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

BMI Calc.:

Your Weight:
Your Height:

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. If you are here to ask “am I overweight?”, please take your height and weight measurements and use the calculator or chart before asking in the comments below – thanks!

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 excess 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 tool 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 height 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 excess fat and get a flatter 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.

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

Singapore 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.

213 Comments on “Body mass index (BMI) calculator – Are you overweight?”

  1. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Johm, you just need to work on your fitness and keep that diet healthy. You are not overweight, so really you need to build some muscle, get fit, and this will help you tone up a little. Any junk food you eat will make the job a lot harder, so cut out as much as you can live with (or without)!

  2. karen leech says:

    I am 12 stone fed up i try everthing to lose. I on the menopause I am 50 please help I am eating heathy but nothing changing, at the end of my teather thank you x

  3. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Karen, what have you tried so far?

  4. Babu Rastogi says:

    Hey I am 45 years old and 5’5″ and my weight is 98 kg now I am trying the tips mentioned here Please give me expert tips to lose my belly fat.

    Thank

    Babu

  5. MotleyHealth says:

    3 expert tips:
    1. Read all the articles that are on the homepage – educate yourself about diet, nutritition and fitness.
    2. Exercise every day
    3. Cut out all junk and follow a strict but healthy diet

  6. hi my name is moks
    i just wanna find owt how to loose body fat fast as possible i weigh 87kgs and i want to get down to 50 or 60 what should i do ?

  7. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Moks, really the only long-term and healthy way to do it is by combining a new exercise regime with an improved diet. Read our articles in the nutrition and fitness sections and start working out. You need to be prepared to exercise every day of the week and cut out all junk food and stop snacking too.

  8. hi my name is karthik
    my age is 21 and my weight is 105 and height is 5.10 so actually i had a operation of appendisies so i gained a lot of fat nw i am suffering by m losing mt hair so please for my can you suggest me wat diet should i take regularily for the whole day by sir help me out i want to loose my weight and look like young though my age is 21 i look like some 30s please sir help me out….

  9. Hi, I’ve found some good tips on here. I really struggle because, technically, I’m obese. (199lb and 5’4″) When I tell people I’m nearly 200lb, they are shocked because I carry it well and have A LOT of muscle. I eat well (not perfect but fruits, veggies, lean meats for the most part) and I am active (dance with my daughter, work out, kayak, hike, etc). My blood sugar levels are consistently under 100 and I have great blood pressure. I get as much sleep as I can but I work 11p-7a so it’s a challenge. I’ve increased my work out and can feel my sides toning but nothing is changing in my belly… at all. I consistently look pregnant. (strangers stop me and ask me how far along I am)
    What am I doing wrong? How do I get rid of the belly?

  10. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Sarah. Strangers stop and ask? That sounds a bit unusual! The key really is more exercise and healthy eating. You should start exercising every day to a highish intensity (sweating, out of breath). If the dance and hiking is not achieving this then you should do some workouts to push your body a little harder. Have you read our article, how to lose belly fat? This provides more advice specific to your problem.

  11. I am 13 years old and i am a bit short for my age as I am 4’11 and 111 pounds.
    My BMI says i am healthy, but i am constantly teased in school about my belly fat, and it looks like i am a pregnant boy, everytime this happens, I always go a bit overboard and begin fighting them. My family says i am fat, BUT IM TRYING to lose the belly fat and get a flat stomach, to attract more girls. I have been swimming everyday and mlaying baseball 3 times a week, both for two months. My diet consists of a small breakfast(yogurt, egg), a large lunch(Homemade pizza, rice and curry), and a Small dinner, (salad, steak) All of this is not helping flatten my stomach. What do I do?

  12. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Jaz, I replied to your other message. It is important to remember that you are not overweight, the BMI shows this. As you have only recently started exercising it is still early days – focus on your fitness and maintain a healthy diet. You are entering a period of rapid physical development so with any luck a combination of healthy eating and regular swimming and baseball will see your body mature and become more muscular and the fat reduce. Be patient, work hard.

  13. i am 30yrs old my weight 65kgs and i am reduce my bellyfat near stomach and thice.Please suggest diet plan and exercise

  14. My BMI is 25.1 and I really want to lower my number. I exercise 4-5 times a week and eat a lot of raw produce, but I have low functioning kidneys, and have to keep my proteins fairly low. I also have high blood presure (because of the kidneys) and hypothyroidism. If I can just lose 10 pounds, I think it will releave my blood presure a bit, but I can’t really avoid carbs. Can you suggest some easy to digest protiens, and a basic exercise formula that will keep my energy level up? Thanks

  15. MotleyHealth says:

    Eggs are easy to digest and an excellent source of protein and vitamins. Have a few scrambled eggs for breakfast.

  16. Hy i am 18 years old and also a thyroid patient . my BMI is 35.1 .My height is 5.2 inches.Please suggest me what to do to bring my weight to normal range .Please send me quick reply i am waiting

  17. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Noni. Quick reply: Exercise at least once per day. Ensure that each week you are doing 2 weight training based workouts. Each workout must make you sweat. Aim for at least 45 minutes per workout. At the same time, eat healthy. 3 small meals a day, well balanced, with mostly low GI carbohydrates. Stop all junk food. Maintain this going forward, never revert to your current lifestyle.

    Look at our fitness and healthy eating sections to learn more. Consider following the 7 day fitness plan.

    Maybe in 6 months we will be able to feature your story on our new “success stories” page! Keep in touch, and do not be afraid to ask many questions.

  18. jasmine d. says:

    Im 12 years old and im 5’2″ and i weigh 116 is that good or bad for my age

  19. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Jasmine, that sounds like an OK weight. What is most important is that you keep active with regular exercise and eat a healthy diet.

  20. Jessica Kanokang says:

    hi,um Jessica and um gaining weight like crazy.when um happy i tend to eat alot so its hard to control something you are used to.in the mornings i eat alot and can spend the whole afternoon without anything to eat and i would still be good.Plz help

  21. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Jessica, you just need to be more disciplined. Eat 3 meals a day, plan those meals so that you do not eat too much. Unplanned meals tend to result in uncontrolled eating and weight gain.

  22. I am 42 years old & male 5.6 inches height and weight is 65 kg. My question – a’m i over weight and give also diet chart

  23. surya ghosh says:

    hi iam a chef my age 34 male 90kg (i work in the kitchen 12hr every day) is it possible to reduce weight without exercise

  24. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Surya, it is, but you need to go on a restricted diet. This will obviously be harder as a chef, especially if you have the habit of eating a lot at work.

  25. hi, i am 6 feet tall $ weighting 83kgs (183 ibs) my question is can i consume 10 egg weight a day to improve my strength, plz do reply

  26. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Rabban, if you are also lifting weights, then yes, you can.

  27. I’m a 16 year old girl who weighs 119 pounds and is about 5″4/5″5, is this a normal weight/bmi?

  28. MotleyHealth says:

    According to the calculator that we provide above, Your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 19.8. This means your weight is within the Normal range.

    What is most important is that you are eating a varied, balanced diet and getting plenty of exercise. If that is the case then you are a good weight and healthy.

  29. I am 14, 96 lbs, and 4’10. This website says that I am at a normal weight/bmi, but both my mom and doctor say that I need to lose some weight. I have adjusted my diet and have lost some weight, but I think I need to lose this fat so that I feel confident and look good when wearing tight shirts. Do you have any tips for burning fat?

  30. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Larissa, with a BMI of 20 you are certainly not overweight. You should exercise to get fitter and not worry about how much you are eating. So long as you eat healthy you will be OK. Work on your fitness, take up a sport, dance, martial art or other active hobby to get active and enjoy life. In this case it seems that your doctor is wrong. Get a second opinion, and if they tell you that you are overweight, ask why if your BMI is only 20. You are growing now and over the next few years you should not go on any restrictive diets – you may regret in years to come.

  31. Hello, I’m a 31 yr. old female and weight has always been an issue. I really am tired and feeling hopless about my weight. I am 5’5 and weigh 246 lbs. I have started walking for an hour about 4x a week. What else can i do?

  32. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi T. Brown. In addition to exercise you need to change your diet. You eating habits are the reason why you have gained weight, so this needs to be tackled. Walking will help you to get fitter and burn some energy, but you have to change your diet. Take a look at the nutrition section of the site. We give info on healthy eating and have some diet plans you could try.

  33. i was wondering if it’s healthy to slowly cut away from junk food.

  34. MotleyHealth says:

    Oc course it is Curious, but it is healthier to quickly cut away. Stop today, never turn back. Junk food is for wimps!

  35. Josephine says:

    Hello,

    I am a 40 years old woman. I currently weight 132lbs and work out about 3 times a week weight training. I look pretty good since I started working out. I am getting married in Augut and desparately want to lose 10lbs. One of my weakness is coffee and staying committed to a plan for a long time. I get very bored if I do not see changes within 2-3 weeks. I recently stated the ketogeneic diet because it allows me coffee with cream(I also add 3 stevia in my coffee). But, I question if this plan will help me lose weight? I a also nervous about this diet because of fear of not eating the right amount of fat and protein. I really need an easy to follow plan that would still allow me to drink coffee. Can anyone help?

  36. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Josephine, firstly, there is nothing wrong with coffee. The problem is with the amount of calories in the cream / milk. You are cutting sugar, but are you reducing all the cream you are adding? If you are drinkin a lot of cups a day, try to reduce, or get a lower fat version.

    Tip: put a calendar up on your fridge so that you can mark off the days to your wedding. Tick days you exercise, cross for days you do not. Each cross decreases the chances of you meeting your goal – if this does not motivate you to eat less and exercise more, I am not sure what else will!

    Regarding the balance of fat, protein, carbs etc – what is most important is that you start to reduce total calories and consume mostly low GI carbs and lean proteins.

  37. Hi, I’m 18 years old and weigh 141 pounds. I am also 5ft 5/6 inches tall? Am I fat?

  38. MotleyHealth says:

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

  39. kelly yang says:

    hello there i am dieting for about 2 weeks now. i weigh 140 pounds my height is 5’3. Am I overweight or just normal. I weigh myself and it keeps on telling me i still weigh 140 pounds. I love rice but I am cutting down on rice. Will that make me lose weight? I do excercise almost every day. Any suggestions? :)

  40. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Kelly, your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 24.8. This means your weight is within the Normal range. Keep exercising daily and go easy on the rice – get more vegetables, pulses and lentils. Don’t worry about the weight, if you focus on getting fitter you will develop a healthier, fitter and more athletic shape, and the fat will slowly go away.

  41. kelly yang says:

    thanks i can feel that it is going away. i have another question is too that i have been doing sit ups and it seems like i can only do ten i want to push it to 20 sit ups at least. how do i go from there? i do 10 situps rest laid down for a good minute and then do 10 more. it sound silly but yet true. am i not motivated to do it.

  42. Courtney Breaud says:

    I do karate two times a week, work out at least an hour a day, I currently weigh 173 lbs, I am 5 ft 6 in I know my body mass index says I am overweight, I eat 1440 calories, I eat a lot of healthy foods and fruits and vegetables, so far I lost 23 lbs, but now I can’t seem to lose anymore.

  43. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Courtney. If you are eating 1440 Calories a day and exercising at least 1 hour a day, you will lose weight. It is very likely that you are miscalculating exactly how much you are eating – how do you calculate it to be 1440 Calories?

    The fact that you have lost 23 pounds suggests that you have made some excellent progress so far. Just stick with the plan, keep exercising and working on your fitness. Make sure that in 2-3 weeks time those exercise sessions are more intensive, and that you are working harder / exercising for longer.

    How long has it been since you lost some weight? Did you change anything to your plan?

  44. Hi there, I’m 18 and I’ve been on a diet/healthy eating plan since the middle of last year. I was on 1500 calories a day (600 calories under my TDEE) and I lost a good amount of weight. But then I suddenly stopped losing weight so cut down to 300 to 1000 calories a day and exercise for an average of 2 hours a day. I then lost at double the rate I was previously. I realise that probably wasn’t healthy so I started eating just the slightest bit more and I suddenly gained one kilo in a week even though I still wasn’t eating over 1400 calories and I’m really upset about it and don’t understand what is happening. I’m now 51.7kg and 165cm tall and my ideal weight is 47 to 50 kilos. And I’m female. Also currently quite healthy, toned, fit and strong, but I’m not quite content with how I look. Any advice would be very much appreciated. Thank you :)

  45. MotleyHealth says:

    Hi Millie, if you are healthy, toned, fit and strong then I really think that you should continue to focus on eating healthy and exercising. You really do not want to restrict calories that severely, it is not healthy and can lead to long terms problems (such as osteoporosis).

    Note that your Body Mass Index (BMI) is 19.0 – this is the low end of “normal” and if you have been working out 2 hours a day then you should have more muscle than the average 18 year old woman too, so you may in fact be underweight for your current fitness levels. Get some more food and eat some lean proteins to help tone those muscles.

  46. I am a 32 year old female and 67.5 inches tall. How much should I weigh?

  47. MotleyHealth says:

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

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