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Nutrition & Dieting/Is it Time for Me to Start Losing Weight?


QUESTION: I'm wondering if its seriously time to start losing weight? I've always been stocky but is my weight too high?

Weight: 230lbs
Waist: 38 inches

ANSWER: Hi Devon,
Your name can be unisex but I am going to assume you are a male.

Your BMI is 36.0, indicating your weight is in the Obesity category for men of your height. A better measurement would be "body fat percentage" since although BMI is accurate most of the time, it may overestimate or underestimate body fat. For example, BMI doesn't distinguish between body fat and muscle mass, which weighs more than fat so you could be labeled "obese" because of the high BMI, when you actually have a low percentage of body fat.

It would be a good idea to visit with your physician and ask them if they feel you need to lose weight. You can also find someone to help you do a body fat test.

But unless you are very muscular from weight lifting, we can probably assume that you have excess body fat. In general, the smartest way to lose the excess body fat is to eat around 1800 calories per day for a male, exercise doing cardio 30-60 minutes per day.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Yes I'm male, I'm assuming you didn't see the photo attached?

In any case I accept that I'm overweight but I'm not sure about me being obese.

What is the best way to determine that?

I'll attach the photo again.

Hi Devon,
I see the photo now. You definitely have too much abdominal fat. A body fat test is most appropriate to discern just how much you would need to lose but I can see just from your photo that there is too much fat on your abdomen.

There are two types of fat that you have in your abdominal area. The first type that covers up your abs from being visible is called subcutaneous fat and lies directly beneath the skin and on top of the abdominal muscles.

The second type of fat that you have in your abdominal area is called visceral fat, and that lies deeper in the abdomen beneath your muscle and surrounding your organs. Visceral fat also plays a role in giving certain men that "beer belly" appearance where their abdomen protrudes excessively but at the same time, also feels sort of hard if you push on it.

Both subcutaneous fat and visceral fat in the abdominal area are serious health risk factors, but science has shown that having excessive visceral fat is even more dangerous than subcutaneous fat. Both of them greatly increase the risk your risk of developing heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, sleep apnea, various forms of cancer, and other degenerative diseases.

So, a healthy weight loss diet and exercise would be helpful Devon.

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Maria Faires, RD and Certified Personal Trainer


I can answer questions related to any of the following areas general fitness, athletics, strength/weight training, flexibility, aerobic training, balance training, corrective/rehab training, personal trainers, personal training, health and wellness, diet/nutrition, weight/fat loss, dietary supplements, body composition improvement, uses of free weights, medicine balls, and stability balls. Please no questions regarding specific injuries. I would need more information then what you can provide in an email to answer these questions accurately. You must be 18 years or older to ask me a question. Please don't ask me to give you a workout to do. I can't give individualized workouts over this forum. If you need more in depth help or would like help with your specific workout plans please visit my website. I offer online or phone consultations.


Maria Faires, RD has the remarkable distinction of being a Certified Personal Trainer, Registered Dietitian and Clinical Exercise Specialist with over twenty years in the Health and Fitness Industry. As the owner of Active Nutrition, her fitness and consulting private practice, she provides highly personalized nutrition services and personal training for her in-home clients and in her private studio. Maria offers a personal, practical approach for all levels of experience. Her programs integrate nutrition, cardiovascular exercise, strength training, and flexibility training into individually-tailored plans to help develop and maintain a body full of energy and free from unnecessary injury. Through her scientifically oriented consulting practice, Maria provides a variety of cutting-edge nutrition and fitness services such as fitness hikes and grocery store tours, all designed to improve individuals’ quality of life and help them achieve optimal health. Maria acts as a consultant to her client community, authors nutrition and fitness articles and speaks to the community to offer her expertise and broad based support. Maria’s focus on delivering scientifically-based nutrition and fitness services continues to be a very timely and popular interest by individuals and corporations alike, making her a sought-after expert source for speaking engagements. Maria has become a highly regarded medical expert within the health care community on issues such as nutrition, weight management, fitness and wellness. Maria has worked as a Sports Nutritionist for several health clubs, as Chief Nutrition Educator for Group Health, Director of Clinical Nutrition and Food Services for a medical facility, and as Nutrition Specialist for NutriSystem Weight Loss Clinic. Her experiences in private practice include counseling for cardiac disease and prevention, sports nutrition, pediatric nutrition, clinical nutrition, diabetes education and weight-loss.

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Maria earned a Bachelor’s degree from Whitworth College in Food and Nutrition Science and is a Cum Laude graduate of Eastern Washington University with a second Bachelor’s degree in Food, Nutrition and Dietetics. She is certified as a Personal Trainer and Advanced Health and Fitness Specialist by the highly regarded American Council on Exercise, and is CPR and ‘Mountain Outdoor First Aid’ certified by the Seattle Mountaineers and American Red Cross.

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