Skinny fat. One of those oxymorons that you’ve
heard about before. Heck, you might even label yourself as skinny fat. So what does it actually
mean, why does it happen, and what can you do about it?
There isn’t a specific term to describe skinny fat. But generally, the most common description
is someone that weighs very little but have a disproportionately high amount of body fat.
Meaning that your weight might be considered in a healthy range but that belly is still
kicking and the flab is still flicking. Now, being skinny fat isn’t at all a bad thing
nor is it unhealthy and definitely not something to be ashamed of. But for many of you that
categroze as skinny-fat, you might think there’s something that’s not quite right. And it’s
not that you’re lazy or not trying to change. Chances are you’ve gone on weight-loss diets
and even gone to the gym, but bam, still skinny-fat. The deal with weight loss diets is that even
if you do lose weight, you’ll lose fat and lean mass simultaneously, which pretty much
keeps your bodyfat percentage the same. If someone weighs 160 pounds with 40 pounds of
fat cuts down to 140 pounds and 35 pounds of fat, the bodyfat percentage will still
be the same 25%. This scenario is true for many beginners since the majority of the weight
they lose in the beginning is water instead of actual fat.
Working out is great but a lot of times people that are skinny fat focuses too much on cardio.
Cardio is definitely good for you, especially for your heart, but again you just end up
dropping the weight without changing the proportions of bodyfat to lean mass, especially with steady
state cardio. Burn all the calories you want by doing cardio, but at the end you’ll just
be a smaller skinny-fat version of your old self.
So weight loss diets don’t work and cardio doesn’t work. What the heck do you do then?
Well, the answer is simpler and closer than you think. You know all that clanking and
banging and all sorts of weird grunts you hear from the “other side” of the gym? Well,
that’s where YOU have to go. Resistance training is the missing ingredient. Since we know that
the problem with skinny-fat is not weight loss but instead body fat proportions, your
goal is to counteract the bodyfat and by far the best way to do so is by adding muscle
to your body. Not only does it offset bodyfat percentage from the added muscle mass, but
it also adds the ever-needed definition to your skinny-fat frame. Resistance training,
whether from lifting weights or bodyweight exercises, is the best way to pack on muscle
and give you that more well-proportioned look. And you even have the luxury of building muscle
and losing fat at the same time. Unlike a bodybuilder, who struggles with putting on
more muscle because they’re close to their genetic limit, a skinny fat person is ripe
for packing on muscle fast. And unlike a skinny-skinny person, your body is primed to burn excess
fat as energy. But this can only last you for so long. Once you’ve trained long enough,
your rate of progression, or “newbie gainz,” will quickly diminish and you’ll have to choose
between losing more weight or building more muscle. That choice is ultimately up to you,
but keep in mind that you need to keep lifting in both scenarios. During weight loss, aka
cut, resistance training will preserve as much muscle as possible from being broken
down. During weight gain, aka bulk, resistance training will obviously stimulate muscle growth.
So there’s your magical secret to solving your skinny fat problems. It’s nothing that’s
an actual secret nor is it really all that magical. Train hard and train consistently
and watch that skinny fat flab turn to not-so skinny fat fab! Ask your questions in the comments below.
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