Fitness Q&A: Difference between body fat and body weight

Fitness expert, Namita Jain answers readers’ questions on fitness. Get your doubts cleared and see them featured on our FAQ page every Thursday.
This week’s answers:

1. Hi, I am 43 year old man, height 76kg, full time in front of computer in office. Every morning walks 3.5km in 30 minutes, and then airobics and drill kind of exercises. I will do only ‘bare hand’ exercises – no tools. Pure vegitarian. Eats three times a day, morning & noon rice, wheat at night. To give you an idea, breakfast three idlis, lunch some rice, sambar etc in office tiffin box, night 4 chappathis with veg curry before 8pm. 2 or 3 small bananas every day and some raw veg.. too. Drinking only 2 teas in the morning. No snacks in between.
The problem is, with double food I was only 65 kg 10 years back. Now weight increased and seems major part gone around waste. My chest and waste is now 38 inches!
However & whatever exercise I do, waste is not reduced. What to do? Please advise.


If with eating double the quantity of food you were losing weight… then you need consultation with a physician (who may suggest medical investigations) to determine if there is any medical problem. All the best!

2. how many walnuts can we eat daily and is it to be eaten according to teh body weight?

Consume 5 to 7 walnuts a days. Excess nuts will result in weight gain.

3. dear namita, is there any way to distinguish between body fat and body weight? i weig 64 kgs ht is 5.5 but i feel bulky.
Yes, there are specialised machines that give you your body fat percentage.

Here are the body fat percent categories for women.


Essential fat 10-13%
Athletes 14-20%
Fitness 21-24%
Average 25-31%
Obese 32% and higher

4. hi. i am very thin, i eat a lot but not gaining weight. ht 5.7 and wt is 52 kgs.

Many people, often have trouble gaining weight. It is not a good idea to eat mega-meals at fast food joints or high- in- fat foods to gain weight. An effort like this will increase your body fat, putting you at risk for health problems. Rather work on improving the quality of your diet. Include 2 to 3 servings of fruits and vegetables in the day. Drink juice and smoothies made with milk and fresh fruit.
Here are some ideas:
· Use whole fat dairy products such as whole milk, regular cheese and yogurt, cottage cheese.
· Modify Cooking: Experiment by adding almonds to salads, cashews to a trail mix, or granola to yogurt.
· Use “Extras”: Try mixing in Ovaltine or almonds with a glass of milk. Add dried fruit or granola to yogurt. Mix in nuts, such as cashews or almonds to salads, vegetables or rice dishes.
· Increase portion size gradually: Slowly try to increase the overall volume of the food at each meal, starting with one meal. For example, try adding one food item to a typical breakfast such as – add some fruit to cereal and milk. Then try increasing the amount of cereal. Once portions have increased over a few days at breakfast, add more to dinner or lunch.

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