Do you look skinny with the shirt on but fat when you take it off? If so, you’re skinny-fat.
A skinny-fat person isn’t necessarily overweight but has excess body fat. Additionally, he/ she has a low percentage of lean muscle mass.
Unfortunately, most of the fitness advice on the web is not ideal for skinny-fat people. For instance, a skinny person can become muscular by simply increasing food intake and lifting weights. If a skinny-fat person uses the same strategy he may end up looking fat.
Therefore, you have to take a different approach than skinny or overweight people who are trying to get muscular.
Luckily, the strategies below can help you go from skinny-fat to muscular in a surprisingly short period of time. And the best part is you don’t have to set foot in the gym to transform your body.
Whether you’re a man or woman, use the strategies below to go from skinny-fat to muscular without the gym.
How to Go from Skinny-Fat to Muscular without The Gym
1. Increase Your Protein Intake
As I’ve mentioned above, skinny-fat people have a low percentage of lean muscle mass. Therefore, increase your protein intake to boost muscle growth.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t have to take protein powder to get enough protein. You can increase your protein intake by simply eating high-protein foods in every meal.
It’s worth noting that too much protein can have devastating effects on your health. Therefore, make sure your protein intake doesn’t exceed 40 percent of your total daily calories.
Here are the best protein sources according to nutrition experts.
2. Go Easy on Cardio
Running on the treadmill for hours will not help you get rid of the skinny-fat physique.
Even though cardio may help reduce the excess fat, you’ll still remain skinny-fat because it barely adds muscle mass.
Don’t feel discouraged if you enjoy running or jumping rope. Keep doing your favorite cardio exercise but reduce the duration to 10-20 minutes per session. Also, reduce the number of sessions per week.
However, don’t limit yourself when it comes to stair climbing. Unlike other cardio exercises, stair climbing builds your leg muscles, which consequently boosts metabolism and growth hormone levels.
Fee free to take on this stair climbing challenge.
3. Make Strength Training a Top Priority
Strength training will improve your physique by increasing lean muscle mass. And you don’t have to go to the gym to enjoy the numerous benefits of strength training. You can gain muscle mass using your body as resistance.
Bodyweight exercises are extremely rewarding when done properly and consistently. It’s important to do challenging exercises because easy ones don’t boost muscle growth.
Also, focus on training the big muscles groups because they increase muscle mass fast. The biggest muscle groups in your body include legs, glutes, back, arms, and chest. Luckily, most of my workouts train the big muscle groups.
Ignore ab exercises for now until you get rid of the excess fat. In fact, most of the exercises that target the big muscle groups also activate your abs.
4. Skip the Standard Push-Up
You probably think I’m crazy for suggesting this because push-ups are one of the best bodyweight exercises. Well, there’s a good reason you should skip them.
You see, the standard push-up mainly targets your lower chest muscles. If you have excess fat in your chest area, doing push-ups will make you look like you have man-boobs.
Instead, focus on decline push-ups because they balance your chest by building the upper chest muscles. To perform decline push-ups, place your feet on an elevated surface then place your hands on the floor and do push-ups from that position.
However, if you’re a woman or you don’t have excess fat in your chest area, push-ups are ideal for you.
5. Maintain A Moderate Calorie Deficit
Many skinny-fat people make the deadly mistake of eating a lot in an attempt to bulk up. Unfortunately, this approach only makes them look fat.
Conversely, maintaining a huge calorie deficit leads to muscle loss. Therefore, the best approach is to maintain a moderate deficit of 200 to 300 calories.
A low deficit will allow you to lose fat without losing muscle. In fact, if you prioritize on strength training, you can lose fat while gaining muscle.
It’s important to adjust your calorie intake depending on your results. If you notice that you’re getting skinnier without gaining muscle, increase your calorie intake.
6. Take Advantage of HIIT Workouts
Combining strength training with high-intensity interval training (HIIT) is the most effective plan for going from skinny-fat to muscular.
HIIT training involves performing an exercise at maximum intensity for a short period followed by a low-intensity exercise and then you keep alternating.
You can even incorporate HIIT into your strength training workouts by doing a light exercise in between sets instead of resting.
7. Drink Lots of Water
Many of us know that water is vital for optimal health, yet we don’t drink enough. Drinking enough water every day will eliminate water retention, improve your digestion, and prevent overeating.
Replace all the calorie-containing beverages you’ve been taking with water. Aim for 2-3 liters of water every day.
8. Get Enough Sleep Every Night
Lack of sleep can keep you skinny-fat because it reduces insulin sensitivity, according to research. Insulin insensitivity increases the risk of gaining fat and developing diabetes.
Additionally, lack of sleep increases cravings for high-fat and high-carb foods. Therefore, make sure you get 7 to 8 hours of sleep every night.
9. Eat Hormone Balancing Foods
You may be skinny-fat due to hormonal imbalances. For instance, estrogen dominance in men can cause fat to settle around the chest area. Also, when cortisol levels are elevated for a long period, fat settles around the abdominal area.
Luckily, some of the strategies above will fix the hormonal imbalances. Strength training, for example, boosts testosterone levels, reduces estrogen, and improves insulin sensitivity.
With that said, adding these hormone-balancing foods to your diet can make it easier for you to go from skinny-fat to muscular.
10. Eliminate Processed Carbs
You and I know that processed carbs are detrimental to our health. They increase cravings, expand our waistlines, and increase the risk of chronic diseases.
Replace all processed snacks with fruits and vegetables. Now, you don’t have to eliminate all carbs from your diet, just get them from unprocessed plant-based foods.
As you can see, it’s possible to go from skinny-fat to muscular without the gym. You just need to apply the simple strategies above and stay consistent.
If you don’t have a home workout routine, this sequence will allow you to build muscle without weights or any equipment.