Some people are just naturally skinny. They don’t seem to put on any weight and despite doing little or no exercise, they manage to stay slim.
This is very frustrating for people who have to work really hard to keep their weight down. A few lucky people just have a better metabolism coupled with a smaller build.
However, just because they look skinny doesn’t mean they are healthy. Skinny people can still be what’s known as ‘skinny fat’.
People who are skinny fat will appear to be slim when wearing clothes, but they probably won’t have a toned body underneath.
There is a difference between being skinny and being fit and healthy. People who are naturally skinny often assume they don’t need to do much exercise because they are happy with how they look.
However, this isn’t the case, and people who are skinny fat can have health problems too. They might also struggle to maintain their weight as they get older and their metabolism slows.
Dangers associated with being skinny fat
You can be physically skinny but technically still be metabolically obese. Some of their fat might be built up around their organs which can cause problems.
Another term that is also used to describe skinny fat people is Metabolically Obese Normal Weight (MONW). People in this category are at an ideal weight but they have more body fat than they should.
Believing you are at the right weight and size when your body is not fit and healthy can lead to a very poor diet. People just say ‘I can eat whatever I want and I won’t get fat’. They might eat a high sugar, high fat diet thinking it won’t cause them any issues.
Being slim but unhealthy can lead to high cholesterol, poor circulation, heart disease, dangerous fat around the organs and even diabetes.
Research in America has shown that skinny fat people with diabetes have twice the risk of death than people who are overweight. Skinny fat people may not get diagnosed with health issues as early as they should, because they feel healthy on the outside they don’t think they are at risk.
They may have a build up of visceral fat (fat around the organs in the abdominal cavity) and not even realise it.
What you eat should not be determined by how you look. No matter how slim you are you should always aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet and do enough exercise on a regular basis.
Are you skinny fat?
You should not solely rely on weight as an indicator of how healthy you are.
Other things need to be considered such as your body fat percentage, metabolic age, and the amount of fat you have in different areas of the body.
If you think you might be skinny fat the best thing to do is to pay a visit to your doctor. Ask them to do some tests that will help to highlight any potential issues and determine how healthy you really are. The next thing to do is to adjust your diet and increase the amount of exercise you do.
Avoid unhealthy foods such as sugary drinks, junk food, processed meals, saturated fats and foods that contain preservatives, artificial colours and MSG. If you are a heavy drinker, try and reduce your alcohol intake.
When it comes to exercise, try and do both cardio and strength training. Strength training will help you to tone up and get fitter.
Don’t just assume you can eat what you want and not do any exercise. If you change your diet and start to exercise regularly you should start to see the benefits, helping you from skinny fat to fit.