What You Need to Know About Being “Big-Boned”

Ever heard the statement: “I’m not fat, I’m just big boned?” Perhaps you’ve even said it yourself.

Unfortunately, the “big-boned” theory is one that’s all too commonly misconstrued by people as justification for being overweight or obese when, in all actuality, they are simply carrying too much body fat. Now, don’t get me wrong, there are certainly people with a predisposition to carrying excess fat and many who naturally have big bones, so being slightly overweight may be inevitable for some. However, the average person is not predisposed to weighing in excess of 300 pounds.

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A basic understanding of body composition is critical for understanding the concept of having big bones or a relatively larger frame. An ideal body composition is one that encompasses a low percentage of fat weight (body fat percentage) and a high percentage of fat-free weight (muscle, bone, organs, blood and water) relative to overall body weight. Having a higher body fat percentage substantially increases the risk of obesity and obesity-related health problems. This holds true even for “over-fat” people with smaller frames who appear to be thin.

Related Article: The Body Mass Index Versus Body Composition: What You Need to Know

Interestingly enough, while people with big bones tend to have larger frames they typically possess lower percentages of body fat. This is primarily because increased bone mass, generally equates to a greater propensity to gain weight as muscle. As such, if you’re authentically “big-boned”, a sensible, protein-rich diet coupled with exercise stimuli that specifically target bone and muscle (resistance training) is more likely to produce beneficial results for you.

Related Article: Nutrition Basics: Your Daily Protein Intake

Alas, much of the confusion over the “big-boned” theory may stem from the fact that many overweight and obese people who view themselves as being big-boned are actually endomorphs. The term “endomorph” essentially refers to individuals prone to obesity. People classified as endomorphs typically gain fat weight very easily and then have trouble losing it due to a naturally sluggish metabolic rate. If you feel as though you gain weight at the sight of a donut in spite of your perceived exercise and dieting efforts, you’re more than likely an endomorph.

Related Article: The Important Role of Metabolism in Weight Loss

Still, having this body type doesn’t mean that you have to succumb to being overweight or obese, it simply means you have to work harder to fight it. It is what it is so don’t dwell on it just do something about it. If this means no donuts for you then so be it. In order to prevent body fat accumulation over the long-term, endomorphs must maintain sensible eating patterns along with moderate- to high-levels of cardio exercise and resistance training, indefinitely.

Related Article: The Best Weight Loss Plan for “Big-Boned” Women

So what’s the net-net on being big-boned? Plainly stated, whether your larger frame is due to big bones or endomorphic qualities, it’s important to take personal responsibility for your physical state. Just as an individual burdened with diabetes must constantly control their blood sugar levels to survive, you must make a conscious effort to control your body weight by eating sensibly and regularly engaging in exercise. Even if you don’t lose a ton of weight, positive lifestyle behaviors will surely keep you in good shape and overall good health.

Related Article: A Simple Guide to Eating Sensibly

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Disclaimer: The information provided is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Any reader who is concerned about his or her health should contact a physician for advice.

Before starting an exercise training program you should first make sure that exercise is safe for you.  If you are under the age of 55 years and generally in good health, it is probably safe for you to exercise.  However, if you are over 55 years of age and/or have any health problems, be sure to consult with your physician before starting an exercise training program.