Being skinny and fat at the same time would seem like a paradox, right? How can you be two things that are opposite of one another at the same time? Well unfortunately, in the case of being skinny and being fat, you can be both at the same time! When this happens the term ‘skinny fat’ is used to describe someone with this condition. When skinny fat has set in, a person will have relatively low body fat levels hence the term skinny, but will also have little to no muscle tone, giving them a fat, flabby, wobbly look. If you are unsure of whether this applies to you, read our article on how to find out if you are skinny fat or not.
This means that a person can look in average shape while fully clothed, but can actually be hiding a multitude of sins! On the scales their weight might not ring any alarm bells, but someone who is skinny and fat will have both the negative characteristics of someone who is skinny and fat. In order to put a stop to skinny fat syndrome, let’s start by taking a look at how someone could end up with this problem.
How Do You Become Skinny and Fat?
There two most common ways someone becomes skinny fat are as follows:
- Was previously overweight and lost a lot of fat
- Was previously skinny and then started gaining fat
When I was skinny fat, you can read about how I beat this condition it here, it happened because I was previously skinny and thin, and then slowly started putting on weight. I did no exercise or weight training so I didn’t have any muscle tone to help burn off the extra calories I was slowly starting to consume. Having been naturally skinny for years, my diet was pretty poor, which was ok in the past as I never put on fat, but as I got older and out of my teens, my metabolism started to slow down. I still looked in relatively good shape with my clothes on but I was starting to develop pockets of fat around my lower stomach and chest areas. Skinny fat syndrome had crept up on me with my noticing!
My story is not unique and as a lot of naturally thin people get older their metabolism begins to slow down and they can no longer eat the type of foods they once did without paying the consequences. At this point, it is either time to clean up your diet or start regular exercise, preferably both!
The second common way that people end up being skinny fat is if they were once overweight and then dieted or did lots of cardio exercise to lose the fat. For this group of people, becoming skinny fat can be a real kick in teeth as they did all that hard work of cleaning up their diet and exercising but still didn’t end up looking how they wanted to. By taking this approach to get in shape (diet and cardio) the weight can be dropped but it often ends up with the person being a smaller version of themselves, with all the flabby and wobbly areas resolutely intact.
Why is there still fat on my belly? The reason why certain people hold fat in certain areas is down to genetics. We have fat cells all over our bodies. As we consume fat, the fat cells fill up. Where you have the most fat cells is where you will get fat first and lose fat last. Some people have lots of fat cells on their chest, belly or upper arms, others on their thighs and lower back, it could be anywhere. Skinny fat people tend to have a lot of fat cells around their waist giving them the love handle muffin top look. This means the last place they will lose fat is around these areas, making it very hard for them to get a flat stomach and visible abs.
How to Avoid Becoming Skinny and Fat
If you are going from skinny to skinny fat or from fat to skinny fat, one of the best ways to avoid this happening is to include weight training or resistance training as it is also known, into your exercise routine. By building muscle you will develop a toned and firm body. This applies to men and women. Women often avoid weight training as they are afraid of bulking up and developing too much muscle. This is not the case! As women don’t have as much of the muscle building male hormone, testosterone, as men in their bodies, their propensity to building muscle is much, much lower than men.
By weight training, women will develop a toned, athletic looking physique that will help them eliminate the common areas they have complaint with such as bingo wings, flabby stomachs and saggy upper legs. By weight training, these areas can become firm, toned and uplifted. Without it, the opposite is the case.
For men, weight training with the aim of building muscle can result in better posture, a more athletic looking physique and less wobbly bits. For both men and women, one of the biggest benefits of weight training is the amount of calories it burns as well as the fact that is speeds up your metabolism, causing your body to burn more calories on a daily basis. For more information on this, read out article covering why toned is the new skinny.
How to Stop Being Skinny and Fat
If you have already fallen victim to skinny fat syndrome, do not despair! It can be beaten. By starting to do weight training exercises you help turn your body around. There are many benefits to weight training that apply to both men and women:
- Burns more calories than cardio exercise
- Increases your metabolism
- Tones and firms your body
- Increased your strength
Some people worry about becoming bulky or too big from weight training but this is rarely the case. For women, muscle growth is very difficult and takes many years if it happens at all. For men it is easier but still requires a specific diet and dedicated training. If you start to notice you are becoming too muscular, when that is not your intention, simply change your diet and stop training as hard. People with a lot of muscle work hard for years to get in that kind of shape so that chances of it happening to you by accident are very low!
Although weight training might be something new to you, it can be started at home with only a couple of pieces of equipment such as a kettlebell or some dumbbells. You don’t need to rush out and join a gym, by following a simple home kettlebell workout routine, both men and women can start toning up and becoming more athletic looking at home and say goodbye to being skinny fat forever!