Skinny fat body type is a term used to refer to people who appear to be thin or have a normal weight but are carrying a high percentage of body fat and have a low amount of muscle mass.
An individual is said to have a healthy and normal weight, but metabolically, this person shares many health characteristics as overweight or obese.
WHAT BODY FAT PERCENTAGE IS SKINNY FAT?
The recommended body fat percentage of a healthy man is between 10 to 20 percent, and for a woman should be between 18 to 28 percent.
Your body fat percentage should not go beyond those percentages when you have a normal weight because it will mean that you have a skinny fat body type.
WHAT CAUSES A SKINNY FAT BODY?
Several things lead to a skinny fat body type. It can be as a result of one of these factors or the combined factors:
1. NOT HAVING ENOUGH MUSCLE MASS
According to level one PN certified nutritionist Maggie Morgan, you will have a skinny fat body type if you don’t have enough muscle mass. If you have a high muscle mass, your body fat percentage becomes low.
Additionally, the more muscle you have, the more energy and fat you use even at rest. So, to avoid having a skinny fat body type, ensure you build muscle.
2. NOT STRENGTH TRAINING ENOUGH
If you want to build your muscles, you need to apply stress to your muscles or engage in resistance training.
To achieve this, lift some weights and increase the volume and intensity being used.
3. NOT EATING ENOUGH PROTEINS
Taking food packed with proteins will help you to build muscle. After you have applied stress to your muscles through weight training, you need proteins to repair and build your muscles.
Proteins also ensure that we preserve the muscles that we already have.
4. BEING IN A CALORIC DEFICIT FOR TOO LONG
When you eat fewer calories than you burn, you will have a caloric deficit.
However, if you stay in a caloric deficit for too long, you can end up using your muscle mass as energy during your workouts.
This increases your body fat percentage as any excess energy (food) is stored as fat.
5. BEING EXTREMELY STRESSED
The moment you get stressed, the cortisol hormone is released at high levels. But when you get stressed for a long time, you can experience insulin resistance, which leads to fat gain.
You experience fat gain because your body cannot use the energy you get from the carbohydrates you consume.
6. CONSUMING A DIET HIGH IN CARBOHYDRATES & REFINED SUGARS
According to Sydney personal trainer Rachael Attard, a diet that is high in carbohydrates and refined sugars encourage your body to store excess body weight in the midsection.
This is one of the characteristics of a skinny fat body type.
Being skinny-fat may also be in your genes. Nonetheless, you can work on changing your body fat to muscle ratio.
SOLUTIONS FOR SKINNY FAT BODY TYPE
SLEEP WELL AND AVOID STRESS
Lack of sleep can alter your metabolism as it increases your cravings for carbs and sugar. The perfect number of hours for you to sleep every night is seven to eight hours.
Both sleep and stress have a powerful impact on your appetite and weight. Not having enough sleep interferes with the hormones responsible for appetite – leptin, and ghrelin.
Additionally, when you are stressed, your cortisol hormone levels go up.
Therefore, the rising and falling of these hormones increase your urge for unhealthy foods, which causes your calorie intake to rise.
What’s more is that if you don’t get enough sleep and are constantly stressed, you can easily get type 2 diabetes and become obese.
DRINK A LOT OF WATER AND HEALTHIER BEVERAGES
Swapping out sugar-sweetened drinks for some healthier selections is one of the easiest ways to increase fat burning. Avoid consuming drinks like sodas, juices, sweetened drinks.
But three to four times a week, you can spoil yourself with a glass of wine or alcohol as you enjoy your meal.
Research shows that if you take 500ml of water about half an hour before your meals, it will significantly reduce your hunger and calorie intake.
The research found that participants who drank water before a meal lost 44% more weight over 12 weeks than those who did not.
If you replace calorie-loaded drinks such as soda or juice with water, you may experience an even greater effect.
EAT FEWER REFINED CARBS
Refined carbohydrates such as white bread, processed grains, sweetened foods, and beverages have many calories.
The refined carbohydrates will also cause you to develop abdominal fat.
Therefore, it is advisable to replace refined carbs with complex ones such as fruits, vegetables, and whole-grain foods.
EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGETABLES
Fruits and vegetables provide low calories in the body and are a perfect alternative to simple carbohydrates. They also add fiber to the diet.
Research shows that a diet rich in fiber can significantly reduce your chances of contracting type two diabetes. Diabetic people are more prone to the accumulation of fat in the abdominal cavity and obesity.
TAKE HEALTHY FATS
Saturated and trans fats can lead to heart diseases, stroke, abdominal fat, and body weight gain. However, not all fats are bad.
Taking healthy fats can help reduce your overall body fat. Some healthy fat foods include avocados, chia seeds, eggs, fatty fish, nuts, and olives.
INCREASE YOUR ACTIVITY
Staying active will help you burn excess calories, build up your muscles, and improve your overall mood.
Ensure you walk and cycle more, take the stairs instead of using the lift and spare some time to stretch if you feel that you have sat down for too long.
EXPLORE STRENGTH TRAINING
Engaging in strength training will help you increase your muscle mass. The muscles will enable you to burn more calories.
Another benefit of doing strength training is that it enhances your bones and joints’ state.
Experts advise that you do some strength training at least twice a week.
EAT A LOT OF PROTEINS
Consuming a high protein diet is important to build and repair muscle, especially after a high-resistance workout.
The Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) for proteins is 0.8g for every Kg of body weight. However, research shows that taking 2.4 g of proteins per kg of body weight increases your lean body mass, especially once you combine it with an intense weight training program.
For instance, if you are 80 Kgs, you should consume 192g of proteins.
REDUCE YOUR CARDIO SESSIONS
Performing lots of cardio workouts is not advisable because it doesn’t help your body to build muscle.
Therefore, you are advised not to overdo them and just do enough cardio workouts to keep the fat burning.
Limit your cardio sessions to 20-30 minutes in a day and 1.5 to 2.5 hours the entire week. Instead, do more of High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT).
The latter involves several bouts of high-intensity effort followed by varied recovery times.
Even though you need to create a caloric deficit to lose weight, your body also needs a healthy environment to grow those muscles. So, ensure you eat enough.
However, your caloric surplus should be controlled so that you don’t gain unnecessary fat. Certified nutritionist Maggie Morgan advises that you start with a caloric surplus of five to 10 percent.
To get to the aforementioned caloric surplus, you would have to calculate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and increase that number by five to 10 percent. You can use this online calculator to help you determine your TDEE.
Instead of focusing on losing weight, focus on gaining a higher muscle mass. Because once you achieve that, you will reduce your body fat percentage.
According to a study published in the American Journal of Cardiology, a higher muscle mass significantly lowers the risk of death and heart disease.
To achieve a high muscle mass, pair your protein with strength training.[related_posts_by_tax posts_per_page="4"]