Ladies, I’m concerned about the skinny-fat among us. You know what I’m talking about. Skinny-fat women might look nice in a v-neck, but they’d sooner crawl into a hole than expose an upper arm or leg.

This is what happens when you become “skinny fat” instead of genuinely lean and fit (where the muscle and fat are fairly evenly distributed and you have a lot less cellulite). While you can’t fight your body’s natural shape, you can certainly maximize what you’ve got. What I’m talking about is the difference between curvy and super-fit Gabby Reece or Evangeline Lilly and certain starving-yet-sagging starlets (I won’t name names, mainly because there are too many these days and who can be bothered to keep track).

Skinny-fatness strikes women a lot more than men. I think this is mainly because men aren’t afraid of lifting weights to lose weight (and, to be fair, men naturally do have so much more muscle and far less fat). We women, on the other hand, evidently prefer inventing bizarre and complicated diet regimens revolving around arcane preparation rituals, subsistence on one food group or arbitrary calorie limits (whoever said women were bad at math has never met a woman 2 weeks before her high school reunion or 2 days before a date).

Simply dieting will eliminate weight, but it won’t tone anything. And because of our unique feminine physiology, the fat cells in our lower body are world-class clingers.

But before you get too depressed about the latest Kate Moss advertisement, consider this: I’m bringing this up because skinny-fatness is about a lot more than physical appearance. In fact, your dress size has nothing on the bigger issue – health. The good news: simply being skinny is not akin to being healthy. In fact, the skinnier you get, the more you’re at risk for things like osteoporosis! (There I go beating that llama again.)

The less muscle you have, the less work your bones have to do, and they begin to shed that incredibly valuable osseous material: your bones, which are, in fact, living tissues directly related to your blood, immune system, strength, longevity – even your mood. You know how coral reefs are actually living organisms that provide all sorts of vital and irreplaceable functions to the fish and plants and water surrounding them? Your bones are your body’s coral reef. You have to feed them, and weight-bearing activity = food for bones. In this country of aerobic fanatics and serial dieters, is it any wonder American women have such high rates of osteoporosis and a perpetual state of skinny-fatness? I watched my own mother live on Tab and jazzercise during the early 80s, and now, faced with bone trouble, she’ll be the first to tell you: lift something! Who wants to look like Nicole Ritchie, now seriously? I’d rather look like Evangeline!

There’s only ONE solution to the problems we women face: osteoporosis, beach season, and the belly that won’t budge. The solution is weight-bearing activity. Aerobics will get your heart pumping and burn some calories, but it won’t maximize your shape. Dieting will help you shed excess weight, which is great for increasing your energy and reducing chances of myriad health conditions and diseases. But neither will make you look toned and sleek, and neither will do much to put a dent in your osteoporosis risk.

Are you lifting some weights yet? Get to it!

Lift, girls!

[tags] Gabrielle Reece, Evangeline Lilly, skinny actresses, bones, osteoporosis, cellulite, women’s health, skinny fat, ideal women’s body, weight training, weight lifting, weight training myths, fitness [/tags]

About the Author

If you'd like to add an avatar to all of your comments click here!

102 thoughts on “Skinny-Fat”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  1. I do lift weights and do situps but still have belly fat. I have muscular legs and arms, but the belly fat won’t seem to budge. Please help.

    1. With my clients bodyfat measurements done a the intial consulation. If bodyfat is high, especially in the abdomen area we do not do any situps until we lose the fat in the abdomen area. This done through a high intensity exercise/cardio program and good nutritional plan reducing the carbs intake and increasing the water intake as well.

    2. Lifting weights and doing sit-ups doesn’t actually reduce belly fat. In fact, exercise won’t lead to spot reduction; it will simply make your muscles stronger and bigger. Spot reduction is a myth. You will need to reduce your overall body fat by creating a calorie deficit, in order to lose fat in any particular area.

      1. Actually, lifting weights will help because it boosts your metabolism, which in turn will burn more calories and fat.

    3. I read somewhere that if your tummy pops out just under your belly button it may mean you are intolerant to gluten……as soon as I notice a I have a potty belly I reflect and realise I have been too ‘relaxed’ and the sugars and grains, sneaky buggers that they are, rather than the treat they should be are almost staples in my life again.

      1. Oh wow! This sounds just like me. I am 5″4, 118 lbs, 20 BMI, but ALL of the fat is in my belly, which is why I took a pregnancy test this afternoon after noticing how much it’d grown lately. (negative!) I think it’s the chips, chocolate chips, and beer I’ve had too much of lately. It just bloats my belly so crazily. I swear I’ll never know if I’m actually pregnant. haha!

    4. Hi,
      Im 5 “10” approx. 148pds, 15% bf., 3- years- in- the making- 52yr old bodybuilder who recently was training for a competition. Two weeks ago I left my trainer. I was on a strict cutting phase diet, complete with oats,rice,and (fruitless), and two hours of cardio per day, and 4 days of heavy lifting per wk. I was exhausted. Last week, I found the 4hour diet which brought me here. With that said, I’ve switched from wheat to legumes and from measuring to eyeballing. And, although, my energy has tripled, so won’t my fat cells, if i’m not careful! My intention is to read all I can but in the meantime I’d greatly appreciate your comments and feedback.

    5. I have some belly fat too. Some of us keep it.
      Different shapes of abdomen:
      -four-pack and flat
      -four-pack with a bit of fat underneath
      -fat on tummy, line down the middle of abs
      Any of those can still be healthy! I’m a size 12 and have 20-22% body fat (correct for my age), but I have soft tummy-fat with just a line down the centre and hard muscles underneath!
      What is unhealthy is:
      -heavily protruding belly
      -wheat belly
      -fat on your sides
      Those are signs of too much fat.

    6. If you are on birth control, see if it contains levonorgesterel. If so, research the side effects.

  2. Marilyn, nothing but a good diet and hardcore cardio can attack that area. Have you taken up Interval Training? Thats a great way to lose that stubborn belly fat.

    Hope that helps

    1. Marilyn…. it’s ALL diet. You don’t “Cardio” fat off, you diet it off. 100% diet. Stop doing situps and spend that time planning meals. Seriously! It’s diet, diet, diet. You don’t need to work harder, you need to eat in a way that will drop bodyfat. 😉

      1. Dieting the way most people do doesn’t work. If you drop the calorie intake, your body adapts and you begin storing more fat because your body thinks you’re in a famine. So, unless Marilyn is morbidly obese, I wouldn’t reccomend dieting. It may drop you from say 280 to maybe 230 or even 220 in a few months, but in time you’ll be back up to 280 again unless you change your lifestyle (that was an example, I don’t know her weight).

        1. I think Fixed Gear meant diet as a noun, not diet as a verb. Diet as a noun IS an important factor in weight and bodyfat distribution. She DOES need to pay attention to what she’s eating and frankly, it doesn’t matter whether she’s 10 pounds above her healthy weight or 100. You can be slender and still not be eating right. I should know, I did that.

  3. About stubborn fat, it could be a sign of excess estrogen in your body. Intense exercise, as the guy above me said, will help remove it. As will keeping estrogenic foods (like soy) out of your diet.

  4. I have been trying to lose my stubborn stomach fat for years–I am 5’4″, 125 pounds. I don’t get close to “flat” unless I can get my weight to 120 pounds, which I haven’t seen for about ten years. I exercise regularly (cross fit 3x/wk and weight lifting 2x/wk) and generally have a muscular body. I eat well–consistent with the philosophy promoted on this site, except for evening sweet attacks (probably responsible for an additional 500 calories on average two times/week). I haven’t given up but often wonder if this isn’t a losing battle. Will I only get to the magic 120 if I completely eliminate sweets?

  5. – How can I become skinny?

    – Simply lose weight with Slimologic!

    The SLIMOLOGIC concept will aid you in efficient and healthy weight loss and supply your body with vital substances. It supports you in harmonising your lipometabolism and cholesterol level, enhances digestion and can reduce the sensation of hunger. The SLIMOLOGIC concept minimises arising cravings and boosts the lipometabolism helping the body burn more of its own fat. What it cannot acquire from nutrition it acquires from the fat stores. This allows for efficient and healthy weight loss. The SLIMOLOGIC concept even successfully shows its effect on stubborn fat stores on stomach, legs and rear. Please visit our eShop:

  6. I’m 39, mother of 3 with twin boys on the way…my solution to always staying fit AND getting a flat tone tummy even at my age…CROSSFIT!!! It is functional fitness, fits any busy schedule, and can be modified to suit any beginners to any advanced athlete. My kids do it as well. Combine this regimen with a paleo/zone eating habit & you’ll be on the street of youthful energy & a very toned body. CrossFit combines that high intensity workouts, along with basic gymnastic (helps in flexibility), loads of cardio via jump rope/running/boxjumps, and most importantly weight lifting. I firmly believe I am in better shape and better conditioning then I was in college sports…my stamina/endurance is another area that has surpassed my wildest dreams. Can my great shape, health, and stamina be genetic? Heck no I’m mexican with family members infested w/ diabetes, heart issues…all around bad health. I tell them all I REFUSE to let myself go, even being a mom of so many great children. I am their mentor/example to a healthy life!

    1. Thank you for writing this! This is truly awesome. You have inspired me to try harder!! 🙂

  7. good article, and true for men as well. As far as the belly fat goes, you need to stop eating glutens, those are what make your belly “swell” and don’t allow nutrient uptake. One last thing…there is no such thing as “toned”. You are either “strong” or “weak” it is that simple.

  8. Let me throw in my 2 cents and tell you how men honestly feel about all this. I definitely prefer the Nicole ritchie and starving actress, skinny-fat woman over a fat-fat women. Almost all men do. Girls know this part of the equation, but what they seem to miss, is I’d much prefer a CURVY girl to that skinny-fat girl. And CURVES on a woman are built from 2 things: an underlying muscle mass and a healthy bodyfat. Too much bodyfat and you look fat, too little and you look manly and over muscular.

    But simply adding muscle mass won’t make you look manly unless you have an ULTRA low bodyfat level to go with it.

    That last sentence is the part most women don’t get. And the reason they won’t lift any weights at all. You want a great butt? Do squats! You’re not going to get ‘huge’ doing squats. Females simply don’t have the hormones men do to pack on copious amounts of muscle. And as long as you maintain enough bodyfat you won’t look manly. 10% bodyfat looks GOOD on me! It would look horrible and unfeminine on you. Somewhere around 20% +/- is SEXY on a girl.

    1. A WOMAN is not going to look manly at even 10 percent body fat unless she’s got no hips. That’s a big difference between us and you right there. But it’s not a good idea for a woman to go below 15 percent unless she’s done having kids (or doesn’t want any).

      Bottom line, we women should make decisions for OUR OWN health and not to make some guy happy. Personally I’m not interested in a guy who is *only* interested in my looks–that is, my *looks* are the deal-breaker in whether he gets or stays involved with me. There’s so much more to me and what if I had a horrible car wreck tomorrow that melted my face off? We’re so eager to kick one another to the curb for such superficial reasons. That’s what’s *actually* destroying the sanctity of marriage–not any of this other nonsense I keep hearing about in opinion editorials.

      Mental health and social health are health too, and I notice a lot of physically healthy people need serious improvement in one or both of those areas.

      1. Applause, applause, applause! That is exactly what I say. I always question the motives of anyone who says they “like a certain” type or tell me, they like my hair long or like certain body parts or (the worst) mention breasts. I say that too, “would this guy stick around through breast cancer?” Anytime a woman’s weight is mentioned, someone will always throw in a comment about “what men like” when it doesn’t matter, really. Word to the men, women have certain “types” too and alot of times that type is someone who loves us for those things you can’t actually see. Get it? There is more to people than their bodies. Always has been and always will be.

        1. Here here!
          I’d like to know exactly what Fixed Gear defines as “manly” and “unfeminine”. I’m a kickboxer – evidently, that means I’m a lesbian 😛

    2. Here’s a little primal factoid, male penises have been getting bigger over human history because females have self-selected men with larger ones. So, it turns out that ladies have preferences in the makeup of male bodies, too. Now, women of the world, if this continues, then the male organ will be standardized to the perfect size, just the way FixedGear ‘s preferred female body is. UGH.

      1. Yeah right. Everyone gets laid and reproduces. Ugly, fat, little dick, mentally ill, drug addicted you name it.

    3. Thank you for writing this! AI only wish I could broadcast this to all the women that starve themselves to look good for men. Hello! Healthy is beautiful!

    4. Fixed Gear,

      Some women may have found themselves on this page for health reasons such as osteoporosis prevention, general strength etc.

      ‘Let me throw in my 2 cents and tell you how men honestly feel about all this…’
      Uh, please don’t. We already know just by seeing covers of men’s mags etc. We are not here to be educated about your or other male’s preferences. It’s not always about you…..

      Just let us be, just as we leave you be. Thanks.

    1. Lol. I haven’t done crossfit but I wouldn’t mind dating most cavewomen who do crossfit often.

      Looks are important but personality crushes looks every second.

  9. “If bodyfat is high, especially in the abdomen area we do not do any situps…” I’ve seen these oh so many times, they start doing situps and more situps.. the underlying muscles get bigger and push the fatty tissue outside. Now a small problem just got bigger!
    Mark Martinez,
    Testing out hypergain like the energizer bunny

    1. if ive been doing situps for a month would that have built alot of muscle by now :\

  10. Hi, I’m about 5’6 and weigh about 125. I do Jazzercise 2-3 times a week with light weight training to go with it. I eat normal healthy meals, but I love my junk food and cokes! My problem is that my stomach is flat, but I can’t get rid of the fat on my sides or hip area.Can I get rid of that fat and keep some of my junk food, or do I have to give it all up to get the body I want?

    1. There is really no secret. Yes you have to give up junk food and eat healthy and stay very active if you want to look lean.

      It’s simple, but it isn’t easy.

    2. I am exactly the same as you, 5’6″ 125lbs and flat stomach and do dance throughout the week. I also like fizzy drinks and some junk food, so what I do is I have a cheat day; on Friday I’ll have a packet of sweets or a pizza and a fizzy drink. Cause lets face it cutting out all of it all together can be very difficult. But just be careful you don’t binge too much on your cheat day, make sure you have something healthy like a piece of fruit and a good breakfast.

    3. Give up the junk food but do a “refeed” a couple of times a week to switch it up. Even cutting the carbs and junk food half the time would be better than nothing but you’re going to have to sacrifice something to get the body you want.

  11. Also add that doing 100 reps with those 100 gram dumbbells isn’t going to get them in shape. Many women lift no heavier than 5 lbs because they’re afraid of bulking up like Arnold. They need to lift real weights if they really want to build muscle. Many women could use 15, 20, 25, even 30 lb dumbbells. I’m not saying that they need to do stuff like try to press a 100 lb dumbbell overhead with one hand or something like that, most won’t be able to and will get hurt trying to do something crazy like that. But don’t be afraid to do enough weight that it’s challening.

    Anyhow, good article, Evangeline Lilly and Gabby Reese are indeed HOT. Twig-like women like Nicole Richie on the other hand are not.

  12. Ahh the problems with skinny fat! I used to be in the same area before applying the primal ways.

  13. Hi there!
    Thanks for this article.

    OK, I really am the epitome of “skinny fat”. I’m 29 years old, 5’11” and 138lbs. I realize that sounds low but I have a very small frame.

    I recently made some lifestyle changes and became a vegetarian 2 months ago. I would classify my diet now as pretty clean whereas prior to 2 months ago I was healthy about 5 days a week and ate junk on weekends.

    The past month I’ve been hitting the gym hard with approx 6 30-minute cardio & 6 toning exercises per week but I still look “skinny fat”. My stomach, hips & thighs all look flabby and my arms just look skinny w/ no tone.

    I don’t know what to do to get my body looking like an “Evangeline” – should I continue to drop a few more lbs, to get rid of the flab or should I be trying to turn the fat on my body into muscle w/ more weight training? I’m not worried about “looking huge” because, 1 – it’s not like you just wake up one day and you suddenly have huge muscles & 2, I don’t know that my small frame would allow for ‘huge’ muscles.

    Any suggestions would be most appreciated.

  14. So, I just realized that I’m probably skinny fat. I’m 5’6” and 130 lbs and I’d like to lose some fat and gain some muscle. The main reason I want to lose fat is so that I can decrease my breast size (I know that sounds odd, but it is very annoying having large breasts). Does anyone know how much my breast size could decrease? Currently it’s a 34-D.

    1. I know this is two years old, but Dana, 34D is not a large breast size. In fact, it’s pretty average. I’m a 36D (if I had a tiny rib rage like you I would be a 34DD) and my breasts aren’t too big for my frame. I’m 5’3 and 130 pounds so yeah…you are crazy.

    2. I am 5’4′ 127lbs. I am 32dd. I was 167 post pregnancy.
      I didnt lose any cup size, maybe alil volume I did however lose back fat.

      If you find it annoying about your breast size is it due to pain in your back from carrying them.
      Do back exercises. Bent over rows, One arm Dumbbell rows help alot. I am working on chinups and pullups unassisted.

      I wouldnt trade my boobs for nothing.

  15. @Dana, may I suggest,

    1)Compound lifts. Grab some dumbells, lift off the floor, and raise above your head. Keep a straight back and extend your hips to avoid injuries.

    2) Burpees. try sets of 10, fast:
    Jump, crouch, shoot your legs back, land in a push up position, do a push up. stand up. Rinse and repeat.

  16. I, too, am the epitome of “skinny fat.” At 6’1″ and 130-135 pounds (yes, I am very tall and thin), I’ve never felt the need to eat healthy or exercise regularly. Now I’m 22 and painfully out of shape. I’ve had a small amount of cellulite for 5+ years but I just went on vacation and now that I’m reviewing my photos, it’s clear that I need to get fit! W

    What’s the best way to start from scratch? And I do mean scratch. My diet is awful (I love junk food and am a student, so anything quick and easy is what I eat) and I am pathetically out of shape. I can’t afford a gym membership and I have an ankle issue so I can’t run. Should I jump rope? Do burpees? Take long walks? What’s a cheap, easy way to get started that won’t be discouraging and hard to stick to at first?

  17. @ Megan: Its simple, follow the diet and exercise priciples that MDA is all about! Spend a good amount of time familiarizing yourself with the diet – no sugar, no junk food, no grains no “man-made” foods. And then read one of the many articles on fitness and workout plans such as this one on the basics:

    You don’t need a gym membership or any special equipment to get into shape – just motivation! With enough research you can develop a plan that works for your budget and your schedule as a student. I speak from experience as a grad student who lives purely on student loans. It is challenging but by no means impossible, and the results make it totally worth it! Good luck

  18. I’m annoyed with the premise of this article and especially with a lot of the commentators who seem to think that a woman’s #1 goal in life is to impress a man with her physique. While the article eventually gets around to talking about bone health, the whole “which startlet would you rather look like shtick is off the mark.” I think if we can apply a critical lens to conventional wisdom about nutrition, we could also do so to conventional wisdom about women and beauty. Personally, I know so many amazing women with rich intellectual and spiritual lives, who help people in need all day and then come home to take great care of their kids. The magazines and the television keep talking to me about women wanting to look like this or that or needing to loose this pocket of fat or have flat abs or whatever. I’d I just sometimes feel like I’m on another planet. Women are so much more interesting and amazing than that! I mean, I know our bodies are important but there are plenty of people out there without conventionally “sexy” bodies having great sex and discovering all sorts of things about love and intimacy that are all so much more rich and exciting than these logics about achieving the latest (look at history if you want to see how it’s changed!) template for “perfect”‘ bodies. It’s about health, and getting out of that mindset is part of better mental health for all of us.

    1. I get annoyed with people who feel the need to voice their stupid opinions of others’ perceived shallowness on websites devoted to HEALTH. Not just looking good- HEALTH. Which is what this site is about. The underlying theme here is that if you’re healthy you’ll look healthy. Go to some other site that will tell you you’re just perfect the way you are even if you’re 500lbs. and continuing to eat an unhealthy diet that exacerbates your problems.

      1. Very well said and I agree. That post just sounds like more of the “misery loves company.” The type of people who make excuses for looking after their health and blame everything else but themselves when their lives don’t turn out how they want or wanted them to. I stumbled upon this site and I’m glad I’ve taken the time to read more because I will definitely come back. I want to feel good in my body. I want to radiate health and vitality and no amount of me – or this person who wrote the above – trying to convince the world that “I’m fat but I’m a ‘good’ person” will change that. What it amounts to is an unhappy person trying to bring the life around them down instead of rising up to meet it.
        The only one who can keep us “in the mud” is ourselves.
        She/he has highlighted an interesting point, though. This site IS aimed for people who have made up their minds to get fit or are already fit but for some who want to make changes from a lifetime of being surrounded by those who could care less, the words from tbird are most likely what he/she will hear from others in an attempt to drag her/him down into the misery.
        So, instead of just thinking, “ok, I can use the tips here to make some lifestyle changes and teach myself how to move forward,” they are also faced with having to deal with the negativity of others. It is quite common.
        To tbird: It is ok to want to feel better and anyone who tries to convince you otherwise just wants you to be like them. You cannot be like them because your body has natural defense mechanisms which will try to keep it at its optimum level so it works properly. No one is in your head but YOU. Other people do not carry your body around and therefore cannot make choices for YOU. That is the bottom line and even though it can be hard and distressing to face others who will say nasty things and call you “better than” to try to bring you down, I can assure you that when you are listening to your inner voice, you will find there some strength that no amount of snide remarks can bring down. I wish you happiness and success because I KNOW you came here to get healthy and that argument you wrote is only there because you were hoping to be convinced that it is ok to do so. It is more than ok.

    2. Magazines and TV, no matter how skewed their views of beauty are, still show what the large majority of men want to see and view as attractive or beautiful. Most people, including fat people, don’t think that other fat people are attractive. If they do, they’re lying to themselves and only do it because they’re ashamed that’s all they have available to them. *You thought it, I said it ;)* It’s in our very nature to want to be attractive so we can procreate.

    3. [email protected] Crash Dummy. You speak a volume of wisdom.

      Yo Mark, You need not be concerned about us Ladies. We need to listen to our bodies, our appetites, our desires, and live hard.

      THe plethora and diversity of replies on this subject amaze me. Cardio, no cardio, eat, dont eat, gain dont gain, weights yes of course weighhts. NONO all diet.
      jeez i am confused
      and i am skinny fat, thus the reasonn i got to this page via google in the first place. But half of me know its a temporary fixation on my body which distracts me from the real issue: confidence. Deep down i think i know what to do for the health and good look of my body. I think we all do. Its just not the same for every woman. Respect yourself and
      AND GET IT!

  19. Anyhow, good article, Evangeline Lilly and Gabby Reese are indeed HOT. Twig-like women like Nicole Richie on the other hand are not.

    **they all look skinny to me! I would say a curvy woman was eva mendes, scarlett johansson, kelly brook – those girls have killer curves**

    Evangeline is extremely petite as far as I know…my body role models are more hourglass and taller…

    but have to agree with tbird, really getting hung up on the looks is Conventional Wisdom in its finest form!

  20. lift and pilates if your skinny fat, honestly if you dont see change then get a trainer because your not doing it right. and eat…. eat all healthy and if you bindge one day make up for it with workout. yes you all might say you already know this… but how many have stuck to this for months on end? then when you get to your goal weight, have a cupcake 🙂 but dont forget to workout after you eat it! lol life sucks, peace!

  21. Most of the celebs who are pushed at us as having great bodies are skinny fat ie they dieted but didn’t do anything to build muscle. I am always disappointed when I see this. The physique I admire is the athletic one. I feel like screaming sometimes “I don’t want to be thin! I don’t want to have little stick legs!”. The exercise regime us girls get advised to do is cardio cardio cardio and oh don’t eat any fat. I love feeling like a rebel cos when I am squatting I am thinking I WANT CHUNKY STRONG THIGHS.

  22. I am 18 years old, 5’9, and 154 lbs. That sounds good yes, but i have a thin layer of fat that needs to go away before I get to college. I made the dance team and must lose the extra inches. My love handles are terrible, my thighs are huge, and my arms need some work! What so I do?? I have tried everything!

  23. I was very surprised a girl I met that looked slim had a very flabby bottom. She looked fairly fit, but when I copped a feel, it was like jelly. I thought I’d been totally conned and lied to by her appearance. I work out and I look like I work out, I don’t like it when I have “surprises” like that. I had no idea skinny fat women were so prevalent. Next time I see trim gal, I’m going to be suspicious about the truth to the packaging.

    1. Yes, Dingo, that’s exactly the point of this article. Women who are not 100% toned are deliberately lying to you, and you should go grope all thin-looking women to make sure they aren’t deceitful bitches! That’s exactly what the author meant.

      1. 100% toned? You sound big. Skinny fat is worse as far as I’m concerned, and my comments don’t depend on the author’s intentions. To be skinny fat, you usually diet and don’t exercise, or eat virtually 100% junk, but little enough you don’t gain weight. You’re sort of skinny, but have zero health to show for it. At least a fatty is better fed.

  24. I’m female 5″10″ and was always proud to be a tall and slender girl. But as I got older I turned into a ‘not so skinny’-fat, had a hard time keeping that abdominal fat tucked in…and just ran out of energy to try.

    I’ve always used starvation as a way of staying lean and had no clue it actually hurts my body. I just wanted to keep that youthful body regardless of the cost…then I found MDA.
    Now I eat primal, feel naturally strong instead of fragile and lift weights 3x a week.
    My overall appearance has changed from weak and fragile to muscular and tough…and I don’t care what guys think anymore. I know they all want this fragile little girl on their side, well this one sports a couple of leancut bicepts and shoulder muscles that puts the average mans to shame. 🙂

  25. Osteoporosis in the first world is often caused or exacerbated by eating too much red meat, which leaches calcium from the body during the digestive process. Areas such as India where complete proteins are created through beans/legumes/etc. rather than reliance on beef show very low levels of osteoporosis.

  26. Sadly, there are some skinny fat people that will be skinny fat forever. If you could see my body, you’d understand. I have excess fat in my stomach, thighs and bottom. I have cellulite and I’m flabby in those areas. I could use some loss of fat there and yeah, I know that there’s no such thing as ‘spot’ reduction. So what should I do? I should lose weight generally, right?? Well, it turns out I’m VERY thin in my upper body. My arms are like straws, and my backbone and ribs can be seen protruding. I have no muscle whatsoever in my back and my skin there clings to my bones. So losing any more weight is out of question.

    Well, I’ve been working out regularly for almost a year now, with at least 2-4 weight training sessions per week, and I’ve greatly improved my fitness level but I haven’t been able to remove the flabby bags of fat from my legs, abdomen and bottom. The fat there is stored over the muscles and you can not see my muscle definition since my muscles are hidden by the fat. I think this kind of fat is impossible.

    So I’m kind of at a loss about what to do. Can’t lose weight, can’t gain weight, but still I look awful in both my upper and lower body for just the opposite reasons: I look all flabby and undefined in my lower body, but I’m really scrawny in my upper body.

    So there’s no solution for me unless I undergo some kind of cosmetic surgery to remove that excess fat on my lover body. But seeing how skinny I’m in my upper body, the doctors would think I had gone crazy.

  27. Misty I totally know what you are talking about. I am 5’6 and weigh 118 lbs and have always been very athletic. my legs are super toned and hot (if I do say so myself) and so is my butt and stomach. But even though I have played sports all my life and in my mid 20s I started proper weight training and yoga that toned me up further my upper arms and upper back are still fat. They look like they belong to another person and even my trainer has suggested lipo for them after trying everything on them for 3 years. Its the part above my bra and just a few inches of my upper arms. And like you, I have incredible tricep muscle under they layer of fat but it just doesnt show at all. I’m trying massaging the area now- someone said that might help break down the fat?? I wouldn’t have bothered but at this point flabby arms on a toned body are looking extremely ridiculous and out of balance.

  28. Hi
    Any help for me?
    5’4 115 but 28%bf
    Oh and 53 years old
    Is it my diet or exercise
    I follow paleolithic diet and Trx and walking

  29. I would suggest something that will add some of your wise knowledge
    Rule no 1
    before eating drink water in ample amount so that when u are eating or after eating you dont have to drink water again.

    that will gonna give your digestive system boost and this method is for thosse people speically who really dont care what they are eating because they are currently fit and in shape,

    Rule 2.

    Specially for over weight ladies

    4 cup of black tea in a day with concentration of lemon juice.
    will gonna burn your fat ,with no sugar

    in addition if u are following some diet plan and at some point you feel so hungery and cant hold on for eating something odd to your schedule.
    again have a cup of black tea with lemon juice drops in it,
    after 15 min u will forget your hunger level.

    i am not a doc or somehting
    but i have seen my grand mother doing that when she had to control her diet and my mother do exercise these methods

    thank u

  30. Hi i m 29 yer old married woman. I m from India i have been Canada for 2 years.And my muscle is so weak i couldn’t run properly
    even my back shape is curved not straight and i m skinny fat please give me advice.

    Thnaks Anjali

  31. So I’ve decided to start working out again but I’m so confused on what I’m doing wrong. In the summer I worked out a lot doing high intensity training and running plus dieting and I did lose weight but not where I wanted. I’m 5’3 118, and I went down to 108lbs. I just wanted to lose my belly fat and I ended up loosing my butt and my breast got smaller, I was just skinny all around but still had a little gut. I ended up gaining all the weight back in like a month and a half. I really don’t want to lose weight I’m okay with everything else but my stomach. I think I might of dieted too much or maybe my calorie intake was too low. I was taking in 1000 to maybe 1200 calories a day. Also I didn’t do much weight training either. I’m trying to find a new method this time around to stay around 115lbs but lose my belly fat. Help I just want a flat stomach and to be fit and healthy not skeleton skinny.

    1. I’m in the same boat you are, only I’m 5’0″ and 110. Extra weight from Italian big legs. People tell me I look good but and I walk 2 miles a day but I just feel weak and flabby. I’ve had a pooch belly for 25 years and I hope going primal helps me feel stronger. I’m only Day 4 and don’t feel any different yet.

      Anyway, I think you’re eating too few calories — you’re not going to build muscle on so little food. I suggest a little more protein with lunch, and frying two eggs in good fat and adding that on whatever you have for dinner. That will get your protein up.

      My exercise is to do balance ball videos. It’s very functional and low-impact and not too much cardio. And it’s fun because you get to hug something when you exercise. When I got good at the videos I added wrist and ankle weights. When you add weights, don’t try to keep up with the video anymore — go 1/2 as fast so you don’t pull a muscle. I did that and I could FEEL stronger after a couple months.

  32. I am 5 foot 6 inches and 27 yrs old. I weigh 65 kgs, which is correct weight for me. But i look leaner than what i should be for my weight. I don’t have big mussels either. When people look at me, they expect me to be 55kgs, which i am not. What should i do to look a little bigger than what i am by maintaining my current weight?

  33. I beloved as much as you will obtain performed right here. The caricature is tasteful, your authored material stylish. nonetheless, you command get got an impatience over that you want be delivering the following. unwell indisputably come further previously again since precisely the same just about very ceaselessly within case you protect this hike.

  34. Guys, help me out. 5’11 185 pounds feeling skinny-fat(guy). I’m taking 180-190 grams of protein a day but I still don’t feel lean. I’m trying deadlifts out but I keep thinking I have an iodine defiency.

    Should I consume more protein or check out my iodine levels?

  35. Skinny-fat! Skinny-fat! That’s ME! I’m 22, 5’0″, about 90 lbs. I don’t look anorexic, I have muscle, but have that stubborn belly that won’t go away! I look like I’m three months pregnant..especially after I eat, lol! I’ve had it for years. I’m trying to gain weight (at least get to a nice 105 lbs) the healthy way – eating healthy and gaining muscle. Everyone says to increase my daily calorie intake and focus on strength training, which I have been doing for about four weeks now. I’ve also been doing low-intensity cardio and certain ab workouts like crunches, planks, etc. Am I going about it the wrong way? I’m eating a lot of healthy foods – especially protein – and exercising to gain muscle but I haven’t seen any results yet. I don’t want to lose fat though, that’s the last thing I need. Help!

  36. God I’m so surprised at the fact so many women have the problem like me. I do have strong ab muscle that shows up when I stand up straight, I can do 100 sit-ups no problem…too easy.
    I have good muscle on arms and thigh and yet I have flabby inner thighs, bottoms and underarms, and of course, the big belly fat that shows up when I sit down.

    I have no idea what I’ve been doing wrong. Since my childhood I’ve been drinking a lot of water, black tea and green tea. I eat low-fat, no-suger home-made meal. I hardly drink juice as it’s too sweet and I hate cereals and oats with too much sugar in it. However I don’t drink milk due to my lactose intolerance, so I buy soy milk from asian grocery that tastes like tofu.

    Although I don’t go to gym and do strenuous exercise, I do Yoga and do some exercise using weights and exercise balls.
    I have weak joints and don’t want to hurt my shoulders and knees again.

    There might be a few things I could try but I don’t want to get too obsessed and stressed out either…is there any way I can lose this ugly looking fat?

  37. I am 60 yo and reading this stuff is very disheartening.I agree with the girls who get fit for themselves not for a MAN..I might be classified as fat skinny having gone thru menopause which they say a little bit of tummy fat protects in place of all the estrogen we have lost.I do the best I can and try to stay away from pesticidinal fruits and veggies and GMOs, there are countries who have outlawed these, not the US, and its proven there is no increase in yield, all it has done ia lower the nutrients in our food and the FDA does farmers are fighting a losing battle cause bees fly hundreds so miles to pollen and feed, they get sued.fined if their products test out with anything in them.and your pollinators are from the next county or state.we never had all of these health issues till the US stared messing with Mother Nature, till that changes we will continue to be unhealthy no matter what we the way fructose and sugar is directly linked to hi name it.its linked so quit eating those chips and sweets

  38. And most of you are under 30 and under 130 lbs.doing the skinny.fat psycho thing.stop trying to be like someone with your bodies as they are not going to lose weight if your bodies are already mostly muscle.muscle weighs more than fat.we as women need to get OFF this twisted idea of what we should look like.all of the women of the past 50yrs ago were gorgeous and they weren’t skinny Mae west,Marilyn Monroe,lolobridgida, and lots of others

  39. 80% of your physical results will come from your nutrition.

    20% of your physical results will come from exercise.

  40. Cool article! I guess I have been skinny fat most of my life. 5’6″ 115 pounds. I am now more like 112 pounds, my butt is still not firm haha. But yeah since starting this diet and exercise I have a 6pack for the first time in my life, and I am really getting there when it comes to having a very toned body. I am also hoping my breasts get bigger on this diet. My body seems to slowly be balancing itself out. (I have always been pear shaped.) I know I am a little underweight when it comes to BMI, but I have delicate frame, and I eat a ton and work out and feel healthier than ever! Looking forward to see how my genes respond over a longer period of time. 🙂

  41. I totally agree w/the skinny fat syndrome. I see it all the time. BUT, even though you mention Jazzercise in the 80’s, please realize it has totally changed. I am a Jazzercise instructor and there is approx 25 min of strength along with some stretching at the end of the cardio section (a class is anywhere from 55-60 min long). It is a lot of fun and I encourage anyone to give it a try as part of their activity.

  42. I’m already muscular as I am an athlete. I’m not skinny fat at all. However, I would like to decrease my overall weight a bit. I want to be a better endurance runner and my weight with fat and muscle weighs me down. (5’3 135lbs) I’m afraid if I get too thin, I will lose my great 36D breasts. Did any of you ladies lose cup sizes from getting too fit?? Years ago when I was 113lbs I had a C cup but I was a teenager and maybe not fully developed yet. I DO NOT want to go back down to that.

  43. Mark, the last time I checked, men don’t like women with A cup breasts and the form of a 12 year old boy. I’m thin but not disgustingly so. My gender is obvious to all.

  44. Lilly you don’t sound thin or athletic, in fact with a 36 bra band on a 5’3 body, you are probably big boned. Also, with a large breast size like that, yes you are at the very least skinny fst, if not fat fat. Boobs ARE fat, and giant boobs make women look even fatter. A C cup is the perfect size, maybe a small 32 or 34 D at most.

  45. Oh for Gods sake, will you people please go and get a personality… instead of worrying if you are (WTF) skinny and fat at the same time.
    Stop believing the BS.

  46. Epitome of skinny fat guys! At 5″2′, I’m 118lbs but I can get smaller, I know! Flabby arms, lower belly fat, thighs and butt too large for my petite frame…
    I’m dieting, but what sorta workouts should I do? I have no access to gyms either. Am I doomed?

  47. I was once “skinny fat.” I gained weight in my middle that no amount of Crossfit, paleo eating or cardio would touch. At 5’6: tall, I weighed 128 pounds which you would think is normal but I had 38% body fat and a 31.5 ” waist. I had my body fat tested once at a local gym in a Bodpod (very accurate to my dismay) and then again at the University of Virginia’s Exercise and Physiology Lab in a Bodpod again. Basically obese!
    I was told over and over again I was going through menopause and there was nothing I could do about my large waist. I sought out a homeopathic doctor for help. I found one and she said I was SO toxic that for all my healthy eating I was basically putting nutrition on top of garbage.
    She explained to me the toxins were the reason I couldn’t lose weight in my middle. My fat was protecting my organs from the toxins. The homeopathic doctor told me to stop taking all the supplements I had been taking and begin a nutritional cleansing program she recommended and see her in 30 days.
    After 30 days of following the nutritional cleansing program, I went back to see the doctor, I’d lost a few pounds but 3 1/2 inches off my waist!! My waist is where I had been holding me weight for along time and I was very excited!! Plus went down to a more normal 28% body fat. She said my cells were cleaner and ready for the mercury chelators.
    My boyfriend did the nutritional cleansing program with me to support me. He lost 44 pounds in two months. He tells me he feels 20 years younger! Losing weight is not what nutritional cleansing is for but it is a side effect if you are toxic and holding on to visceral fat. For me, I wanted inches gone more than weight loss. I wanted muscle and not fat around my organs.
    I am really excited about sharing my knowledge with others in hopes that I can help people who had excessive visceral fat in their middle like me. [email protected]

  48. Women should never go below 15% body fat. They can lose their ability to have children and stop having periods and other hormonal problems. Women were designed to carry more fat. I dont mean its okay to have a big belly or anything. But a woman should never be as lean as man could be. They should never have 6 pack abdominal look. That is not normal or natural for the female form. It looks manly. That is very dangerous health wise. Drew Barrymore is ideal weight and is considered “fat” but she is the right weight and looks healthy. Its really sickening.

  49. How is it good news that being skinny equates to not being necessarily healthy ???????? !!!#!#

  50. 4ft, 10in. 85lbs. I’m anorexic and still flabby. I still have a pot-bellied look mainly because I sit around a lot. Weight loss for me was mainly diet (eliminated fatty foods, eliminated a lot of protein) and walking. Lots of walking and walking. Being skinny without fat

  51. It would be nice to have a follow up article on why “fatskinny” is good, ie to have a healthy fit body with the right amount of fat (and this may make you a little bigger than many women aspire to).

  52. I have been using various fat burning capsules for a while now and I can actually see the difference between good quality and poor quality supplements.

    I am somewhat active but I have watched my belly get bigger and bigger. I am working in an office so I am sitting all day. I am not fat, my BMI is ok-ish, but all fat stays on my belly. I now ONLY use the Lady Soma Detox. I have noticed a major difference in my metabolism and I can already see changes in my belly size. No weird side effects.

  53. I eat very well and work out 3x a week and guess what, I don’t have amazing toned upper arms or thighs. With a T level of 16, it just AIN’T GONNA HAPPEN. And before anyone “helpfully” points out that I could add more hours of working out, I’ll just say that with a busy career and 100% of the cooking, housework & daycare pickup/drop-off duties it just IS NOT POSSIBLE. Major thumbs-down to this author for throwing shade at those of us hard-working moms who don’t look perfectly toned despite all our effort!

  54. The authoress has expressed a great deal of good knowledge vs just knowledge about women falling into the skinny/fat black hole. These machines advertised on TV will not only relieve you of a few thousand dollars (send it my way if you like smoke & mirrors…I’ll think of some BS aka Snake Oil to help you along with your decision. I’ll even help relieve you of some more of your senses. First thing this author touched on that won any praise I could give her is not to afraid of lifting weights. Afraid of gaining & in the end looking like Arnold or his son Eric Bana just buy the barbell & start with that. You add weights you add, you don’t don’t. Treadmilling to loose fat? Save your thousands & go outside. Or to a college, university & walk their sports track. Outside is free with clear air, fresh breezes, blue skies. Dress for the season & speed walk 15-20 minutes go home get a nap in…eat protein first, get up when rested. Every square inch of your body inside & out will thank you.