You may not wish to look as ripped as some actors did for their movie roles. But it would do you good to aim for more muscle definition.
You see, some people only look at the scale and think, “Hey, I’m doing okay. I’m at a healthy weight.” They don’t realize that weight isn’t the sole indicator of good health.
That’s right. You could look skinny and fit in your clothes well. But it doesn’t always mean you’re healthy.
You could be a skinny fat victim and not know it. Here, we’ll talk about skinny fat causes and what you can do about it.
But First, a Quick Definition
If it’s the first time you’re hearing the term, you could be wondering “what is skinny fat?” And is it a real thing?
The medical term is metabolically obese normal weight or MONW. It means you’re at a normal weight but your fat percentage is high.
You can go to a gym and have a fitness professional analyze your body composition. They will include your body fat percentage in their analysis to be sure. You can also use devices or consult a doctor.
What Causes Skinny Fat Syndrome?
Now that you know what skinny fat is, let’s take a closer look at its common causes. Here are five of them.
1. Bad Weight Loss Advice
Are you too concerned with the numbers on the scale? If you’re working out to reach an ideal weight, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
You see, you could reach your target weight and still be flabby. It’s got nothing to do with weight, but how much muscle and fat you’re carrying around. In short, it’s all about body composition.
And you should be working to increase your lean muscle mass than worrying about what the scale is saying. Remember, muscles burn more calories than fat even when you’re at rest.
So instead of Googling “how to lose 10 pounds fast,” you should be looking at ways to gain lean mass.
2. Not Eating Right
You could work out every day and still be skinny fat if you don’t watch your diet. There’s no out training a bad diet.
The good news is there are ways to lose skinny fat without starving yourself. You can increase your water intake and consume more healthy fats. You can also swap sugar-laden beverages with healthy alternatives.
You don’t want to cut calories too fast or you risk losing muscle. When you starve yourself, your body will start to hold on to your fat reserves as a way of preservation. What you want to do is to reduce your carb intake and eat more protein to prevent muscle loss.
3. Too Much Cardio
Is cardio bad?
Not at all. It’s when you do it too much that it interferes with muscle building that’s the problem.
You see, long cardio sessions contribute to muscle loss. That’s why when you take a break from running or swimming, it’s easier for the weight to rebound.
If you want to burn more calories, you should be doing a combo of cardio and resistance training. And no, if you’re a woman, resistance or strength training will not make you look bulky.
Lifting weights will help you create a solid, muscular base. And this will help you achieve your ideal body shape.
4. Not Doing Strength Training Right
If resistance training is important, does that mean you should cut cardio altogether?
A good skinny fat workout plan incorporates both cardio and strength training. You need cardio to build endurance so you can strength train for longer periods.
If you’re a beginner though, you shouldn’t expect to lift the heaviest weights in the gym. Work your way up to it. And make sure to learn the proper form for each exercise.
You don’t want to lift something and throw out your back. Here’s a good rule of thumb. If you can finish all your sets and reps without struggling, you need to increase your weights.
Likewise, if you’re struggling to get through one set, you’re lifting too much. Try to decrease your weights so you can finish your sets and repetitions with some effort.
5. Relying on Supplements Alone
You work out every day and even take supplements. How come you don’t feel as healthy as you think you should?
Are you eating whatever you want? Do you depend on supplements to provide you with essential nutrients? That could be the reason.
You can’t say you’ve beaten the skinny fat syndrome if all you do is take dietary supplements.
You have to stick to a healthy diet and commit to doing skinny fat workouts. And if you must take supplements for muscle gain, make sure you’re taking the right ones.
Also, don’t buy weight loss supplements without doing your research. Some of them may cause side effects. If you want muscle definition, you have to work hard for it.
Eat right, lift weights, and do smart cardio. That’s the method you want to follow if you want to go from skinny fat to shredded.
Skinny Fat Causes: Are You Ready to Beat Them?
Now that you know the five most common skinny fat causes, it should be easier for you to know what to do.
There’s no magical pill or secret to beating the skinny fat syndrome. The only solution you need to know is the right combo of diet and exercise.
Aim to incorporate more protein into your diet. Cut back on the carbs, and don’t forget to drink a lot of water.
For your workouts, try to do smart cardio. That means saying goodbye to lengthy cardio sessions. Choose cardio workouts that support your muscle-building goals.
If you’re a weightlifting beginner, don’t do a lot without perfecting your form first. You don’t want to hurt yourself and you don’t want to waste your time doing the wrong thing.