What Is Skinny Fat? and How to Fix It

What Is Skinny Fat? and How to Fix It

From the outside, you may resemble a painting depicting health. But is there a completely different scenario happening inside your body?
We all have that thin friend who can eat anything and not gain an ounce of weight. This can be frustrating and seem unfair to those who exercise regularly and eat healthy but are still somehow still struggling with the extra pounds. However, that thin friend of yours may not be as healthy as it looks. There are many who, while looking thin, have unhealthy levels of body fat. These people are called skinny fat, that is, thin but fat people. Scientists, on the other hand, use a much more technical definition: normal weight obesity. There is scientific evidence showing that this condition, which is a serious health problem, is as dangerous as obesity in terms of health.

What Is Skinny Fat? and How to Fix It Photo Gallery


• Excessive fat in the waist area
• High blood pressure
• High cholesterol level
• Insulin resistance or high blood sugar level
• Rarely exercising and poor diet

What is “normal weight obesity”?

The body mass index (BMI) of people with normal weight obesity is within the range considered normal and “healthy”. However, these people also have a high fat ratio and have layers of fat deep in their abdomen. According to scientific studies, these people have a higher risk of developing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and heart disease than people with a healthy BMI index.
There is also the type of obesity in which excess body fat accumulates in the abdomen and waist area. The oils in question are sometimes stored so deep that they cannot be noticed from the outside. This problem is very difficult to understand from the outside. The most worrying thing about this issue is the fat accumulating around vital organs. This condition is called visceral lubrication. Viscelar lubrication produces compounds that can trigger inflammation and cause fatty acids to enter the blood stream. We are talking about fats that are much more dangerous than those that accumulate in the hips and calves and that you can easily squeeze and have fun with.

How common is it?

Normal weight obesity is spreading. According to the studies carried out in Australia, the waist width of people with the same body weight increased by 6.7 cm in women and 2.8 cm in men between 1989 and 2012. According to this ratio, roughly one in five women and one in 10 men would be considered obese, even though the BMI index does not indicate such a result.
Many experts now agree that the term “obese” should be updated to include body fat, not just weight.

Why is it so dangerous?

Experts now say that people with a waist size suitable for obesity (over 88cm for women, over 102cm for men) but with a BMI index that would not fall under the obesity category (30 or more) are still at a high risk of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and premature death. they know.

One reason is that visceral lubrication does not stay silent. “The fat around the organs is definitely more dangerous than the fat in other areas.” says nutritionists.

“This fat has been proven to increase the risk of cardiovascular disease, glucose intolerance, inflammation and insulin resistance.”
Fat cells in the midsection of the body produce inflammatory proteins that disrupt insulin balance. This increases the risk of type 2 diabetes. These inflammatory proteins also build up resistance to leptin. Leptin is a hormone that regulates fat storage, appetite and how much weight is burned.

What is causing it?

Normal weight obesity has a genetic basis. So some of us tend towards this ailment. However, this normal weight obesity can also occur over time, regardless of genetic background. Although they do not cause weight gain, diet and inactivity are influential factors in this regard. Researchers working on body structure state that young and pre-menopausal women are especially at risk of fat storage, because factors such as unhealthy diet and inactivity are in question.

Our bodies tend to change over time. With aging, our muscle mass decreases, especially if we don’t train those muscles enough. When we lose our muscle mass, the fat rate in our body automatically increases. Less muscle means more fat accumulation. It’s like a vicious circle.

Our metabolism slows down with age. The moment your metabolic rate starts to drop, you start to gain weight even if you continue to eat the same way.

For women, it can be said that menopause contributes to this period. Because the hormonal changes that occur during menopause cause fat to be stored in a more centralized way, with a focus on earlier. This situation and our slowing metabolism can cause both weight gain and waist fat.

Stress is also one of the factors that play an active role. The stress hormone cortisol is known to be associated with a high level of visceral adiposity. Also, when we are stressed, we do not eat well and do not want to exercise.

How can I find out if I have it?

It takes more than just weight to understand what’s going on inside your body. You can examine your body structure to understand whether you have normal weight obesity. The most common of these is bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA). It’s also available at many gyms, clinics, and pharmacies.

In cases that are not analyzed in this way, there may be a number of symptoms that may cause you to doubt.

Examine Your Body Shape

One of the most logical steps to take can be to analyze your body shape. Although we are all genetically different, it can be said that people with a tendency to store fat in the chest and waist/belly area are more prone to normal weight obesity. These people may have a body structure called the “apple” shape. If you have a more “pear”-shaped body, that is, fat accumulation occurs more in the calf and hip area, you are less prone to visceral fat.


Waist width measurement is a quick and simple test. Wrap the tape measure around your waist. Note for men: the waistline is not where your belt is. It is the part that is just above your hip bones, close to your belly button. Measurements over 94cm for men and 80cm for women may indicate visceral fat.


If you struggle with squats, lunges or push-ups, your muscle mass may be less than ideal. Test yourself with these moves; if you have low muscle mass, your body fat percentage is probably higher than the ideal ratio.


Having regular cholesterol, blood sugar and blood pressure tests can help you understand how healthy your metabolism is. High values ​​that may appear in these tests may indicate normal weight obesity.
People with an “apple” body type are more prone to visceral fat.


You can measure visceral fat by dividing your waist width by your hip width. This process can be applied by people of all sizes. Measure around the widest part of your hips. Divide your waist width by this number.
A rate of more than 1 for men means high risk, while for women this rate is above 0.85.


If a close relative (parents, siblings) suffers from diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure or high cholesterol, you may be genetically predisposed to these diseases.

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