With swimsuit season rapidly approaching, many people are scrambling to hit the gym and clean up their diets to get their bodies beach ready. But if you’re someone with a severe case of skinny fat, you know how difficult it is to turn your flab body into a fab one.
And the last thing you want is to keep your body covered throughout the summer season because you’re unhappy or uncomfortable with how your body looks in a bathing suit.
Need some help finding a skinny fat solution? In this article, we’ll cover diet and exercise tips that will help you shed those stubborn pounds, and get you looking good for the summer.
So, What is Skinny Fat Exactly?
Skinny fat often refers to people who look skinny in clothes, but look less physically fit and healthy underneath them. It’s often referred to as “metabolically obese normal weight,” which means you look fit and healthy on the outside but have a variety of health problems anyway due to things like a poor diet or a lack of exercise.
Often these people have an appropriate weight and BMI for their height but have more fat and less muscle than what is recommended for optimal health.
How Do People Become Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat is essentially the net result of simultaneously gaining fat and losing muscle mass. People who have a diet high in sugar, fat, and carbs and low in vegetables and essential minerals are the ones most likely to gain this fat mass, especially if they make little or no effort to exercise.
Carbs and high-calorie foods are great for creating energy potential in your body, but if you don’t expend that energy through exercise those calories will simply be stored in your body as fat. People who spend most of their day seated at work or who rarely exercise will also become skinny fat due to a gradual decrease in muscle mass over time.
This lack of mobility will also lead to an increase in fat mass as well.
It’s important to note, however, that eating too much and not exercising enough aren’t the only ways people become skinny fat. If you don’t die and exercise the right way, you can also end up skinny fat. Here are some common diet and exercise people make that leads to skinny fat:
- Severe calorie restriction
- Excessive cardio
- High-rep training
- Minimal weight lifting
If you cut your calories too much and exercise too often, your body won’t have the energy it needs to perform properly. Instead, your body will metabolize your muscle so it has an energy source. Because of this, you’ll lose both fat and muscle, which will keep you in a perpetual skinny fat stage.
Am I Skinny Fat?
Not sure if you’re skinny fat? If you identify with any of the things below, you may be:
- You don’t lift weights
- You often feel fatigued, low energy, or have difficulty with focus or memory
- You rarely eat protein-packed food
- You regularly eat or binge-eat carbohydrates, artificial sweeteners and sugar, and processed foods
- You hold more body fat in the mid-section of your torso
- You feel light-headed after mild exercise
If you identify with a few or most of these things, you should consult with your doctor for more information on your overall health.
Skinny Fat Solution: Diet & Exercise Tips
Being skinny fat can be frustrating and discouraging. But keep your head up, there are ways to get your body back on track. Here are some diet and exercise tips for overcoming this issue.
Diet Tips for Skinny Fat People
The first step to addressing your skinny fat issue is eating healthy. Instead of quitting cold turkey, try to make small, gradual steps toward eating healthy as this will make you more likely to commit to it. Try to eat at least one additional serving of vegetables each day.
Another important thing to do is prioritize protein. Part of addressing your skinny fat issue will be embracing a better fitness plan, which will require you needing more protein to build, repair and maintain muscle. Here are some foods that are high in protein that you can incorporate into your diet:
- Chicken breast
- Cottage cheese
- Leafy greens (kale, spinach, swiss chard)
- Lean beef
- Beans and legumes
Eating these healthy foods that are high in protein will keep you feeling full and energized for your workouts. But beyond eating these foods, you should also cut down any processed foods, sugary foods and drinks, or anything fried or that is typically considered “junk food.” If you don’t think this is realistic, try to limit the consumption of these things to just a few times a week, and reduce the serving size.
Another important part of getting rid of skinny fat is being smart about your carb intake. Here are some easy ways to adjust your carb routine so you can get the needed fiber and still lose weight at the same time.
- Opt for brown and whole grain carbs instead of white carbs
- Eat more carbs on workout days and less on rest days
- Aim to eat carbs during breakfast or as a post-workout meal
- Eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains high in carbs
Lastly, don’t forget to drink water! Not only will this keep you from bloating, but it will keep you feeling energized and ready for any workout you do! And if you need further diet tips, review our skinny fat diet plan.
Exercise Tips for Skinny Fat People
Diet alone isn’t enough to eliminate your skinny fat issue. Exercise is an essential part of the process. It’s important to know, however, that the information that’s being provided is only a framework; if you need assistance with exercise, you should contact a personal trainer who can help you build a full routine you can commit to.
You should start by focusing on heavy, compound weightlifting. Ideally, you should be doing low-reps for each exercise, aiming to do between 1-6. If you’re a beginner to exercise, however, the first thing you should do is focus on perfecting your technique so you don’t waste energy doing the wrong thing or accidentally hurt yourself.
The staples of your training program should be the deadlift, barbell squat, overhead press, flat bench press, and pull-up. Focus on perfecting these techniques, and gradually increase the weight as you master them.
If you’re someone who loves cardio, make sure you don’t overdo it or else you run the risk of minimizing the impact of your weightlifting. Aim to only do high-intensity cardio activities like running, swimming, dancing, or cycling to two times a week. And when you do them, aim to keep your workouts to 20-30 minutes.
Need a skinny fat exercise routine? Check out our ultimate skinny fat workout plan.
Final Thoughts on the Skinny-Fat Solution
If you’re someone struggling to escape their skinny fat situation, try to implement the diet and exercise tips outlined in this article. By following them you a can achieve the skinny fat solution and have your dream body!