We have a big fat problem. Many of us are overweight but some of us are overfat. What? Yes being overfat can be just as bad as being overweight!
Yes, being metabolically unhealthy can be just as detrimental to your health as being overweight. In fat, 93% of us are thin but metabolically unhealthy. How can this be and what does this mean?
About 30% of the population are thin but metabolically obese or TOFI — thin on the outside but fat on the inside. You could say they’re “skinny fat”. What is skinny fat? Unfortunately, if you’re skinny fat your health risk are the same or even worse that those of us who are overweight!
TOFI or skinny fat means that you’re over fat but under lean. Bodywise, you’re thin as far as the scale goes but may have a little belly or pooch in the tummy area. This is visceral fat. You have lower quality muscle mass and not enough of it. The take away here is it’s not about the weight, it’s about what’s happening inside your body.
TOFI increases your risk of all kinds of metabolic issues — high triglycerides, low LDL’S, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, and diabetes just to name a few. Read on to find out what is skinny fat and what you can do about it!
What Can I Do About Skinny Fat
1. Diet: The first thing you want to do is focus on your diet. Specifically, a very low glycemic diet low in sugar and starch + good healthy fats like EVOO, nut, seeds, avocados + good quality protein sources.
This type of diet focuses on consuming foods that have a lower glycemic index, meaning they don’t cause your blood sugar levels to spike rapidly. This is important because when your blood sugar levels spike, your body produces insulin, which can slow down your metabolism and cause you to gain weight.
By following a low glycemic diet, you can keep your blood sugar levels stable and prevent insulin resistance, which can help you burn calories more efficiently. Additionally, a low glycemic diet can help you feel fuller for longer periods of time, which can prevent overeating and snacking throughout the day.
Also eating anti-inflammatory foods can do wonders for your metabolism! When your body is in a state of inflammation, it can be harder to lose weight and maintain a healthy metabolism.
But by incorporating anti-inflammatory foods into your diet, you can help reduce inflammation and support your body’s natural fat-burning processes. These foods include things like leafy greens, berries, nuts, and fatty fish like salmon.
They contain nutrients like omega-3 fatty acids and antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve insulin sensitivity. This can lead to a more efficient metabolism and a healthier weight.
2. Strength training: Strength training is an amazing way to boost your metabolism and improve your overall health. When you engage in strength training exercises like weightlifting, your body builds lean muscle mass.
Any kind of body weight training is good to add to your workout routine. And muscle tissue is more metabolically active than fat tissue, meaning it burns more calories even when you’re not working out. In fact, strength training burns 7 times more calories than fat.
This means that the more muscle you have, the more calories your body will burn at rest. Additionally, strength training can also increase your afterburn effect, or the number of calories your body burns post-workout.
This is because strength training puts your body in a state of oxygen debt, which means your body continues to burn calories even after you finish exercising.
3. Stress management: Stress management is an essential component of maintaining a healthy metabolism. When you experience stress, your body releases a hormone called cortisol, which can lead to weight gain and a slower metabolism over time.
That’s why it’s crucial to take steps to manage your stress levels and prevent this from happening. Some great ways to manage stress include meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, or even simply taking a walk in nature.
These activities can help reduce cortisol levels in the body, which can help boost your metabolism and help you maintain a healthy weight.
4. Tracking: Tracking your exercise, stress, and sleep is crucial for improving your metabolic health. By keeping track of these factors, you can better understand how they affect your body and make adjustments as needed.
For example, tracking your exercise can help you determine if you’re meeting your fitness goals and identify areas where you can improve.
Tracking your stress levels can help you identify triggers and find ways to manage stress, which can help prevent weight gain and a slower metabolism. And tracking your sleep can help you identify patterns that may be affecting your energy levels and metabolism.
With the help of tracking apps and devices like your Apple Watch or the Aura ring, it’s easier than ever to monitor these factors and make data-driven decisions to improve your metabolic health.
5. Supplements: While a healthy diet and regular exercise are the best ways to improve your metabolism, there are some supplements that can help support your efforts.
Green tea extract is one such supplement that has been linked to improved metabolism and weight loss. This extract is derived from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis plant and contains a compound called EGCG (epigallocatechin gallate), which is a type of antioxidant.
EGCG has been shown to help increase calorie burning and fat oxidation, making it an excellent supplement for those looking to improve their metabolism.
Additionally, green tea extract may help improve insulin sensitivity, which can lead to better blood sugar control and weight management.
While more research is needed to fully understand the effects of green tea extract on metabolism, there is evidence to suggest that it can be a beneficial addition to a healthy diet and exercise routine.
Additionally, some studies have found that supplements like magnesium, fish oil, and vitamin D may also play a role in metabolism and weight management.
Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a key role in energy metabolism, as it helps convert food into energy. Adequate levels of magnesium in the body may also help regulate blood sugar levels and reduce inflammation, which can contribute to metabolic dysfunction.
Vitamin D, often called the “sunshine vitamin,” has been shown to help improve insulin sensitivity and glucose metabolism. Additionally, fish oil contains omega-3 fatty acids, which have been shown to improve insulin sensitivity and reduce inflammation in the body.
However, it’s important to remember that supplements should not be relied upon as a substitute for a healthy diet and lifestyle. Always talk to your healthcare provider before starting any new supplements.
Being thin but eating a crappy diet and not exercising is not the way to go. But, don’t despair, TOFI or skinny fat is totally reversible!
Being skinny fat is like having a secret double life. You might look great in clothes, but your insides could be struggling to keep up. The good news is that with a few lifestyle changes, you can boost your metabolic health and feel better than ever.
By following a low glycemic diet filled with anti-inflammatory foods, you can keep your blood sugar levels steady and reduce inflammation in the body. Strength training helps build muscle mass, which in turn increases your metabolic rate.
Stress management techniques, like meditation or yoga, can help reduce the cortisol levels that contribute to metabolic dysfunction.
Finally, the right supplements like magnesium, vitamin D, and fish oil can provide added support. So, don’t let being skinny fat hold you back.
If you’d like more personalized help in developing and implementing a nutrition plan to put you on the path to better health, my 3 Month Signature Coaching Bundle may be just the thing for you.
I’d love to help you take control of your health and get ready to live your best life.
***Disclaimer: This post is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice***