Skinny Fat – What’s That?
Skinny fat is a strange term. How could someone be skinny and fat at the same time? Well, that’s easy. Skinny fat people tend to have very little muscle and, instead, a large amount of fat. They don’t look “fat” or large and often, when they originate wanting to “lose weight”, others scoff and think they must be joking or worse, showing off.
You may have seen someone like this. She’s wearing a size 4 but when you go to touch her arm, it’s soft. So are her belly and legs. When these people are properly fat tested, they have 30% body fat and higher (this means their bodies are made up of 30% fat or more – that’s about 1/3 fat and 2/3 everything else like muscle, bone etc). What’s even more interesting is that they don’t necessarily weigh a lot but that doesn’t mean they’re healthy because fat isn’t particularly heavy.
Men and women can be skinny fat. It’s not healthy and as they get older, these people can get large. If they have a lot of fat around their organs (visceral fat), they’re at increased risk of cardio-respiratory disease.
How can someone who is skinny fat change things around? It’s going to take eating well (cutting out the excess sugars and fats while increasing the fruits, vegetables and healthy protein in the diet) along with some good regular exercise with emphasis on strength training (increasing muscle mass using anything from body-weight exercises to gym strength machines and free weights). By regular, we’re talking at least three times a week for an hour or more at a time.
Walking on a treadmill for half an hour a day won’t be enough. Building more muscle will help the skinny fat person burn fat faster and get into a much healthier state. Finding out how to do this properly would be a very good first step to overcoming the often hidden and potentially life-threatening condition of skinny fat.