for fuel. Lactose from milk is also a form of sugar, as is fructose from fruits. If you cut out all sugar you will just be eating meat.

  4. Kim
    July 1, 2013 at 5:07 pm

    I am 50 yrs old and recently started an excercise and diet routine to lose the extra weight I started putting on after giving birth to twins 13 years ago. I was not obese but definitely needed to lose a few. I lost 20 lbs and do not need to lose any more ( I’m 5’4 & 113 lbs ) but I still have what I call my “baby pouch”, that I can’t seem to get rid of. I currently burn between 400 & 600 calories on a treadmill and do 100 – 150 sit-ups 5 days a week. Is there something else that I can do that might be more effective?
    Thank you!

  5. MotleyHealth
    July 1, 2013 at 6:40 pm

    Hi Kim, it may be worth working your whole body. Do squats, lunges and maybe shoulder presses too. Get your body stronger. There may still be issues with the diet too – you may be eating the correct amount of food, but may benefit from dropping to specific foods, such as reducing bread, pasta or other refined carbs.

  6. Kannan.E.C.
    July 16, 2013 at 11:24 am

    Hi, Gudnoon to one & all,

    i am 25yr age over but my problem is fat i have reduce my belly. Pls help me asap.

    Thanking you,
    Kannan.E.C.

  7. MotleyHealth
    July 16, 2013 at 11:41 am

    Hi Kannan, take a look at our page on the topic of belly fat; http://www.motleyhealth.com/weight-loss/losing-belly-fat-with-healthy-diet-and-exercise

    You need to focus on two goals at the moment: 1. Get fitter and stronger. 2. Make your diet healthy.

    All the advice you need should be on that page I linked. Any questions, just ask.

  8. shabi
    October 12, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    Hi,
    i am 27 years old & weight 75 kg height 5 feet 8 & half inch.look normal but my belly fats increasing. what you suggest how many calories i need to take everyday???

  9. MotleyHealth
    October 12, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    Hi Shabi, you are pretty close to being a healthy weight. Increase your exercise (or start) and take more care over diet. Remember, you do not need as much food as you did 7 years ago. You probably need around 2100 Calories a day – although this is very approximate.

  10. Faduma
    October 30, 2013 at 2:03 pm

    Hi,
    I am a 13 year old Girl.I weigh 12 stone.82.3kg.I look horrible.and have Fats everywhere.
    For the last two years i’ve been on and off – Dieting.I can’t just stick with it. And i know for the fact that i am Obese.

  11. MotleyHealth
    October 30, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    Hi Faduma. To be honest, a 13 year old should not “diet”. You need to start eating a simple and healthy, balanced diet every day. This means three meals and no junk food. Ideally little to no processed food. Cereals for breakfast, a hot meal with vegetables and a piece of lean protein, and a smaller meal is all you need. Snacks should be fruit. If you are not exercising, now is the time to start. Join a dance, martial arts, gymnastics club, or take up a team sport, racket sport etc. Just do something. Failure to act now will probably lead to a lifetime of being overweight and moving from one fad weight loss diet to another with no results.

    To recap, two things needed: Regular exercise, and three healthy meals a day.

  12. Rin
    November 5, 2013 at 3:01 am

    If I’m 12 years old and I’m 5’1 and weigh 101 lbs, does that make me fat? (I live in the U.S.)

  13. MotleyHealth
    November 5, 2013 at 3:04 am

    Hi Rin, no you are not fat at all. Your BMI is 19.1, which is the lower end of normal. Start getting more active, take up a sport, and eat healthy foods.

  14. jason
    June 8, 2014 at 6:13 pm

    Hi I’m Jay 29 yr male 5ft 9inc and weigh 222 pounds, I just started the gym what should I do to look like a gladiator I want to look fit but solid and what should my meals be like and what should I eat any ideas ? Also what should my weight really be ? Thanks

  15. MotleyHealth
    June 9, 2014 at 3:19 am

    Hi Jay, to be within the right range for your height, you should weigh between 125 lbs / 56.6 kg and 169 lbs / 76.6 kg.

    To get a body like a gladiator you need to train like one! Martial arts would be the best way in the modern day. Kickboxing generally provides one of the best workouts because fighters train for competition and fitness is of vital importance. You also need to use weights and get plenty of cardio to burn the fat off.

    You have a lot of weight to lose but it is certainly possible. As for diet, a lean, low Gi diet is needed. You have probably developed some poor eating habits; cutting out ALL junk food is the only way to drop a lot of weight and get fit quickly.

  16. Rob
    June 11, 2014 at 4:21 am

    Hi, my name is Rob, I am 38 years old, I am 173 cm and 105 kg, I was 143 kg 6 months ago, when I was about 16 years old I was 95 kg and was by no means over weight, I used to play all types of sports and was in very good shape. I realise this page has the best intentions to help people but I think you should put the statement you make about this calculation being a guide at the top of the page in bold letters, because there would be a lot of people come to this page do the calculations and think that they are overweight when they are not. Thank you.

  17. MotleyHealth
    June 11, 2014 at 9:59 am

    Hi Rob, immediately below the calculator we mention this and further down the page there is a discussion of its limitations. However, most of those limitations are related to muscle mass in bodybuilders and other athletes and generally these people are not using BMI to determine if they might have a weight problem.

    Arnold Schwarzenegger’s BMI is also around 35 (based on 178 cm and 113 kg).

    Physical examination of fat levels using callipers is better, but not so easy to calculate.

  18. nijhum ratri
    July 30, 2014 at 12:35 pm

    Hi.i m nijhum my height 4fit 10 n my weight 66kg.but i do not want this.i think if my body weight was 50.i will feel better.now i want know how to lossing my weight without excersize.plz ans me.told me naturally food or tablet.ok

  19. MotleyHealth
    August 1, 2014 at 11:25 am

    Hi Nijhum, are you unable to exercise? If you can walk, you can exercise. And for a healthy body you need regular exercise.

    50 kg is certainly a good weight to aim for. To achieve this you should aim to lose 0.5 kg a week for the next 32 weeks. This is the safest and most effective way to lose weight. You should be able to do this by reducing your daily calorie intake.

    The average young woman needs around 2100 Calories a day and to lose 0.5 kg a week you need a daily calorie deficit of 500 Calories. So eat no more than 1600 Calories a day, and try to do some exercise, even if just walking further every day. When you are walking nobody knows that you are exercising.

    Eat 3 meals a day but reduce two to very small meals. Stop all snacks and try to stop eating bread and baked foods. Also eat only a little rice – rice on the plate is often energy we do not need.

  20. aida
    August 10, 2014 at 4:20 pm

    I want to know my BMI

  21. MotleyHealth
    August 10, 2014 at 4:41 pm

    Hi Aida, you have come to the right place!

    Enter your height and weight into the calculator above or give your details to me and we will tell you.

  22. ekta
    September 23, 2014 at 4:27 am

    Hi my name is ekta im 23 years old and think im overweight. Two years ago my weight was 45 kg, after my pregnancy I put on, now 62kg. I want loss my weight as soon as possible pls help me thanks

  23. MotleyHealth
    September 23, 2014 at 8:00 am

    Hello Ekta,

    You need to be more active and try to eat a healthier diet. It is very common for women to gain weight after having a baby. Now that your child is around 2 years old you should be busier. Go for walks with your child in the push chair during the day for exercise. For diet, eat less bread and snacks, especially between meals. Eat just three simple meals a day: small breakfast, light lunch and dinner. If you need to snack in between meals eat one piece of fruit.

  24. Cleo
    September 29, 2014 at 3:21 am

    Hi. I’m 12, I’m 172.5 cm (5″8) and I’m 48.3 kg. I try to put on weight and eat more, but my metabolism is really fast and I don’t know how to slow it down so I can gain weight. Also, whenever I eat, my stomach hurts and I feel really guilty after. Is that normal..?

    – Thank you~ Cleo

  25. MotleyHealth
    September 30, 2014 at 5:13 pm

    Hi Cloe, no, it is not normal to feel pain after eating. You should speak to your parents / carers about this and see a doctor.
    As for your weight / height, you are very tall for a 12 year old girl – are you sure of this figure?

  26. bony chatterjee
    October 11, 2014 at 10:49 am

    My height is 5.2 and weight 47kg.is it ok?my age is above 30.i am a female.

  27. Rose K.
    October 12, 2014 at 12:21 am

    Hello! My 10 year old daughter is determined to exercise/eat healthy to lose a few pounds. She is 5’1 and 111 pounds, any tips?

  28. MotleyHealth
    October 12, 2014 at 10:55 pm

    Hi Rose, first, she does not need to lose weight. However, healthy eating and exercise are both good at any age so that should be the focus. Are there any after school sports clubs? If not see if you wants to join a local club, such as dance, gymnastics, a team sport etc. Healthy eating is really down to you and your skills in the kitchen – so learn to cook healthy meals. Read our essential guide to healthy eating. The key things to do are ensure that there is no junk food in the house and that she eats three good meals a day.

  29. MotleyHealth
    October 12, 2014 at 11:00 pm

    Hi Bony, your BMI is 19 and this probably means that you are a healthy weight. Keep exercising and eating healthy.

  30. rohith
    October 13, 2014 at 9:32 am

    i am 23 old.my weight is 114 kg / 251.327 pounds. My height is 182 cm / 5 feet and 11 inches. My BMI IS 35. How can i cut out my body fat….?

  31. MotleyHealth
    October 13, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Hi Rohith, the solution is easy; eat less and exercise more. Why not try our weekly workout plan and reduce portions, stop snacks and throw out all junk food?

  32. josie
    October 16, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    im 40 yrs and i weigh around 140lbs an im doing a 30 mins tae bo workout and 20 mins dance workout,i also do some set ups and push ups almost everyday but im still on weight of 140 lbs which i couldnt even move out on it.what should i do..

  33. MotleyHealth
    October 17, 2014 at 1:04 am

    Ho Josie, have you changed your diet at all? How often are you doing the tae bo and dance? Daily or weekly?

  34. Kayleigh
    October 19, 2014 at 4:20 am

    Hello, I am 16 years old and 84 lbs (38.1 kg) and 5’5. I am extremely underweight and absolutely hate it. I have been trying to gain weight but all my life I have had stomach issues so whenever I eat large amounts or just eat I tend to get stomach aches. I try to eat every 2 hours but even that is hard. I really want to gain weight but in a healthy way (p.s I have a sweet tooth and eat sweets often is this bad? Or good in order to gain weight?) please help me my doctors are starting to think I am anorexic and am completely 100% not!

  35. Dianekeating
    October 25, 2014 at 6:00 pm

    hi I am 38 years old I weigh 142 pounds my height is 5’6 and I feel comfortable down to 132 not really active but can you give me some results to help me hit my goal

  36. MotleyHealth
    October 26, 2014 at 1:38 am

    Hi Diane, take a look at our fitness section for some new exercise ideas. Regular exercise combined with a healthy and controlled diet is the best solution.

  37. Kayleigh
    October 28, 2014 at 9:56 pm

    Hi, so I didn’t get an answer from you before, but since then I have gained another pound!!! Although this is a step in the right direction I would really like some tips on how to gain more weight in a shorter amount of time, without eating large amounts considering large amount give me serious stomach aches. Thank you!

  38. MotleyHealth
    November 4, 2014 at 2:38 am

    Hi Kayleigh, sorry for the delay, I was unable to reply to message last week. Well done on gaining a pound, this is certainly a step in the right direction. You really should speak to a doctor in case there is something that needs to be addressed.

    Have you found that certain foods cause stomach aches? Really the only way to gain weight is to eat more – get some good lean proteins (fish, chicken, eggs) and vegetables (lots of greens) as well as beans and fruits. If protein shakes do not give stomach ache consider having these in addition to your normal diet.

    Try some exercise, ideally resistance training, because this will help your muscles tone and improve your appetite. However, with a BMI of 14 you must speak to a doctor about treating this. Ask to be referred to a dietician and exercise therapist and tell them about your stomach aches.

  39. Acie
    November 6, 2014 at 4:15 am

    Hi, I’m 13 right now, I am 5’0 ft. I weigh 53.0 kg, 119 pounds. Am I overweight?

  40. Rory
    November 6, 2014 at 5:02 am

    Hi my daughter is 12 5’2 and 87 pounds atm her weight fluctuates between 85-90. She is very active and eats relatively healthy how can she gain some weight while keeping it on.

  41. asim
    November 6, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I am 30 yr old my weight is 100 kg and my height is 5 feet 9 inch.tell me what should be my accurate weight?

  42. MotleyHealth
    November 6, 2014 at 10:48 am

    Hi Rory, sounds like she could do with eating more. If she is very active she will be burning more calories. Encourage her to have snacks (fruit) between meals if she does no want a large meal, make sure she eats breakfast every morning and has at least on cooked meal with plenty of vegetables and a protein item. Smoothies are a good way to get extra calories too and are packed with vitamins.

  43. MotleyHealth
    November 6, 2014 at 10:53 am

    Hi Asim, according to the BMI your ideal weight would normally be anywhere between 56kg and 80kg, depending on muscle mass. If you get into bodybuilding it will be a little higher. 100kg is too high.

  44. MotleyHealth
    November 6, 2014 at 10:56 am

    Acie, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 22.8. This means your weight is within the Normal range.

  45. Ravindra
    November 21, 2014 at 4:05 am

    hello, I ‘am 49 male 76 kg wt, and 5′ 8″ ht,
    I am having belly fat but Iam not obese, I started going to Gym, apart from doing thread mill and cross trainer I also do other excercises like, weight lifting through pulleys for back, chest, shoulders, and bench press, will there be any restrictions to do these excercises for my age ?
    Regards
    Ravindra

  46. MotleyHealth
    November 21, 2014 at 9:56 am

    Hi Ravindra, age is not a restriction to weight lifting. Just listen to your body, rest well and increase protein intake. Treadmill will be harder on the body than weight lifting.

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