Find out what to do if you’re skinny fat.
Skinny fat individuals often have a deceivingly slim appearance due to their low body weight, but they possess a relatively high percentage of body fat. This combination of factors characterizes the concept of being skinny fat. In this body composition, there is a notable deficiency in muscle mass accompanied by a relatively larger amount of body fat. As a result, individuals with a skinny fat physique tend to lack muscle definition and may have a softer or less toned appearance.
Despite their seemingly slender build, skinny fat individuals face certain health risks associated with their higher body fat percentage. The low muscle-to-fat ratio contributes to an increased likelihood of metabolic issues and a higher susceptibility to chronic diseases. It is important to recognize that excessive body fat, even in individuals who may appear thin, can have detrimental effects on overall health and well-being. Thus, addressing the underlying causes of a skinny fat physique and working towards achieving a healthier body composition is essential for long-term health.
Although it sounds like the worst of both worlds being skinny fat (not much muscle and high body fat percentage) it isn’t all bad news and you can turn it around with some simple tips from Dr Mike Israetel.
Dr Mike Israetel, PhD in Sport Physiology and co-founder of Renaissance Periodization, is a well-respected professor in the bodybuilding community. He doesn’t only talk about workouts and fitness tips, he often dives deep into health and nutrition.
He talked about what to do if you’re skinny fat. See more below.
What To Do If You’re Skinny Fat
According to Israetel, standard diet advice for skinny fat usually clashes with their goal. If someone tells you to bulk, you might think it’s a bad idea because you’re already high in body fat percentage. On the other spectrum, if someone tells you to cut down calories, you might feel like you will get too skinny and won’t look fit in the end.
As a general rule, Israetel says that you should apply the following:
- Begin lifting and begin eating healthier but with maintenance calories – eat more protein and high-fibre foods.
- Allow weight to keep the same or slightly increase or decrease as you begin eating healthy foods.
- After a year of doing that, you should have built quite a lot of muscle and lost fat at the same time. This is when your best bet is to cut down calories – aim to lose 0.5-1.5 pounds of bodyweight per week for around 12 weeks.
- After cutting, you will look much different as you probably managed to maintain quite a bit of muscle mass from before. This is when you choose whatever works best for you – calorie maintenance to look the way you are now, calorie deficit to look slimmer, or calorie surplus to pack on more muscle as you keep weight lifting.
To have more information on the matter and check out Israetel’s acid humour, click on the video below.
Several factors contribute to the development of a skinny fat physique. These may include a sedentary lifestyle, lack of regular exercise or resistance training, poor dietary habits, and genetics. Insufficient physical activity and a lack of muscle-strengthening exercises can lead to muscle loss over time, while a diet lacking in proper nutrition can contribute to excess body fat accumulation.
Addressing the skinny fat condition typically involves a combination of resistance training, cardiovascular exercise, and a balanced diet. Engaging in regular strength training exercises can help build muscle mass and increase overall metabolic rate, while cardiovascular exercise helps burn calories and improve cardiovascular health. Additionally, adopting a nutritious diet that includes adequate protein, healthy fats, and whole grains can support muscle development and fat loss.
It’s important to note that everyone’s body composition goals and health needs are different, so seeking guidance from a qualified fitness professional or nutritionist can provide personalized advice and support in achieving a healthy and balanced physique.