What Is Skinny Fat – And How To Avoid Such An Average Sounding Label

The words contradict each other, don’t they?

How can you be skinny and fat?

It was always one or the other.

Skinny people want to gain weight, fat people want to lose weight.

So what does a skinny fat person want to do?

Because you can’t lose weight and gain weight?

Can you even build muscle and burn fat?

So we’ve established that it seems a little weird to be both of those things.

So, what is it?

Skinny fat is when you don’t appear to be overweight. 

You technically have a healthy weight for your height.

But, you don’t have much muscle on you.

Your skinny little limbs are soft and lacking tone.

You may even have a little potbelly.

The easiest way for me to describe skinny fat is to picture those little coffee aliens from Men in Black.

The physique doesn’t look unhealthy but it doesn’t look desirable either.

One of the main problems skinny fat people come across when they try to fix their physique is losing weight.

The reason this doesn’t end up great for them is if you don’t have much muscle on you and you burn all the fat off what’s left?

That’s right, you end up looking skinny and gaunt, sure you burn all the fat off and you’re nice and toned but now you look thin and weird.

So what’s the solution?

Well, my friends, you’ve come to the right place.

You want to build some muscle, and then burn some fat.

So you want to get a good exercise routine that combines weights and cardio.

You want to make sure you up your protein intake.

Diet and exercise are key to any health and fitness goal.

So check out my article here on getting your food right.

What Is Skinny Fat?

The best way to explain skinny fat is, people who have a reasonably slim build but have low muscle mass and too much body fat.

They don’t look overweight or like they have health issues as such.

But their body is soft. But the good news is, it’s a pretty easy fix.

A few small changes to the way they eat and moving towards a more healthy diet with less process food, and the addition of weight training.

These two things alone can go a long way to building enough muscles to reverse the health risks and rid you of the skinny fat body type for good.

Weight gain, but the right type will help you burn excess body fat.

That’s right, sounds like a huge contradiction though right?

But building muscle is the first thing you want to start doing to help cure you of the skinny fat condition.

If you were to just do cardio, cut down on calories and burn all the excess fat you will end up looking skinny and gaunt.

You need to build some muscle to keep the same size so to speak.

And then you can start burning the fat to get the lean physique that you are chasing.

Muscle is heavier than fat and in turn, requires more calories to move.

So by building more lean body mass you will start the process of body composition.

What Causes Skinny Fat?

The main cause of this is simply and poor diet with not enough protein. When we eat poorly and aren’t doing any exercises we run the risk of high levels of body fat ending up in the skinny fat look.

Another cause is not enough strength training and too much focus on weightloss through cardio.

Sure you can burn a lot of calories through cardio.

But weight training burns a lot of calories as well.

And when you mix weight training with a diet high in protein you will at the bare minimum maintain muscle mass.

Lifting weights is not just about building big muscles.

It is a proven weight loss tool as well.

Simply put though, skinny fat is caused by not enough muscle, a lack of physical exercises or too much cardio, and not enough resistance training.

And obviously a poor diet, too much-processed foods, and even severe calorie restriction.

That’s right, eating too little is not good for you either.

Your body goes into a survival mode and uses muscle as a fuel source resulting in a skinny fat physique.

Not eating enough will cause muscle loss.

And having little muscle mass when you have too much fat mass is going to lead to health problems.

Check out my 7 Healthy snacks to pair with coffee.

How Can A Skinny Guy Bulk Up?

What Is Skinny Fat - skinny guys posing

When you eat more than you burn you will gain weight.

So let’s start there, eat more food.

You also need to be training your muscles, so lift more weights.

Look I need that’s being a bit of a smart ass but that’s how it works.

In saying that it’s not that easy for everyone.

I struggle to put on weight, I have no problem losing weight though.

But typically what we find with skinny guys is they need to be really strict with eating enough and not burning too much.

So it may well be that you need to change how you train as well.

If you are doing a HIIT class or CrossFit a few times a week you’re probably going to have to stop that for a little while and just lift weights.

Cut out the cardio, and get more food in.

But don’t resort to a dirty bulk, eating whatever it takes to get the calories in.

As much as you want to put the weight on fast you don’t want to put the wrong weight on.

If you’re not sure where to start with your training then get your FREE copy of my E-Book. Train Wherever the F*ck You Want!

Not only will I show you how you can starting training when and where you want, but I also give you sample training programs and some nutrition tips.

Trying to get more muscle mass is not helped by putting on a lot of belly fat.

Sure, when you’re trying to put on muscle you’re going to put some fat on as well, that’s just part of the process.

You bulk, you gain weight, some fat, some muscle.

But you always want to gain more muscle than fat.

Then after 6 months when you’ve finally added 10 pounds to your frame you sit at that weight for a month or so.

You need to let your body adjust to weight. If you start trying to cut all the fat straight away you risk wasting away all the hard-earned muscle you just put.

To maintain that weight for a while.

Then slowly reduce your calories, change up your training a little so you’re doing a bit more high-intensity movements.

Then you’ll slowly start dropping the fat.

You’ll then sit at your goal weight with a few extra pounds of muscle.

A new confident you are ready to go wander the beach with no shirt on.

Until you see someone a little bigger than you, freak out and start the process all over.

Flybird Fitness

Is Running Good For Skinny Guys?

Running is great for skinny guys.

They’re lighter so it’s not putting as much strain on their joints.

They can move faster because they are not carrying so much weight.

Skinny guys were designed for running.

But running is not great for skinny guys trying to gain weight.

Skinny guys trying to gain weight need to lift the weight, eat more food, and stay perfectly still when they’re not doing one of those 2 things.

But seriously, it can be really hard to gain weight when you run a lot, especially long distances.

Running is a great exercise for burning calories, that doesn’t always mean burning fat.

But definitely for burning calories.

When you are trying to gain weight you need to be in a calorie surplus.

That’s hard to do when you go out and burn 1000 calories on a run.

I’m not saying you can never run again, but while you are trying to gain weight you need to keep running to a minimum.

Once your body is used to the new weight you can start bringing it back in.

But keep in mind, you’ll be heavier so it’s going to feel different.

When I was doing my best running I was about 160lb.

So after a year of gaining weight, it felt weird running at closer to 180.

Why Am I Not Gaining Muscle?

There are a few factors in this.

We’ve already gone over a couple.

You need to be in a calorie surplus, you need to be lifting weight or doing some form of resistance training.

The next thing you need to be aware of is how much protein you are consuming.

Protein is the building block for muscle growth.

If you are not eating enough you will not be growing.

Most nutritionists say that you need to be having about 0.36g of protein per pound of body weight.

Some experts say it is as high as 2g per kilo of body weight.

But a common rule most people go off is 1g of protein per pound of body weight. Or 2.2g per KG of body weight.

But to be honest, there’re a few flaws with this approach, the main one being if you’re overweight the amount of protein you’ll need to eat based on those numbers is insane.

It’s much better to go off lean mass.

Or your weight minus body fat. So if you weigh 100kg and have a body fat percentage of 20% your lean mass would be 80kg.

So working with that number 80kg x 2.2 is 176g of protein a day compared to 220g of protein a day.

Here’s a protein calculator you can try out.

Check out this video I posted on youtube going over this topic as well.

Should I Avoid Cardio?

Definitely don’t stop doing cardio.

Cardio is still very important but make resistance training your focus.

3-4 days a week of some kind of resistance training aiming to hit all your muscle groups at least twice a week.

And just 1-2 cardio sessions.

If you split your workouts up into two upper body and two lower-body days a week with a couple of cardio sessions as well you’re on the right track.

And then you need to fix your diet.

And honestly, a balanced diet doesn’t happen overnight.

Focus on your protein and whole-food intake first and everything else will slowly fall into place.

Make sure you have a look through the article I posted at the start of this article to get all my tips on eating what you want and still losing weight!

But remember you still need to exercise your muscles as well.

And more importantly you need to build the discipline to make sure you commit to the process!

That’s why I created The Grizzly Method. Bringing these 3 things together to help people like you achieve the body and lifestyle you want.

To find out how The Grizzly Method will help you take back control of your health and fitness, book your FREE consultation call here!