How to Get Rid of Skinny Fat [3 Simple Tips]
Let’s talk skinny fat.
What is skinny fat? For starters, it is a thing. The term “skinny fat” gets used a lot, yet it can be confusing, contradictory, and sometimes shaming. However hurtful it may be, skinny fat poses both a prevalent health issue and a pesky weight loss battle. In fact, a 2008 study found that skinny fat or “normal-weight obesity” can negatively affect up to a fourth of people at regular weights.
In short, to get rid of the "skinny fat" look, you need to focus on building muscle mass. The most effective way to achieve a lean and toned physique is through compound exercises like squats, deadlifts, and chest presses, which target multiple muscle groups at once.
For the purpose of this article, we'll continue to explore the best ways to get rid of that skinny fat – for health reasons or if you just want to look good for swimsuit season. Hey, that’s not a bad thing!
What is Skinny Fat?
Let’s get one thing straight: skinny fat is not a medical term, but rather an everyday phrase used to describe people who appear thin, but are actually carrying or storing an excess amount of fat. In these cases, there really is more than meets the eye. Even if a person’s body mass index (BMI) indicates that they’re healthy, having a total percentage of body fat higher than what is appropriate for that specific person’s body type qualifies as skinny fat.
To determine whether or not you’re holding onto unwanted, skinny fat, consider these four things: Are you hitting 150 minutes of moderate exercise a week? Is your diet nutritious? Is your waist circumference high? (If it’s greater than or equal to 35 inches, it’s likely you’re holding onto excess fat.) Are you simply relying on your BMI to tell you whether you’re healthy or not?
If you answered these questions honestly and find yourself in a trouble spot, don’t beat yourself up. You can turn that skinny fat to fit, lean muscle by taking these steps…
How to Go From Skinny Fat to Fit
To achieve that skinny fat transformation you’re seeking, it’s going to take a lot more than cutting your calories in half and loading up on cardio. In fact, going that route can actually increase the skinny fat issue. Yes, cutting calories will inevitably lead to weight loss, but if you’re not practicing regular strength training, you’ll lose all your muscle mass. In turn, you’re stuck with skinny fat.
Some people don’t see this as such a bad thing; they’re skinny, right? Wrong. Don’t be fooled by this notion.
1. Train Hard, and Train Intentionally
First thing’s first, you need to be hitting the gym more. This is a given. But there’s a difference between mindlessly walking around the gym experimenting with different machines and completing intentional workouts that target specific muscles.
To cut skinny fat and strengthen your muscles simultaneously, you should be doing exercises like squats, deadlifts, presses, rows, chinups, and pullups. These exercises utilize the most muscle and will target your overall body strength. The best way to increase muscle is by performing two or three sets of these exercises. Take an exercise and complete 12 repetitions, with a 30-60 second rest period between each set. With a routine like this, you’ll maximize your time at the gym.
Whichever exercises you pick for the day, please don’t walk into the gym, complete 100 bicep curls, and call it good. This won’t help your skinny fat transformation.
2. Eat More, but Eat Correctly
This sounds contradictory, right? Just like the phrase “skinny fat”. Yet, it’s truth. If you pair the right workouts with the right foods, you actually want to be eating more than you think. Like we previously mentioned, a caloric deficit will help you lose weight, but in turn, you’ll also lose all that hard-earned muscle mass you’ve been working towards.
Here’s why you need food to get rid of skinny fat:
- Food gives you energy – energy that’s needed for intense training sessions
- You need protein to build up your muscles
- Eating actually speeds up your metabolism more than not eating
A proper combination of training and eating increases your energy flux (a measure of both your caloric expenditure and caloric intake). Thus, the more muscle mass you have, the more you eat, and the harder you train, the higher your energy flux will be. According to several findings, a high energy flux, paired with increasing energy expenditure, helps to achieve a healthy weight. So, don’t overlook the importance of energy flux in cutting down on stubborn fat.
The real burning question is: how much food is too much? Obviously, there’s a way to overdo it. This will unfortunately result in weight gain, if not expending calories properly. So, try this little formula:
What Should Your Daily Calorie Count be?
Pretend you’re aiming to get down (or up, depending on how much you want to bulk) to 175 lbs. Take this number and multiply it by the sum of two numbers: 12 (assuming you have a regular-fast metabolism) and 3 (representing three intense hours of exercise you’re going to put in for a week). 175 x 15 = 2625. Boom – that’s the number of calories you’ll aim to hit each day.
Simply take your target weight and plugin how many hours of exercise you’ll complete for the week and you should have your daily caloric goal set in place. Your number could be significantly higher or lower depending on your previous habits. Just know by following a strict allotment of calories, you’re going to reach your goals more effectively.
If you want a really simple way to calculate your daily caloric intake, check out this free calculator.
Consistency is Key
Above all, you must show consistency. Thousands of people ditch their weight loss journeys because of a visual lack of progress. Two months later, they’re committed to starting over. This wishy washiness won’t serve you in getting rid of your pesky, skinny fat.
If you’re already at a normal weight, sticking to a consistent workout and eating regimen shouldn’t be the end of the world. Essentially, you’re just making conscious choices that will eliminate the excess fat you’re carrying.
A study from Journal Obesity found that the more consistent you are with a workout plan – even if it takes longer – the more success you’ll have in meeting your goals. Sounds self-explanatory, right? Well, unfortunately, most Americans lose sight of this on their weight loss journey. On the flipside, some take the quicker approach: extreme dieting and working out to failure. You might see your weight drop drastically this way, but it will only rise again. Why? Because that isn’t a sustainable lifestyle.
Forming a consistent eating schedule and workout regimen will produce results that you can maintain after shedding that skinny fat.
How to Stay Consistent
Easier said than done. But don’t worry; we won’t leave you hanging without some useful tips you can adopt:
- Choose a strength-training program (the one you’ve sourced from someone else, or one you’ve created yourself) and. Stick. With. it. Jumping around between different workout plans won’t really get you anywhere.
- Eat the same amount of meals, at the same time of day. You can log your meals at first if this helps. If you do this consistently along with consuming your daily allotment (as discussed earlier), your body will start to realize when it’s getting its fuel. Patterns are crucial.
- To get rid of skinny fat, you should be getting about 80-90% of your fuel from whole foods. However, don’t punish yourself if you find room for a small indulgence here or there. Remember, we want to achieve that skinny fat transformation, but it’s also important to find a sustainable lifestyle that you can carry well after your fat loss journey.
Go From Skinny Fat to Fit with Transparent Labs
After all is said and done, sometimes you just need an extra boost – a little push to get after your goals. Sticking to a consistent schedule of healthy eating and regular physical activity is key to trimming skinny fat, but we want to offer more. At Transparent Labs, our products are gluten-free, non-GMO, free of artificial sweeteners, coloring, and preservatives. With the right supplements and consistent routine, you’re well on your way to earning the body of your dreams.