A BMI of 36 is classed as overweight for both males and females, meaning that a person with a body mass index of 36 is putting their health in danger by maintaining such a high body weight that exceeds the normal BMI for men and women.
The good news is that weight loss—and even a complete body transformation—is possible if you’re armed with the right knowledge and have a positive mindset.
Why is a BMI of 36 bad for females?
A BMI of 36 is bad for females because having a body mass index of 36 puts a woman in the severely obese category, which is a major problem given the dangers of obesity. 
While many women struggle with their weight for a variety of different reasons, it’s important that a woman with a 36 BMI score loses weight so that she can enjoy good health.
Some doctors may recommend more aggressive weight loss tactics (such as a larger calorie deficit) for people with a BMI of 36 so that they can reach a healthy weight as quickly as possible.
Still, when it comes to losing weight, consistency trumps speed most of the time. It’s important to remember that some fat loss is better than no progress at all.
Building healthy exercise and dietary habits will set you up for good long-term health and not just temporary weight reduction.
How bad is a 36 BMI for males?
Considering that a BMI of 36 is around eight BMI points higher than average for a man, a body mass index of 36 is very bad for males because it means that they’re severely obese.
As with women of the same BMI, men who have a body mass index of thirty-six will need to create an energy deficit in order to get the weight loss ball rolling.
In the most simple terms, this means reducing your calorie intake and increasing your activity level.
Discussing the specifics with a nutritionist and doctor will help you to create a custom weight reduction routine that works for you, and that is tailored to your specific needs.
What does a BMI of 36 look like?
A BMI of 36 looks obese because it’s significantly higher than average for both women and men.
When you consider that the average is too high, you begin to realize just how big a 36 BMI really is.
Of course, people have varying ratios of muscle to fat, which can significantly impact how a BMI 36 individual looks.
Nonetheless, while you can be fairly muscular with a BMI of 36, virtually anyone with such a high BMI will naturally be storing a dangerous amount of body fat as well.
BMI 36 classifications
Here are the weight/obesity classifications for each grade of the BMI 36 category.
A 36.1 BMI is very much obese because it’s way higher than average, an average which, as mentioned, is already too high.
If you have a BMI of 36.2, then you’ll need to bring your weight down if you want to live life in good health. As noted, this means exercising daily and eating in a calorie deficit.
A BMI of 36.3 falls into the obese body mass index category. It’s simply not possible to enjoy optimal health (or anything close to it) while walking around with a 36.3 BMI.
Those who have a 36.4 BMI are over four BMI points into the obese category and will need to shed their excess weight in order to regain their health.
A 36.5 BMI is very high for men and women and usually means that an individual has too much body fat on their frame. If you have a BMI of 36.5, then you should aim to start your weight loss journey before you get any heavier.
A BMI of 36.6 is a sign that someone is struggling with their weight, which can be for a variety of reasons. The good news is that, with the right help, losing weight is completely possible.
If you have a BMI of 36.7, then you’re well into the class 2 obesity category. As such, you’ll want to bring your body weight under control by reducing your calorie intake and performing more regular physical activity.
A BMI of 36.8 is higher than usual for Americans but is not so high that an individual will be immobile. Therefore, you can still lose weight even if you have a 36.8 BMI.
Those with a 36.9 BMI are comfortably in the obese classification for body mass index. Although that might be the case now, a person with a BMI of 36.9 can definitely lose weight and see a sizable reduction in body mass index.
What does it mean if you have a 36 BMI?
People who have a high BMI are usually a bigger public health burden than those with a normal body weight.  However, as more people are realizing, weight loss—physiologically—is a rather simple process.
Of course, when a person with a BMI of 36 wants to lose weight, special considerations need to be made, especially if they’re not currently exercising.
Still, by eating in an appropriately large calorie deficit and increasing their activity level (which can be as simple as walking to begin with), a person with a 36 BMI score can drastically overhaul their body composition and radically improve their health.
- Goh, J., Goh, K. P., & Abbasi, A. (2016). Exercise and Adipose Tissue Macrophages: New Frontiers in Obesity Research?. Frontiers in endocrinology, 7, 65. https://doi.org/10.3389/fendo.2016.00065
- Khan, S. S., Krefman, A. E., Zhao, L., Liu, L., Chorniy, A., Daviglus, M. L., Schiman, C., Liu, K., Shih, T., Garside, D., Vu, T. T., Lloyd-Jones, D. M., & Allen, N. B. (2022). Association of Body Mass Index in Midlife With Morbidity Burden in Older Adulthood and Longevity. JAMA network open, 5(3), e222318. https://doi.org/10.1001/jamanetworkopen.2022.2318