This site may contain links to affiliate websites, and we receive an affiliate commission for any purchases made by you on the affiliate website using such links. Read Our Disclosures
You might have read the term “skinny fat” while scrolling through health and weight loss resources online. It’s a strange and seemingly confusing combination of words.
This term refers to people who appear lean yet have a higher body fat percentage compared to their level of muscle. The fascinating thing about skinny fat is how you can maintain a normal healthy weight count with more fat mass than muscle mass.
Luckily, it’s not a death sentence and can be addressed through nutrition and improving your fitness. Keep reading. We’ll help you to understand this bodily state and give you tips on how to get rid of skinny fat.
What Is Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat refers to having a high percentage of body fat mass compared to muscle mass. It’s where the composition of your body has a higher fat to muscle ratio.
This is one of the reasons that two people can weigh the same, have the same height, yet have very different-looking bodies. One may be athletic in build whereas the other may appear softer.
Many believe that skinny = healthy. This needs to be dispelled. Even if skinny, or a normal BMI, those with higher fat percentages are more at risk of developing certain conditions.
This means they may not be considered overweight by medical standards. Yet, they may suffer from similar metabolic complications, such as high blood pressure, insulin resistance, and high cholesterol.
Visceral fat (the fat stored around your organs) often comes hand in hand with skinny fat. It provides padding around our organs. But, an excessive amount can lead to the problems and health conditions we mentioned above.
Skinny fat people can be healthier and reduce the risk of getting diseases that are life-threatening such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
How to Fix Skinny Fat?
There are two ways of fixing skinny fat. These two ways are through losing fat or building muscle (or both).
We recommend building more muscle mass to start. This will help you to achieve a better body composition during your health journey. Plus, more muscle usually leads to a higher resting metabolic rate. This means you’ll burn more calories at rest.
As soon as you notice you’re building more muscle mass, you can then switch your focus to losing excess body fat. Making changes to your nutrition will help to cut some of the fluff. Over time, you will see the difference in your physical appearance and composition.
Why Do I Have a Skinny Fat Body Type?
Here are some of the reasons people develop skinny fat body types:
- They don’t eat adequate protein to maintain muscle
- Too much cardio and not enough strength training
- Severe calorie restrictions
- Hormone balance
This type of fat is often caused by not being active enough, that is being “sedentary”. Being sedentary is associated with a lifestyle of inactivity. So, a person is sedentary if they sit a lot (desk jobs) and perform little to no exercise.
So, you’re convinced you’re skinny fat and want to make a few changes? Let’s take a deeper look at weightlifting and diet as ways of how not to be skinny fat.
If you want to maximize your muscle growth, include compound weightlifting in your workout routine. Compound exercises work more muscle groups at one time and also burn more calories. This gives you the best of muscle gain and calorie burn.
Perform these workouts three to five times a week to see the difference in your body composition and fitness.
As you become comfortable in the workout plan of choice, strive to add more weights or reps to the workouts to achieve progressive overload. The more you challenge yourself, the more results you will get.
One thing we seem to forget is that diet and workouts work together. Consulting a dietician can make a world of difference to your health and fitness journey. Especially as fad diets are often not sustainable.
Keep in mind that all bodies differ, and so do their macronutrient and micronutrient needs.
If you’re concerned about being skinny fat or want to make some changes to your body composition, consult a registered dietician, nutritionist, and/or personal trainer. They will give you the best advice for your body type and lifestyle.
How Do You Know If You Are Skinny Fat?
Your weight by itself won’t tell you if you’re skinny fat. It has to do with your body fat percentage to muscle mass ratio. Let’s take a look at the different ways you can measure skinny fat below.
Calipers are one of the most common ways to analyze your body compositions. This instrument pinches the fat under the skin and estimates the internal fat.
The results can vary according to the skill of the person measuring. Between tests, the administrator may pinch harder or softer so there is room for error.
You can have your body fat percentage measured in clinical tests. These can take the form of hydrostatic weighing and dual x-ray absorptiometry.
These procedures are not cheap and require specialized equipment. They are highly accurate but accessibility is limited.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) measures body composition with an electric current. Body fat offers greater resistance to the current than non-fat mass. The measurement is based on the rate that the electrical current passes through your body.
It is a painless process and gives fairly-accurate results. Some factors may affect accuracy, such as:
- Water level (hydration of the body)
- Recent exercise
- Timing of last meal/drink
You can find these scales at shops, pharmacies, and online.
Final Thoughts: How to Lose Skinny Fat
You have everything you need to start making positive decisions about your health and body fat composition. Use a BIA scale or visit a medical professional to find out your current body fat percentage.
Once you know where you are, you can decide where you want to be in the future. Whether it’s increased muscle mass or lower body fat, our tips will help you on your way to a healthier lifestyle.
The art is in your habits. Make the best decisions today for a better tomorrow.
USA Home Gym gives in-depth insights into gym equipment, supplements, and fitness training methods. The motivation behind USA Home Gym is to provide you with information that goes beyond what you can find in any user manual, customer review, or other online review sites.
We go to great lengths to ensure that our reviews are completely comprehensive, usually covering everything from the design features to the warranty coverage and exercise options. This is all to help guide you towards the home gym equipment that’s best suited to your goals and budget, whilst also being the highest quality option in your chosen price range.