July 11, 2023

Do I Have Wide Rib Cage or Am I Fat?

Woman with body fat on the top of a wide rib cage

Do I Have Wide Rib Cage or Am I Fat?

Have you ever found yourself studying your reflection, observing the unique contours of your physique?

Perhaps you’ve found yourself wondering, “Do I have a wide rib cage, or am I carrying excess weight?” That’s what we are going to discuss here.

I am going to reveal the ideal rib cage weight, and to clarify whether you have a fat body or just a wide rib cage. Let’s get into it!

What is a Rib Cage?

The rib cage is a crucial part of our anatomy. Imagine it as a fortress made up of 24 long, slender bones (12 pairs to be precise) protecting our vital organs. Heart, lungs, liver – our rib cage shields them all! Its primary purpose is to ensure we breathe comfortably and our organs stay protected from external damage.

What is a Wide Rib Cage?

Now, let’s talk about a wide rib cage. Imagine this: 2 people standing side by side, same in height and weight. One might appear broader around the chest.

Why? It’s the magic of diversity – we all have uniquely shaped rib cages!

When we say someone has a wide rib cage, it simply means their chest frame is naturally larger. This trait is primarily determined by genetics and usually runs in families.

So, based on this information, a Wide rib cage is larger and longer ribs protecting your organs more widely.


Woman with body fat on the top of a wide rib cage


Am I Overweight or Is It My Wide Rib Cage?

Now comes the big question. How do you tell if you’re carrying extra fat, or if you just have a wide rib cage? The key is in your body fat percentage.

Understanding Body Fat Percentage

The entire mass of fat divided by the total body mass is known as the body fat percentage. This changes based on age, gender, and personal health. For example, a healthy range for women is generally 21-33%, while for men it’s around 8-19%.

Methods to Measure Body Fat

You’ve got several options for measuring body fat percentage:

  1. Skinfold calipers: These devices measure the thickness of your skinfolds at various body parts. A bit old-school, but pretty reliable!
  2. Bioelectrical impedance scales: These scales send a harmless electrical current through your body to measure body fat.
  3. DEXA scan: This is a type of X-ray that provides the most accurate body composition data, including body fat percentage.

If your body fat percentage falls within a healthy range for your demographic, and you still perceive your upper body as larger, it might very well be due to a wider rib cage.

You Cannot Change your Rib Cage

Have you ever thought, “As my bone structure is unchangeable, how can I ever look athletic?” Rest assured, many share your sentiment.

Here’s the truth: Our rib cage size is fixed – it’s an integral part of who we are.

However, we can definitely work on toning the muscles around them and, importantly, adjust our mindset. Instead than trying to fit in with society’s standards for physical shape, put more emphasis on feeling strong, healthy, and fit. It’s all about celebrating our bodies as they are and feeling empowered in our unique forms!


a female skeleton with a wide rib cage

What You Can and Can’t Shed

Navigating weight loss can be confusing. You might be asking, “What weight can I lose to look fit, and what can’t be lost because of my wide rib cage?”

In the realm of weight loss, the focus is on fat reduction and muscle development, not on modifying our skeletal frame. Remember, our rib cages are part of our skeletons, and their size doesn’t change with weight loss or gain. Here are some tips for healthy weight loss:

  1. Adopt a balanced diet: Fill 50%your plate with fruits and veggies, a 25% with lean proteins, and the remaining 25% with whole grains.
  2. Stay active: The American Heart Association recommends at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity aerobic activity per week.
  3. Get enough sleep: Poor sleep is linked to weight gain.
  4. Drink plenty of water: Water helps boost metabolism, cleanse your body of waste, and acts as an appetite suppressant.

Keep in mind that the objective is to enhance general health and wellbeing, not only to lower numbers on a scale.

The Real Weight of a Wide Rib Cage

I’ve heard people say that having a wide rib cage adds extra pounds. Let’s debunk this myth!

Your rib cage give merely about 1-2% of your total body mass.

Therefore, its size won’t significantly affect your overall weight. Instead, it might influence your body shape and silhouette. Embrace it! There isn’t one single ‘perfect’ body shape. We are all lovely because of our individuality!


a fat overweight woman but with a skinny ribcage


Health Concern of Wide Rib Cage

Did you know a larger than average rib cage can cause health problems? Guess what, it’s true! People with wider rib cages can face quite a few issues. Some of these are physical, while others might mess with how one feels about themselves socially.

Let’s list a few problems people might face:

  • Feeling uncomfortable: First off, having a wide rib cage can make anyone feel uneasy. It causes chest pain and makes it hard to find clothes that fit just right.
  • Hard time breathing: Secondly, it affects lung capacity. This means that the person could have trouble breathing properly.
  • Weird posture: Lastly, to adjust to their larger rib cage size, folks may change their usual stance.

Now you may ask, “What causes this?” Well, there are many reasons. Some people are born with wider rib cages because of their genes. Others might develop it because of bad posture or certain health conditions.

Prevention is often the best way to deal with health issues like these. For some people, simple activities like maintaining good posture can help prevent the development of a wide rib cage. It also helps to stay away from anything that irritates the ribs.

What happens next? The outcome for someone with a wide rib cage depends on how severe the condition is and how well they respond to treatment. But don’t worry too much! With the right management techniques in place, they can still lead high-quality lives.

Despite all these potential challenges, remember this: everyone is unique in their own way! Our bodies come in different shapes and sizes — including our rib cages. So whether yours is broad or narrow doesn’t define who you are as a person!


Rib cage Shaping Perceptions

Our society tends to idolize specific body types and sizes, but it’s key to remember that this so-called “ideal” does not equate to health or beauty in reality. Instead, let’s shift our perspective. Let’s learn to celebrate body diversity and appreciate our unique forms.

  • Defying the ‘Ideal’: According to a study published in the International Journal of Fashion Design, Technology and Education, the average woman’s size in America is 16-18. Yet the fashion industry often promotes far smaller sizes as ‘ideal’. This discrepancy creates an unrealistic expectation and pressures individuals into striving for unattainable body shapes.
  • Importance of Body Appreciation: Studies indicate that appreciating one’s body can lead to improved self-esteem better mental health, higher levels of overall happiness and less likelihood of developing eating disorders. So let’s practice gratitude towards our bodies, respect their capabilities and appreciate their individuality.
  • Celebrating Body Diversity: Research shows that exposure to diverse body types can enhance body satisfaction among viewers. It encourages acceptance and counters stereotypical beauty standards. It’s a testament to why representation matters.



Can my rib cage be altered in size?

Nope, you cannot alter the size of your rib cage. Your rib cage size is mostly decided by your skeleton, which is strongly affected by your genes. While you can work out to build up your general physique and strengthen the muscles around your rib cage, you cannot change the size of your rib cage.

Is it possible to lose weight specifically from the rib cage area?

It’s crucial to recognise that you cannot target particular body parts for fat loss when it comes to weight loss. Fat loss occurs throughout the body as a result of overall calorie deficit. Hence, if you partake in weight-loss promoting activities like a balanced diet and regular physical exercise, you may observe a decrease in total body fat, rib cage area included.

Can having a wide rib cage make me appear heavier or overweight?

No, having a wide rib cage does not necessarily make you appear heavier or overweight. The mass of your rib cage, in comparison to your total body weight, is fairly minor (1-2% of your total body weight). While a wide rib cage may influence your body shape and silhouette, it does not significantly affect your overall weight. It’s important to

Final Thoughts

As we wrap up, I want to say, “Celebrate your unique rib cage, embrace your body!”

Trust me, our bodies are wonderfully diverse, and having a wide rib cage is not a flaw. It’s a testament to the rich variety that makes us human.

Stay active, eat healthily, and love your body, wide rib cage and all. And most importantly, remember that health comes in every shape and size. Until next time, keep on celebrating your body and stay fabulous!