Updated on July 7th, 2023 at 05:14 pm

The terms overweight and chubby are thrown around a lot, and it’s sometimes unclear what they mean. As such, you may have many questions, including; what is the difference between chubby and overweight?

Overweight refers to a person heavier than what is considered healthy for a specific height and body type, while chubby refers to a person with a little extra fat, making them round and soft. In other instances, chubby is used to refer to a body part with a little extra fat.

Let’s explore what these terms mean for your health, how you can tell which of the two describes you, and lifestyle changes you should make.

What’s the difference between chubby and fat?

Fat described people with a lot of body fat resulting in flabby arms, stomachs, arms, thighs, and legs. Whereas chubby describes people with slightly more than average body fat covering their muscles and giving them a soft and cuddly appearance.

The proper medical terms to describe people with more than average body fat are overweight or obese.

How do I know if I’m overweight or obese?

Using body mass index calculations, you can tell if you are overweight or obese. BMI is calculated from your weight and height. There are many online BMI calculators you can use to determine your category. Below are the different classifications used:

  • 25.0 – 29.9: overweight
  • Over 30: obese
  • 30.0 – 35.0: moderately obese
  • 35.0-40.0: severely obese
  • Over 40: morbidly obese

Because BMI doesn’t factor in body fat, it often returns incorrect results for physically active individuals, especially athletes. So, aside from BMI calculators, you can use waist measurements.

Note: In the case of children and teens, age is a factor in BMI calculation.

Is it ok to be a little chubby?

image of overweight vs chubby - Extra Large LivingAbsolutely. You can develop serious health complications if you are overweight or obese. However, you could benefit from a little fat.

Some of the health benefits of a healthy amount of body fat include:

  • Insulation
  • Absorption of fat-soluble vitamins
  • An extra layer of protection from physical trauma
  • Energy storage

On the flip side, excessive body fat could lead to breathing problems, sleep apnea, kidney failure, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Is chubby offensive?

Chubby has a positive connotation to it as opposed to the words fat, overweight, and obese. It’s used on children and has undertones of cuteness. However, some adults don’t take it as a compliment.

Why is it harder to lose weight when you are overweight?

Unfortunately, overweight or obese people don’t have a calorie-burning capacity to work out into sustainable weight loss. Also, exercises are harder for overweight individuals than normal-weight people.

Moreover, their bodies don’t easily restrict calories to the point that long-term weight loss is achieved. Usually, it initiates survival-based biological responses.

When overweight individuals limit calorie intake, their body’s metabolism slows down to preserve calories since it interprets it as a threat of starvation. The body is also flooded with hunger hormones that induce food-seeking behavior, making it even harder to stick to a diet.

What should I do if I’m overweight or obese?

You should consult with your doctor to create a sustainable weight loss program. Because you are overweight, the body is working against you in losing weight, so the last thing you need is a setback from a fad diet or exercise routine.

Some elements of successful weight loss programs include:

  • Eating healthy – Losing one or two pounds every week is healthy, safe, and sustainable. Your doctor can recommend a dietician to help you create an appropriate diet.
  • Regular exercise – Running, brisk walking, biking, dancing, and swimming. The intensity and amount of workout you need to lose weight is different for each person. So talk to a professional for a custom exercise routine.
  • Behavior Modification
    • Avoiding dairy products in your food.
    • Always use a shopping list and never shop when hungry
    • Take a different route if your normal route passes by tempting fast-food joints

Final word

When it comes to body image, you should love yourself and carry yourself with confidence. However, if you’d want to lose weight for health reasons or out of preference, ensure you do it right. Don’t fall for fad diets and intense workout routines, thinking they’ll get you results faster.

Everyone’s body responds differently to weight loss attempts, and as such, you need a custom weight loss program. This way, you’ll be safe and manage to see the program through to the end. But even with a custom program, you need to show dedication. For more information check out Extra Large Living.