Skinny fat! Doesn’t it sound like an oxymoron? Yes, a person can have average weight and yet store a high percentage of fat.
As a concept, it harps on the importance of maintaining muscle and fat balance in our bodies. You can be metabolically obese even if your body weight and BMI do not indicate that.
Skinny fat brings several health issues like diabetes, high BP, and high cholesterol. Women are at a greater risk of developing this condition. In addition, an Annals of Internal Medicine report says that a person who is skinny with belly fat will have a higher mortality risk than an obese person with equal body fat distribution.
Understanding the severity of the condition, here I discuss what skinny fat is, why it happens, what its symptoms are, and how you can get rid of it.
What Is Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat or thin fat obesity is a grave concern, and it is not “visible.” You can easily identify an obese person from fat accumulation all over the body. Also, the number shown by the weighing scale and the BMI will be easy indicators.
Conversely, thin fat will not be detected from a person’s weight and BMI because a skinny fat person will have average weight and moderate BMI. But there will be a massive imbalance in the percentage of muscle mass and body fat. This condition is called metabolic obesity.
The skinny fat body type does not have to be chubby in appearance always. But a metabolically obese normal weight person or MONW has a significant problem in their body composition that does not get reflected through weight or looks.
Why Do People Have A Skinny Fat Body Type?
You can have a skinny fat body type if you are not following a proper diet chart. Also, only doing cardio exercises is one of the primary reasons for having a skinny fat body. Want to know the reasons in detail? Read on.
Poor Diet Or Extreme Dieting
If your diet does not have high nutritious value and contains a lot of refined carbohydrates, you are likely to store fat around your abdomen. A protein-rich diet is ideal for avoiding this condition.
Extreme dieting means drastically decreasing your daily calorie intake to lose weight without exercising. This is a common trait of women, which is why skinny fat women are more in numbers than men.
You can also have skinny fat as a genetic trait. However, you can successfully do a skinny fat transformation with proper physical training and changes in your diet.
Only Doing Cardio Exercises
Only doing cardio exercise can be a reason behind having a skinny fat body. Women especially try to avoid resistance training because they don’t like the beefed-up look.
However, resistance training is very important for muscle building as well as improving metabolism. So, if you have a skinny fat body and want to work out, ask your trainer to make a good combination of cardio and resistance training.
Hypothyroidism and other hormonal imbalances can cause thin fat. Hormonal imbalances can be indigenous or caused by some medications like contraceptive pills.
At the same time, poor gut health can be the reason behind a thin fat body type.
Sedentary Lifestyle Or Seating Disease
This is a lifestyle problem of modern times. If you sit for long hours (intentionally or unintentionally) and avoid your daily workout sessions, you will likely develop a thin fat body.
Lack of movement coupled with a poor diet facilitates muscle loss and excessive fat accumulation.
Signs of Being Skinny Fat
The common sign of a thin fat body is the excessive accumulation of fat around the abdomen and a high waist-to-hip ratio. Especially women who are at a higher risk of having a skinny fat body tend to store more fat around their belly, hips, and thighs.
Another sign of having a skinny fat body is feeling sugar crash frequently. If you are eating too much refined sugar or your body has excessive sugar, it will produce more insulin. With a boost in insulin production, you will feel a drop in your energy level.
You can also suffer from brain fog if you have metabolic obesity. And older people with a thin fat body type are also more prone to suffering from dementia.
How To Get Rid Of Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat can be more harmful to your health than obesity. There is no quick fix to this problem. You have to achieve the right body composition with changes in your diet and following a proper exercise routine.
Proper Training Is The Key
Hitting the gym regularly will not help you to get rid of skinny fat. You have to keep your workout sessions intentional.
Skinny fat men and women need a good combination of cardio, resistance, and HIIT training. Talk to your fitness trainer. He/she will prepare the ideal regime for you.
To begin with, try some squats, pull-ups, and presses. These exercises target large muscle groups and hence are very helpful for muscle building.
An ideal diet plan for fighting skinny fat should have high protein and fewer carbs. However, you will need your daily dose of carbs, and that’s why you can switch to whole grains.
You also need to have a lot of veggies and fruits as they also provide your body with fibers that are extremely good for your gut health. Good gut health always helps to fight skinny fat. Fruits and veggies also have essential micronutrients.
In addition, you need a protein-rich diet to build muscles. Also, minimize the consumption of processed food as much as possible.
You must build a sustainable lifestyle to get rid of skinny fat. A disciplined workout session should not end up being like a punishment for you. If you find the gym sessions hard to follow, talk to your trainer to find alternative physical activities.
At the same time, a strict diet plan does not mean that you can never indulge in your favorite cheats. However, be honest and always consult your dietician on how you can balance out those cheat meals.
You cannot be wishy-washy in your choices. A quicker approach may often fail to yield the desired visual or measurable result. At the same time, extreme dieting or exercise can make you drop the plan mid-way. The plan here is to go slow and steady. This way, you will lose the excess fat in your body and be able to avoid cardiovascular problems.