Skinny Fat Body Transformation – Introduction
Skinny Fat Body Transformation to Fit: Diet + Training Guide
If you work out regularly, you probably keep an eye on your weight.
You may even celebrate when you lose weight and get frustrated when you gain weight.
After all, most of us have been taught that our weight is a reliable health and fitness indicator.
While monitoring your weight can be helpful, the scales don’t tell the whole story of how your workout and diet are affecting your body.
For example, they don’t differentiate between water weight and fat weight.
Not all weight loss is good, and despite shedding pounds, you could be hurting rather than improving your fitness and body shape.
You could even look slim but still have a high body fat percentage.
This condition is often referred to as “skinny fat.”
How do you transform a skinny fat body?
This article reveals the causes of skinny fat and the diet and workout interventions that can help prevent or fix it.
Table of Contents
- Body Transformation Skinny Fat to Muscle – Introduction
- What is skinny fat?
- The causes of skinny fat
- Nutrition guide for fixing skinny fat
- Training guide
- How to Transform Skinny Fat Body – Wrapping up
What Is Skinny Fat?
Skinny fat people look slim and may even be a healthy weight for their height, but they also have very little muscle.
They tend to have a high body fat percentage despite not being overweight or obese.
Some skinny fat people may also preferentially store fat around their abdomens while their arms and legs remain relatively thin.
In clothes, skinny fat people often look pretty slender, but they’re soft and weak under their clothes.
That doesn’t mean skinny fat people can’t be fit.
For example, long-distance runners, group exercise class participants, and other endurance exercisers usually have above average cardiovascular fitness.
But they may also have very little muscle mass while carrying too much fat.
The Causes of Skinny Fat?
The skinny fat phenomenon is becoming increasingly common.
It doesn’t just affect how you look but could result in health issues, including an increased risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.
When skinny fat, your body fat percentage is higher than it should be, but your muscles are very slender, which presents many of the same health risks as being classically overweight.
Common causes of skinny fat include:
Losing weight too quickly
People tend to gain weight over several years.
However, when it comes to weight loss, most of us want to lose that weight quickly.
That’s why rapid weight-loss diets are so popular.
However, when you go from chronic overeating to eating too little, you don’t just lose fat, but you also lose muscle mass.
As your body uses fat for energy, it reduces your energy expenditure by shedding unwanted muscle mass.
This is a built-in survival mechanism designed to ensure your fat stores last longer.
Doing too much cardio
While cardio can help you lose weight, you can have too much of a good thing.
Cardio not only burns calories and fat but can contribute to muscle loss.
Activities like running and cycling are challenging, and your body makes them easier by shedding unwanted pounds of unused muscle.
It’s like stripping a race car of unwanted weight to go faster.
So, if you do a lot of cardio, you may find that you lose muscle and fat.
Consuming too little protein
Your body uses dietary protein for muscle repair and growth.
All forms of exercise and life in general cause muscle breakdown, which is called catabolism.
A protein deficiency means your body won’t have the materials necessary to rebuild catabolized muscle, and you’ll lose muscle mass.
Not engaging in strength training
Your body operates on a system of “use it or lose it”.
If you do not stress your muscles, they have no reason to exist.
Because of this, if you want stronger, bigger muscles, you need to train them with weights.
If you don’t engage in regular strength training, your muscles will naturally shrink from lack of use.
Nutrition Guide for Fixing Skinny Fat
The first thing to understand is that strict dieting is one of the most common causes of being skinny fat.
When you starve yourself, even if it is in the name of weight loss, you’ll invariably end up losing muscle mass.
As such, there is no anti-skinny fat diet, and you should also forget all about every weight loss diet that promises fast results.
Instead, you need to adopt a long-term eating plan that promotes health, energy, and slow fat loss.
While it’s beyond the scope of this article to provide you with a diet to follow because
a) we don’t know what foods you like and dislike,
b) we don’t know your grocery budget or how much time you have to prepare your meals and
c) don’t know how many calories you need to consume to achieve your goal, which depends on your age, genetics, and how active you are.
However, I have you covered with this comprehensive article – How to Lose 20 Pounds in 3 Months Using 5 Simple Steps, which will provide you with a five-step long-term eating plan solution.
It is the same plan I used to drop 75 pounds in 6 months ten years ago and finally beat my lifelong battle with overweight and obesity.
#1. Eat more protein
Aim to consume around 0.75 to 1.0 grams of protein per pound of bodyweight.
This amount of protein will preserve your existing muscle mass and ensure your body has the nutrients it needs for muscle repair and growth.
#2. Create a small, sustainable calorie deficit
Most diets slash your food intake so that your body is virtually starving.
That causes fat loss but also triggers muscle atrophy.
So, forget crash diets and trying to lose weight quickly.
Instead, create a modest calorie deficit of around 250-500 calories per day.
A tolerable deficit like this will result in slow but steady fat loss while safeguarding your precious muscle mass.
Use an online calculator to estimate your Total Daily Energy Expenditure (TDEE) and subtract 250 calories from that number.
If you aren’t losing fat, subtract another 100 calories or so.
Continue until you are losing fat at about half to one pound per week.
Instead of trying to see how little food you can survive on, see how much you can eat while still losing fat.
#3. Fill up on vegetables
Veggies are filling but also low in calories.
You can eat a lot of them without consuming too many calories.
Try to include vegetables in all your main meals and have them as snacks.
As well as being filling, vegetables are your primary source of vitamins and minerals, which are crucial for your health.
The fiber they contain is also good for your digestive system.
#4. Limit your carb consumption
While you don’t need to go full keto and eliminate carbs from your diet entirely, eating fewer carbohydrates could speed up fat loss.
Your body uses carbs or fat for energy.
Eating fewer carbs means your body is more likely to burn fat for fuel.
Cutting down on carbs is easy; eat less bread, rice, pasta, and processed food and have more fibrous vegetables instead.
The volume of food consumed should remain relatively unchanged, but your “fuel mix” will be better for fat loss.
Your blood glucose will also be more stable, which creates a better environment for fat burning, less hunger, and more consistent energy levels.
#5. Supplement wisely
While you don’t need to take a lot of supplements to lose fat while maintaining muscle mass, they can be helpful.
Protein powder makes it easier to hit your daily protein quotient, while creatine is a proven muscle preserver and builder.
A pre-workout can help you get more from your workouts, stimulating more significant muscle gains.
Skinny Fat Body Transformation Training Guide
As skinny fat is characterized by muscle loss, your workouts should help preserve or even increase muscle mass.
Again, we can’t give you a workout to follow because we don’t know how fit you are, how much time you have for exercise, and what facilities you have available.
You should have no problem creating your own workout schedule from the following guidelines.
#1. Lift weights
Remember the “use it or lose it” principle mentioned above?
Regular strength training will preserve or even increase your existing muscle mass as you burn fat.
Do 2-3 whole-body workouts per week using free weights, machines, bodyweight exercises, or resistance bands.
You can join a gym or work out at home as preferred.
Focus mainly on the compound or multijoint exercises like:
- power cleans,
- pull-ups, and
- overhead presses, as they provide the biggest bang for your buck.
Short on time?
Try some 2-5 exercise abbreviated workouts, so you are done in 30 minutes or less.
Here is a sample abbreviated training plan:
Do each workout once per week, preferably several days apart, for example, Monday and Thursday.
Abbreviated strength training 2x a week – Hashi Mashi Workouts A & B
See The Minimalist Training Home Workout for Strength & Fitness for more program options.
Also, here are several other excellent routines for you to try from our workout body transformation library:
- 3×5 Workout: The Only Strength Training Program You’ll Ever Need + PDF
- Beginner Powerbuilding Program: Big & Strong Workout + Free PDF
- Weight Lifting for Weight Loss Plan: A Program That Works
- Strength Training for Men Over 50 + Full-Body Workout
- One Great Beginner Deadlift Workout Routine for Powerlifting & Fitness
#2. Try some HIIT
Standing for High-Intensity Interval Training, HIIT workouts are short yet still manage to burn an impressive number of calories.
But, best of all, they’re not commonly associated with muscle loss.
In fact, they could even lead to muscle gain.
For example, instead of jogging for 40 minutes, which is a very catabolic workout, jog for five minutes to warm up, and then alternate between 20-second sprints and 40-second walks for ten reps.
Jog another five minutes to cool down for a fat-burning, muscle-preserving workout that takes just 20 minutes.
Not a jogging fan?
#3. Move more, sit less
Lose fat more easily by sitting less and moving more.
That doesn’t mean more exercise but simply looking for ways to be more physically.
This is called NEAT, short for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis.
Examples of NEAT include going for a walk, mowing your lawn, doing some cleaning, playing sports with your kids, and raking leaves or shoveling snow.
Anything that gets you up out of your chair and moving will increase your daily calorie expenditure without triggering muscle catabolism.
If nothing else, get yourself an activity tracking app for your phone and do your best to accumulate 10,000 steps per day.
#4. Go easy on the Low-Intensity Steady-State cardio
LISS cardio burns calories but can also contribute to muscle loss, increasing the chances of becoming skinny fat.
However, it’s also good for your health.
So, while you don’t need to avoid LISS altogether, it’s probably best to limit yourself to three 20-minute sessions per week.
Don’t worry; the HIIT and strength training will ensure your fitness levels improve and remain high.
Skinny Fat Body Transformation – Wrapping Up
There is more to being healthy than what you weigh, and just because you are light or slim doesn’t mean that your diet and workout are doing you good.
Lots of cardio and starving yourself with faddy, low-calorie diets might mean you can fit into your skinny jeans, but you could still end up being skinny fat.
Fixing skinny fatness requires a multi-pronged approach that builds muscle and burns fat.
You’ll need to combine a healthy but sustainable diet with strength training and moderate amounts of cardio.
But, your efforts will be rewarded, and instead of just being skinny and weak, you’ll look far more defined and athletic, and you’ll be much healthier, too.