Fitness & Training

Are You Skinny Fat?

The other day one of my clients commented how impressed she was watching a woman who appeared to be obese but was doing a very physically demanding exercise. We often judge people’s health and fitness based on their outward appearance, but this doesn’t tell the whole story.

Using measurements such as the Body Mass Index (BMI), which only uses height and weight, can be misleading. Some people who appear thin on the outside store a high amount of visceral body fat. This type of fat is more dangerous than subcontanious fat, which is stored on the outside closer to the skin and therefore more visable. Body fat stored on the inside secretes harmful hormones that effect the organs they are closer to such as the heart, liver, kidneys, pancreas, and stomach. We unfortunately don’t get to choice where we store fat, and despite the popular myth, we can’t choose where we lose it from or spot reduce. Men typically store fat in their upper body and belly, which makes them more prone to certain conditions, diseases, and types of cancer. People with high body fat who appear thin can be more at risk because of the dangers being less obvious and more likely to go unchecked.

To be sure you are not skinny fat get your body fat measured and analyzed by a trained professional. Use a combination of healthy diet, weight training, and cardiovascular exercise to keep your body fat low inside and out.

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