What does being “Skinny Fat” mean?

“Skinny Fat” is a term coined to describe people that are classed as “Normal weight obese”. It occurs when people are of a normal weight for their height, age and gender, and so therefore have a healthy BMI; yet have a high body fat percentage which puts them into the obese body fat classification.

How is it possible to be normal weight and yet obese?

The reason these people have a high body fat percentage yet are not overweight is due to a severe lack of muscle mass. Unfortunately, being “skinny fat” can have many of the same health risks as obesity, such as an increased risk of type 2 diabetes, heart disease, high cholesterol, strokes and low bone density.

How can you combat or prevent being Skinny Fat?

Sometimes when people with normal weight obesity learn that they fall under an obese body fat percentage, their first instinct is to try and lose weight through dieting or cardio; but since these do not address the issue of low muscle mass, this would only lead to an exacerbation of the health complications, and can result in them becoming fatigued, weak and malnourished.

Instead, to combat “Skinny Fat”, a change in body composition needs to occur, by gaining weight in the form of lean muscle. The best way to do this is to combine eating in a healthy calorie surplus with sufficient protein, with regular and consistent resistance training, with a focus on hypertrophy to help build muscle mass and improve the ratio of lean muscle to body fat.

Body Composition Training at The Fitting Rooms gym in London Bridge

Here at The Fitting Rooms, we specialise in helping people to positively and sustainably change their body composition by tailoring individual programmes to suit their needs and complementing this with a balanced approach to nutrition. Our Shared Personal Training also offers both a Foundation and an Advanced level Body Composition programme – so that we can help everyone achieve better total body health!