Many people are confused about how to solve the skinny fat problem. You don’t know if you should use an approach for overweight people or whether you should just go to the gym? Maybe the problem is due to something else?
If you’re skinny fat you probably know exactly what I’m talking about. You look thin but when you take your shirt off there seems to extra unwanted fat around your belly or waist. This can make you feel unsexy or unattractive, as well as affect your confidence in certain situations.
In this post I will lay out the skinny fat solution for you. The reason you may be carrying extra fat around your belly and what you can do about it to feel awesome about yourself.
Stress causes an increase in a particular hormone known as cortisol. Cortisol makes your fat cells release fatty acids (think fat) to be used as energy. In our past, stress would likely imply the requirement for additional energy to survive a fight or to run away from danger. It’s a great adaptation but is detrimental in our modern lives. Low grade stress is extremely common. This study discusses this connection between abdominal fat and stress, if you’re interested.
It also causes fat to be stored around the abdominal area in both animals and humans. One of the theories is that people, especially women, who store more body around the abdomen, as opposed to hips, have a stronger hormonal reaction to stress.
An initial step would be to try and minimise stress. Bear in mind that stress isn’t just how you feel. It is also affected by excessive cardio, psychological stress and inadequate sleep.
Meditation – In the past this was a little on the woo-woo side, but the science at this point is very clear; meditation yields a whole host of benefits. There are many different kinds of meditation and this one is by far the most fun, east and straightforward. No effort required.
Relaxing activities – Spending time with family, friends and lovers is crucial. It creates strong bonds and reduces stress. It is also one of the key factors in the societies that live the longest.
Consciously not rushing – If you’re used to being in meetings, living in a big city or have a busy life chances are you are rushing places. Rushing is another cause of excessive stress. Pay conscious attention to how fast you’re walking and whether your enjoying the moment or just living for the future.
As mentioned in the section on stress, your sleep has a major impact on being skinny fat. To lose that stubborn fat you need to make sure that your sleep quantity and quality are ideal. Your stress hormones will drop, your body will have the opportunity to recover and your day will be much better.
The result being a less stressful day, which results in better body composition.
It is a well known fact that inadequate sleep leads to excessive muscle loss and minor fat loss when trying to change your body. That is the absolute worst situation to be in.
Similar Sleep Pattern – Get to bed at around the same time every day. This includes weekends in an ideal world. A 3 hour difference on the weekend is equivalent to flying form London to Ethiopia and expecting not to feel the effect in the Monday. This scientific term for this is social jet lag.
Reduce Screen Time – Avoiding screens 1 to 2 hours before bed is one of the best things you can do for your sleep quality. Use this time to have fun with your partner, read a good book or listen to something.
Don’t Eat Before Bed – Have a good few hours (2+) between your last meal and your sleep. Eating before bed reduces the production of an important sleep hormone known as melatonin.
Too Much Cardio
A surefire way to make sure you stay skinny fat is to cardio as your only form of exercise. Long bouts of cardio increase stress hormones, which in and of itself isn’t a bad thing. If you’re skinny fat however, this is not what you want. You can achieve amazing results but the mindset of grinding away on the treadmill needs to go.
Resistance Train – Dump the treadmill for now and focus on getting strong. Don’t worry if you’re a woman, you will not become muscular. You will create shape to your body and be healthier overall.
A good place to begin is 3 days per week. Your gym sessions should not require more than 45 minutes as long as you go in with focus. If you’re not sure how to do a particular exercise or what program to follow, this article will tell you how to design your own program.
You should also follow the rules for someone who is trying to lose weight, but your calorie deficit generally doesn’t need to be as low. You can even start at a maintenance level, which may be more advisable if you’re someone who’s constantly under-eating.