There's no getting around the fact that a 41 inch waist is excessively large for both men and women.
Don't get me wrong; you can certainly be happy with your physique while having excess body fat. It's just that having a 41″ waist is very likely indicative of other health problems, which can reduce your lifespan and quality of living.
It's also imperative that you understand how to take a waist measurement correctly. This way, you know your true starting point and thus how many inches you need to lose to get in shape.
Is a 41 inch waist big for a woman?
Yes, a 41 inch waist is big for a woman because it's a few inches larger than average for an American female (and the average is already too big for a woman to live in optimal health). If you have a 41 in waist as a woman, then it's highly likely that you're carrying excess body fat and would be able to improve your physical health by losing weight (more on that later).
Of course, there are many women who have a waist that's much larger than 41 inches. So you're definitely not in a terrible position if you currently have a 41″ waist.
Still, you can't enjoy your best health while carrying excess stomach fat because having a waist that's too big, which a 41 inch circumference is, is associated with an increased risk of conditions like high blood pressure and high blood sugar. 
The good news is that by implementing a few fat-shedding strategies in your daily life (more on those in a minute), you can reliably lose weight and improve a number of different health markers.
How about for a man?
Even though men typically have bigger waists than women due to males having larger builds, a 41 inch waist is still too large for a man to live in optimal health. This is despite the shocking fact that a 41 inch waistline is only one inch bigger than average.
This sobering fact tells you that a lot of men are carrying extra body fat, especially around their stomachs. So, while having a 41 inch belly isn't indicative of the absolute worst physical shape, it should still serve as a reminder that you need to lose a fair few inches at least to live in good health.
Indeed, research shows that an excessively high waist circumference is associated with diseases and ailments like diabetes, high blood pressure, and joint pain. 
So even if you think that your waist won't get any larger than 41 inches, it's still worth lowering your calorie intake in order to lose weight because you will significantly improve your health by shedding some stomach fat.
What affects the appearance of a 41 in waist?
Not all waistlines of the same size are built equally.
For example, some people, especially those who lift weights, have more abdominal muscle mass than others. Despite arguably making your midsection look better aesthetically, having bulky abs can actually make your waist thicker and increase its measurement.
Of course, virtually nobody has a 41 in waist due to only having massively muscular abs. Still, having well-developed abdominals and obliques could be a contributing factor to having an excessively large waistline.
If you're not sure whether you have muscular abs, then you probably don't. Usually, building abs that are developed enough to thicken your waist requires months and years of resistance training.
Therefore, if you have a 41 inch stomach, then it likely consists of body fat primarily with perhaps some bloat (water weight) from your diet.
How can I slim my stomach?
Since having excess belly fat can increase your risk of stroke and heart disease, among other worrying conditions, it's important to change your lifestyle if you want to lose weight.
That's right; you can't go to the gym every now and again and expect to reduce your stomach size.
You need to exercise multiple times per week (not necessarily at a gym) if you want to shed the pounds. Calorie-burning movements like burpees and mountain climbers will work your abs while torching plenty of calories in the process. 
If you desire a lean and muscular physique, then make sure to do exercises for your other body parts (squats for your legs, curls for your biceps, etc.).
While regular exercise is an undeniably effective way to get in shape and improve your health, you ultimately need to be in an energy deficit if you want to lose weight. In simple terms, being in an energy deficit entails consuming fewer calories than your body needs to maintain its current level of mass.
Conclusion: Is having a 41 inch waistline good or bad?
You don't need a ripped or even a lean body in order to be happy with your physique.
However, when your body fat level and waist size cause your health to degrade, you know that it's time to make a change and strive for fat loss.
The good news is that a 41 inch waist isn't that much bigger than average, so if you exercise regularly and eat healthily consistently, then you won't be waiting that long to see a big change in how your body looks.
- Tran, N. T. T., Blizzard, C. L., Luong, K. N., Truong, N. L. V., Tran, B. Q., Otahal, P., Nelson, M., Magnussen, C., Gall, S., Bui, T. V., Srikanth, V., Au, T. B., Ha, S. T., Phung, H. N., Tran, M. H., & Callisaya, M. (2018). The importance of waist circumference and body mass index in cross-sectional relationships with risk of cardiovascular disease in Vietnam. PLOS ONE, 13(5), e0198202. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0198202
- Darsini, Hamidah, Notobroto, H. B., & Cahyono, E. A. (2020). Health risks associated with high waist circumference: a systematic review. Journal of Public Health Research. https://doi.org/10.4081/jphr.2020.1811
- Men’s Health. (2021, July 1). 16 Exercises to Help You Lose Belly Fat. https://www.menshealth.com/uk/fitness/a758971/the-5-best-exercises-for-burning-belly-fat/