It's BBQ season again and I am constantly being asked
females) how to lose that gut even though the person may be under-weight and skinny according to those health charts you see at the doctors surgery and in highschool health classes.
My reply is: you're skinny fat.
Skinny fat they usually ask?
This is when you look skinny and are normal or under-weight by those charts or the BMI test but have a fat belly (prevalent
in women) and man boobs (common in males).
Examples of this would be:
- Skinny guy at the beach with man boobs and a pot belly
- Those car magazine models (most will have muffin tops while in tight jeans).
- Super models (eating an apple a day isn't doing much good) what’s the big deal?
The scales don’t tell you the whole truth about your body. You may be under-weight and look skinny in clothes but in fact your body fat % is probably still high for somebody at your height/weight. This could be putting you at the same health risks as when you were heavier. You could be laying the groundwork for chronic diseases later on in life.
Causes of skinny fat?
1. Food Choices - Excessive drinking and then eating junk foods. Australia
has a culture of drinking. It is a common occurrence, after a night out to head
to a McDonald’s or kebab store.
2. Excessive Cardio – Spin classes/zumba/long distance running. These are actually increasing cortisol levels and burning your muscles. Instead, these should be done with some form of
3. Lowering calories – Some people think that cutting back on meals or food
intake will help them drop the kilos. But what are you really dropping in this
case? The answer is muscle. Your body
will eat away at your muscles first before EVER eating away at the fat stores.
Getting rid of skinny fat?
1. Strength/Resistance train – Increases muscle mass and thus increases your metabolism.
Females reading this (you have less than a 5% chance of growing big muscles like males). You do
not produce enough testosterone to make this happen.
2. Eat correctly – Along with strength/resistance training. Your calorie requirements
need to have the right amount of protein/carbohydrates and good fats in order
to get stronger and build leaner muscles.
3. Fortnightly Progress reports – On the Monday of every 2nd week
take pictures of yourself (front, back and side) plus measure your
waist/arms/legs/chest. This will help
keep you on track.
So ask yourself next time you look in the mirror. Are you skinny fat?