Even if your weight seems normal for your height, it does not necessarily mean you are in good shape. You might be “skinny fat.”
Skinny fat is a relatively new term used to describe individuals who have a low body mass index, but a high body fat percentage. Besides dietary measures, weight training and cardio exercise help improve the health and body of a skinny fat person.
Body Fat Percentage
If you suspect you are skinny fat, take a good look in the mirror. Although your figure may be small, pay close attention to your muscle definition. If you note more areas of body fat than defined muscle, you likely fall into this category.
Also, calipers can be used to measure different areas of the body and calculate body fat percentages. A skinny fat individual may weigh the same as their muscular counterparts, but may have as much as 30 percent body fat.
Causes of Skinny Fat
Skinny fat can occur in either one of two ways. First, you may be following a very low calorie diet, but you do not participate in regular sessions of cardio and strength training exercise. Second, you exercise, but you follow an unhealthy diet high in fat and calories.
Your fat intake should be no more than 25~35 percent of your total caloric intake. Additionally, excessive cardio workouts should not be undertaken if you want to reduce body fat and increase muscle tone.
Targeting Skinny Fat
Developing muscle not only tones the body to target a skinny fat appearance, but also helps the body burn more calories by giving your metabolism a boost. If you have more muscle mass than body fat, your body burns more calories even while at rest.
To make muscle gains, add a minimum of three weekly strength training sessions to your routine. Choose a weight load that has you fatigued by the eighth rep. Perform two sets of 12 reps for each exercise and gradually increase weight amounts on a weekly basis.
Skinny fat individuals are more likely to have health problems, such as high cholesterol and heart disease. Concentrate your efforts on following a healthy well-rounded diet and increasing weight training efforts.
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