Weight Loss

How do I know if I need to lose weight?

There are several ways you can measure yourself to find out if you are overweight.

1. Waist circumference

You can check your waist circumference, which shows the amount of weight you carry around your waist. If you need to lose weight, reducing your waist measurement will help to improve blood glucose control and reduce your risk of developing some diabetes complications.

Waist circumference measurements:

  • White and black men should be below 94cm (37 inches).
  • Asian men should be below 90cm (35 inches).
  • White, black and Asian women should be below 80cm (31.5 inches).


To measure your waist, find the bottom of your ribs and the top of your hips. Measure around your middle at a point mid-way between these (for many people this will be the tummy button).

2. BMI (Body Mass Index)

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a measure of your weight for your height. It is a good indicator of what weight range you are in. The chart below will help you to determine this. Find the point where your height and weight meet on the chart and you can see how your weight is classified. Weight classification is slightly different for people of Asian origin as shown in the key.

It is important to remember that the BMI measure can be inaccurate at times for people who have a lot of lean muscle such as rugby players or weight lifters. You can discuss your BMI with a member of your healthcare team if you think this might apply to you.