Skinny Fat- How to deal with that?


Skinny fat solution part 1
This article is an introduction to Skinny fat solution series that will consist of 3 articles.
Let’s kick this topic off with how skinny fat person looks like?

You probably know someone who can eat junk food and lay on the couch the entire days, doesn’t exercise and still looks slim in clothes. Exactly, this person looks slim only IN CLOTHES.  Without them, a skinny fat person doesn’t look fit or slim at all. Skinny fat is someone who is not obese by any means but is carrying a decent amount of fat ( usually located somewhere around the belly) and has almost no muscle.

So what should I do if I’m skinny fat???

First of this type of physique is characteristic to people who are starting/getting back to their fitness journey. It is very rare to see someone who has been lifting for some time to be skinny fat.
The answer to question how to deal with skinny fat is easy. Think of it this way if skinny fat has a little amount of muscle and is carrying excess body fat we need to reverse the proportion.
Skinny fat has to build muscle and lose body fat.
Yea I know it is easier to be said than done.

Is it even possible to build muscle and lose body fat simultaneously?

-Yes and No.

There are certain cases in which this will happen almost effortlessly but there are also some that will struggle to do that.
The good news is that all of you who are new to strength training or had a break and decided to come back shouldn’t have a problem to get rid of skinny fat.
The bad news is that if you have been lifting for some time it will be harder for you to overcome skinny fat.
What’s the reason for that?
Muscle building and fat loss are working on different rules.
The basic line is the first law of thermodynamics. If you burn more energy than you consume in a certain period of time ( day, week, month) you will lose weight. A great example of that is prof. Mark Hub and his Twinkie diet:

To build muscle on the other hand you must supply your body with enough energy to make daily protein synthesis greater that daily protein breakdown.  Meaning-small surplus.
As someone new to training you will be so sensitive to training stimulus that your body will overcome protein breakdown even while being in a small calorie deficit. What I would recommend is between 20%-25% deficit.

What about someone who has been already lifting for a while?

For you guys, it is way harder but in my opinion still possible.
Here is what  you got to do:

Emphasize  on heavy compound movements
Personally, I believe that in terms of recomposition bodyweight based workouts are the best thing you can do but that’s the topic for another article.
You should focus on doing your horizontal and vertical pressing and pulling movements in a 6-8 rep range with 80%-85% of your RM. This will lead to greater post-workout energy expenditure, bigger muscle damage and greater hormonal response than doing tons of reps and filling the burn in muscle.

black and white sport fight boxer
Photo by Skitterphoto on

Rest properly
Unless you want to spend half of your life in the gym you shouldn’t workout more than
3-4xper week.  Just stay active during your rest days go for a walk, play basketball, go swimming, practice something training related you want to learn (ex. Handstand).

Nail  your Nutrition
If you are skinny fat even after working out for at least 6months you gotta change few things here and there. Nutrition is one of these things that will give you the greatest effect.
My recommendation for a simple recomp is to calculate your maintenance calories and on rest days go into the 300kcal deficit but on workout days go into 400kcal surplus.

Ex. Maintenance 2000kcal
Monday-Workout day 2400kcal
Tuesday- rest day 1700kcal

This way your weekly calorie intake will remain at maintenance but on the rest days, you will be primed to lose fat and on workout days to set your body into an anabolic state.
Don’t overdo cardio
How much is too much in terms of cardio?
You want to do just enough cardio to keep the fat burning and no more.
Normally I would say no more than 30min per cardio session.
To sum up here are guidelines for skinny fat:
•    Emphezise on heavy compound movements
•    Rest Properly
•    Nail a proper nutrition protocol.

In part 2 of skinny fat series, I will cover two different nutrition protocols that will work the best for all you struggling. Part 3 covers workout principles and gives an example of a workout.

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