Are You Skinny-Fat?

"Skinny-fat?" What is it? It is a danger zone for those who don't weigh much but have high body fat I have heard this many times: "I'm skinny so I don't have much body fat. Maybe, maybe not.

If you don't combine good nutrition with consistent weight training and interval cardio exercise, you probably have high body fat (even if you are skinny).

One of the critical measurements is your waist-to-hip ratio (waist measurement divided by hip measurement). This measurement is important because there is a correlation between chronic diseases and abdominal fat.

A ratio above .80 for females and above .95 for males could put you at risk for a number of diseases, including cancer. For example, if your waist is 31 inches and your hips are 41 inches, your waist-to-hip ratio would be .76. A "skinny-fat" person could have an unfavorable waist-to-hip ratio.

Someone who is overweight and loses say, 80 pounds, can be at risk of having high body fat. How? If you lose that much weight mainly through calorie restriction (i.e., without much exercise), you will have alot of loose, hanging skin on your body. What you need is a lean, toned body through good nutrition and consistent exercise.

Many people are confused about what Body Mass Index (BMI) means as it relates to body fat. Keep in mind that it is just one tool to use when you are looking at your health. Scientists use BMI as a research tool to make objective comparisons as to how fat a person is. A person with a BMI of 25 or above is considered overweight and a BMI over 30 is considered obese.

BMI uses a person's height and body weight to measure a person's fatness. This method has some limitations because it doesn't consider a person's body type (slim, muscular, etc.)

For example, a fit person with high muscle mass will tend to have a high BMI which suggests that the person is overfat. This person would actually be fit and healthy with low risk for fat-related diseases.

So, even though you might use BMI as a starting point, a person's level of fatness is best measured using a direct method which tells you WHERE YOU ARE FAT.

Two methods used are under-water weighing and skinfold measurements. Under-water weighing is not readily available to most people. Having a skinfold body fat test with calipers done by a fitness professional is convenient and reasonably accurate.

Get your body fat measured! It might surprise you.

If you want to take your workouts to a higher level and blowtorch body fat, my FREE Bodyweight Metabolic Fat Burner Workouts are what you need. There are 3 levels: Bodyweight 200, 300 and 500. Start at the level you can handle.

About Mark


Mark Dilworth is a Lifestyle and Weight Management Specialist and since 2006 he has owned Your Fitness University, Her Fitness Hut, My Fitness Hut, Sports Fitness Hut.

Mark has helped thousands of clients and readers make lifestyle changes that lead to better long-term health, which includes acceptable body fat and ideal body weight.He does not recommend fad diets, quick weight loss gimmicks, starvation diets, weight loss pills, fat burner supplements and the like.

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