Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Skinny Fat


According to the urban dictionary (clearly the most reliable source of definitions on the web), skinny fat is "When someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath."

Ladies, in our diet crazed society, we often forget what it actually means to be HEALTHY - not just skinny. I too have suffered from this affliction - have always been on the thin side, but not necessarily healthy, lean, strong, and fit. I became aware of this a couple years ago when I realized that despite fitting into the same clothes, I could barely get up a flight of stairs without being out of breath. My healthy eating and yoga just wasn't cutting it any more, and as the years pass, I was becoming skinny fat!

So what did I do in my battle against skinny fat? Well, first, I got my tush on a elliptical and started doing cardio. That helped in getting my heart in better shape, and now I can actually skip the escalators on the subway and take the stairs.But it didn't seem to be enough to just do cardio - in fact, that is often what happens to many ladies who are regular gym goers - they only do cardio, maybe a couple crunches, and then call it a day. They have burned X amount of calories, but are they fit? Not really.

It is because it isn't just about your weight. It is about your body fat percentage. And in order to get rid of the body fat, you are going to need start including weights and strength training into your regimen. So now, in addition to yoga and the elliptical (or Zumba. I love doing Zumba for cardio), I do weight conditioning classes once or twice a week. And as many of my gym instructors say on a regular basis - exercise is not supposed to be comfortable. If you are comfortable you aren't pushing yourself hard enough.

This is a good example from a write up about skinny fat in the  Wall Street Journal : "Monika Sumpter, a 34-year-old training manager at Equinox Fitness in New York City, says she once weighed 170 pounds and had a body fat percentage of "a little over 30%," a high reading. She says she lost 45 pounds with diet and some aerobic exercises, but reduced her body fat percentage only to about 25%. So, over the past 18 months, Ms. Sumpter says she added strength training and other exercise to her cardio workout. Although she has put 20 pounds back on, her body fat percentage is down to 14%, she says."

Next time you get on the scale, ask yourself if you are not just meeting your weight goals, but if you are actually HEALTHY, and not just skinny fat.

No comments :

Post a Comment

Blog Design by Get Polished