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Do you have a BMI of 49? Here’s how to lower it

Do you have a BMI of 49? Here’s how to lower it

A BMI of 49 means that you have class 3 obesity, which is commonly referred to as severe obesity.

An individual who has a 49 BMI may be suffering from health problems due to their weight. For this reason, it’s important that they talk to their doctor before attempting to reduce their body mass index.

When you put your height and weight into a BMI calculator, you might get decimal scores like a 49.1 BMI, a 49.6 BMI, or a 49.9 BMI. These are all roughly the same, so you can either round up or just go with a BMI of 49 as your starting point.

As you lose weight, your BMI will naturally come down anyway, so don’t worry about the specific score for now.


What’s the meaning of a 49 BMI?

A BMI 49 man looking at his fat body in the mirror

Severe obesity is the meaning of a 49 BMI because a body mass index of 49 is nearly twenty BMI points higher than average for females and males (and the average is almost considered obese!).

Someone with a 49 BMI may also be suffering from health problems (both mental and physical) due to their high body mass index. These problems can make weight loss more challenging.

Having a BMI of 49 isn’t good from a physical health standpoint because it virtually guarantees abdominal obesity.

This is where you have excess abdominal fat, which often means having visceral fat, which, unlike subcutaneous fat, wraps around your organs and often leads to severe health problems.

How can a BMI 49 individual slim down?

An obese man with a body mass index of 49

To reduce a BMI of 49, you’ll need to put your body in an energy deficit, which means limiting your calorie intake.

By how much should you reduce your calories?

That’s up to your doctor or dietician. They might recommend a fairly aggressive calorie deficit initially (around 40%) so that you can bring your body weight under control as quickly as possible.

Such high calorie deficits are often unsustainable over the long term, so you may be asked to increase your food intake after losing your first batch of weight.

At this point—once your movement becomes better—you might be asked to perform more exercise, which, in addition to burning calories, will also strengthen your bones and muscles, resulting in a very different body composition.

Do many people have a BMI of 49?

A BMI 49 woman running

Even though a 49 BMI is much higher than usual, there are still an increasing number of individuals who are suffering from severe obesity.

We’ll leave the causes of this epidemic up to the obesity researchers, but we certainly know that our increasingly sedentary lifestyles are part of the problem.

Body mass index often gets a bad rep because it’s a mere screening too that can’t measure body fat directly. Yet, when someone has a very high BMI, that’s usually an excellent indicator that their body fatness is also excessive.

For this reason, unless you have a large frame and/or a lot of muscle mass, it’s best to aim for a BMI in the normal range over the long term.

Of course, setting short-term goals is also important for staying on track and keeping your motivation high. 

So don’t feel that you need to lose as much weight as possible every single week. Any weight loss journey naturally has its ups and downs (that’s why it’s called a journey!).

In conclusion

While having a BMI of 49 is likely a major health risk for a person, it could be worse, and the chance of BMI reduction is very high if the individual gets the right help.

To recap, reducing a 49 BMI means eating in a caloric deficit and, when possible, performing regular exercise.

By putting your body in an energy deficit, fat loss has no choice but to take place. So even if things feel slow, just know that you are on the right path!