The other day I heard the term "skinny fat" while scrolling my day away on Facebook. I had heard it in passing every now and again, so I decided to find out what it meant on my own, instead of asking someone and potentially looking stupid. After doing some online research for about ten minutes, here is what I found out:
The first website I looked into made it sound like it was at least okay since they recognized that every has different body shapes and compositions. For those who don't know, skinny fat is a term used for people who have more "mass" (AKA, fat) versus muscle.
According to another site I looked at, it means that you are fat unless you have the muscled bod of a goddess. According to the Urban Dictionary, skinny fat is, "when someone is thin and looks great in clothes, but is all flabby underneath." On Wikipedia, skinny fat is "thin on the outside, fat on the inside."
Firstly, there are so many definitions, which one are we supposed to pay attention to? I couldn't find out where the term originated, but I know it couldn't have magically appeared out of nowhere.
Either way, there were a lot of articles about how to change a skinny fat body, and even one that claimed being skinny fat is worse than obesity because when you are obese, there is an outward consequence of your health habits. If you are skinny fat, there isn't too much of a way to tell that you aren't eating right or exercising enough since there isn't too much of a consequence for it.
At first, I was terribly offended by the skinny fat idea. I thought it was some ploy by athletic beings that wanted to get more people on the exercise 24/7 bandwagon. But then I thought about it for a second... it IS bad to be skinny fat.
If you are able to pound down an entire pizza and still be relatively thin, this still isn't a good thing for your body long-term. Skinny fat people usually don't realize that they have high cholesterol or high blood pressure until they take a blood test (which isn't usually in your typical annual checkup). There isn't a bigger stomach involved when skinny fat individuals eat biscuits and gravy, so why are they going to stop? There's no point to them: they won't.
Most people make the effort to eat healthy and exercise because they want to look better on the outside, but skinny fat people look decent anywhere, so that motivation isn't there. Skinny fat people need to make the healthy choice because *shiver*, it's the right thing to do for your health.
Skinny fat people's body composition will change, but it will not be as drastic as those who have to lose weight to see results. Being skinny fat (though I think a different term might be better to use) is not good for you. Sure, you may be able to eat burgers all day, but you may not be able to when it catches up to you and you end up having to watch what you eat even more strictly because your doctor told you to.
Skinny fat people have it tough because they have to eat right and won't get too much out of it, but it is still a good thing to be healthy, and why not start being healthy now? You don't have to quit your favorite greasy foods cold turkey, you can take baby steps. For example, you could pack a lunch from home every once in a while, eat one sandwich instead of two, or forgo your venti coffee for a tall instead.
Skinny fat people need to make the choice now rather than later to eat healthy. I promise, there is food that is good for you that tastes good too. You just have to go looking for it.