A couple of weeks ago, I replied to Stranger writer Lindy West’s fat-claration and made the point that no matter your weight, BMI, body fat percentage, etc. the ultimate goal of any diet and weight loss regimen should be good health, something that is a bit less quantifiable than a number on a scale.
So I wanted to show you some examples of what it means to be unhealthy. Since I’ve spent so much time blogging about unhealthy fat people on A&E’s “Heavy,” today I’d like to focus on unhealthy skinny people, better known as “skinny fat,” instead.
Skinny fat people are precisely what you think: skinny people who look fit with their clothes on, but naked they are anything but, all squishy around the middle and without any muscle definition. Skinny fat people are sedentary and don’t eat well. They were simply blessed with high metabolism and the right genes. (Lucky bastards. Okay… maybe I’m just a little bitter.)
Skinny fat people can eat anything–favorites include Mountain Dew, cheese doodles, frozen foods with brightly-colored packaging, like Cheesy Blasters–and don’t gain a pound even though they veg out with the PS3 or watch re-runs of “Buffy” every night. Despite their sedentary lifestyles, somehow they ward off fat, or so that’s how we perceive them, until the clothes come off, and we see they are more jiggle than ripple, too.
Some examples of skinny fat include:
Neither of these bodies are obese by BMI standards (In case you didn’t know, I hate BMI.), but they both have no visible muscle mass, which can be attributed to a lack of strength training or undereating. (The body burns muscle first when it doesn’t get enough calories to function.) Being skinny fat is about as bad for the body as being fat fat since skinny fatties are susceptible to heart disease, diabetes and other health problems generally associated with being overweight. Their fatness may not be as visible as your standard fat person, but skinny fat people have a disproportionate ratio of body fat to lean muscle mass, leading to fat accumulation around the vital organs, as you can see in the pictures above. The two specimens are storing the fat they do have in all the wrong places.
So what’s a skinny fat person to do? Pretty much the same things a fat person would do (except less cardio because, without strength training and a proper diet, it won’t help you build muscle as quickly): eat better, more protein-packed meals and exercise with an emphasis on building muscle, meaning lots of weight training.
And, sorry–no more Cheesy Blasters!