The Skinny Fat vs. Skinny Fit Debate

Over the last few days I have had the opportunity to discuss my goals with a few of my close friends and family members and to see their reaction when I tell them my goal weight is I am often faced with remarks of “That’s too skinny or that’s too much weight to loose”.  Fact of the matter is I’m not looking to be skinny I’m looking to be fit whilst being able to fit back into my pre pregnancy clothing (AU size 8 / US size 4).  Then it got me thinking about an article I once read in a fitness magazine about the skinny fat vs skinny fit…

Q.     Which model do you think has more body fat? The curvier one on the left or the whippet thin one on the right?

A.     If you think it’s the one on the right, I am afraid that you are mistaken! The model on the right has very little muscle tone and her body is composed of mainly fat, skin and bones (skinny fat). On the left however, her body has minimal fat and has great muscle tone and definition (skinny fit).

Because of our unique feminine physiology, the fat cells in our lower body (for the majority of women) are world-class clingers (this is especially true when you are pregnant). This leads a lot of us in particular, to become so fixated on the scale, thinking constantly of their goal weight (I don’t understand what happens when they reach this though; are they happier, healthier or a better person?). I do own a set of scales, as to how heavy I am really does not interest me anymore (this hasn’t always been the case with me in the past) – it is what my body composition (muscle to fat ratio) is, that matters more to me now.

Skinny-fatness strikes women a lot more than men. I think this is mainly because men aren’t afraid of lifting weights to lose fat (and to be fair, men naturally do have more muscle and less fat than their female counterparts). We women, on the other hand, evidently prefer inventing bizarre and complicated diet regimens revolving around strange food preparation, subsistence on one food group or crazy calorie limits (whoever said women were bad at maths has never met a woman 2 weeks before her high school reunion or 2 days before a date).

Ladies and gentlemen, simply “dieting” will help you shed excess “weight”, which is great for increasing your energy and reducing chances of a myriad of health conditions and diseases, but you are most likely doing it at the cost of losing muscle mass. This will in turn lower your metabolic rate, put your health at risk and keep you eternally skinny looking, but feeling fat and squidgy.

The less muscle you have, the less work your bones have to do, and they begin to shed that incredibly valuable osseous tissue: your bones, which are, in fact, living tissues directly related to your blood, immune system, strength, longevity – even your mood.

In a country of cardio fanatics and serial dieters, is it any wonder that women have such high rates of osteoporosis and are at a perpetual state of skinny-fatness? Cardio will get your heart pumping and burn some calories, but it won’t maximize your shape to make you look toned and sleek, and neither will it do much to put a dent in your osteoporosis risk.

There’s only ONE solution to this which is…….TA DA – Weight training!!

Weights will get you looking skinny fit in no time by changing your body composition, increasing your lean muscle mass, increasing your metabolic rate, it will lift, tone and shape your body, and lead to fat loss… what more could you want?

Are you lifting some weights yet? Get to it!

Remember, it’s better to be lean and toned, not scrawny and soft…


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