- Exercise & Fitness
What to do if You're Skinny Fat
Skinny and Fat
Skinny Fat, what's that? Can someone actually be both skinny and fat at the same time? The answer is yes. It can happen if you're small but have a high body fat percentage. In fact, the Mayo clinic released a study last year stating that obesity can occur in people of normal weight. If that person has a body mass index (BMI) in the normal range but has a high body fat percentage, they are considered normal weight obese or skinny fat. There are serious health implications to any form of obesity, including diabetes and heart disease. Not only that, but you just won't look good. Your stomach may be saggy and flabby and your chest could look caved in. Who wants that? So what can be done about it if you're skinny fat?
Weight Training for the Skinny Fat
Weight Training for the Skinny Fat
A skinny fat person lacks lean muscle mass, which is one reason they have a high body fat percentage. If you've been dieting and doing cardio for years, you could be skinny fat. Lack of proper nutrition and too much cardio can break down your muscles, resulting in that soft, skinny fat appearance. Resistance training and proper nutrition, on the other hand, help to build and maintain muscle mass. Muscle helps the body burn fat because it requires more energy, even at rest. So the more muscle you have, the less fat.
Building muscle requires a resistance training program. If you're a woman, you may be worried that this program will make you bulk up like a man. That's simply not possible since women lack the hormones necessary to get really large muscles. When the typical woman lifts weights, she'll get smaller and more compact because muscle is smaller in volume than fat.
If you're just starting out with weight training, do some reading on the popular body building sites like Bodybuilding.com or Oxygen.com to find a program that works for you. Or you could hire a personal trainer to get started. Either way, it's imperative to include resistance training and cut back on your cardio workouts to build muscle and lose that skinny-fat appearance.
When you start your weight training program, it's very important to lift heavy weights. Many women have a tendency to lift light, three to five pounds weights doing a large number of repetitions. Avoid this mistake. Instead, lift a weight heavy enough that you can only do 8-10 repetitions with good form. Rest for 30-45 seconds and then complete 1-2 more sets. Gradually increase your weight over time as you develop strength. Be sure to allow two days between training each body part so if you train your legs on Monday, don't do it again until at least Thursday.
Again, if you're a woman, don't be concerned about getting bulky. Lifting heavy weights will fire up your metabolism to help you burn fat and get rid of that skinny fat appearance.
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Nutrition for the Skinny Fat
Nutrition is another key factor in overcoming skinny fat syndrome. In conjunction with resistance training, you need to eat enough calories to build muscle. Did you know that in order to get stronger you need a surplus of about 200-300 calories per day? It's very difficult to get stronger when you're skinny fat and in a calorie deficit. So go ahead and eat, just make sure you're eating good, whole foods. Each meal should include lean protein, some healthy fat, and complex carbohydrates. An example of a muscle building meal would be chicken breast, a half a sweet potato, and steamed vegetables. The Eat Clean Diet books by Tosca Reno are excellent resources for proper nutrition. Give them a try.
And speaking of proper nutrition, it's very important to avoid alcohol if you want to decrease your body fat percentage. One drink every so often is okay, just don't make it a habit. Alcohol is pretty much pure sugar and drinking it will make it very difficult to decrease your body fat.
Stop Being Skinny Fat
If you're skinny-fat, you need a plan. By combining resistance training with proper nutrition, you can become fit and healthy. It may take some time to turn around years of bad habits but keep at it and you will see and feel the results!
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