5 Ways to Defeat Skinny Fat
Take better care of yourself — no matter what you weigh.
- Get regular preventive health care — and know your numbers.
- Exercise regularly.
- Eat smart. Go big on vegetables, fruits, and whole grains — and easy on red meat, fats, refined grains, and sweets.
- Learn positive ways of coping with stress.
- Gather support for your healthy lifestyle by hanging out with healthy people.
by Beth Shepard, M.S., ACE-CPT, ACSM-RCEP, Wellcoaches Certified Wellness Coach
Most people know that being overweight or obese increases your risk of serious health problems — it's old news. If your body mass index (BMI) is within a normal range, you probably think you're off the hook, even if you don't exercise or eat right.
Think again. More than a decade of clinical research shows that many people are skinny fat, a popular buzzword describing men and women who appear healthy and fit on the outside. Many of these unsuspecting people have healthy BMIs, but are normal-weight obese; they're over-fat and at risk for developing obesity-related illnesses like heart disease, type 2 diabetes, stroke, and more. What about you?
BMI vs. Body Fat Percent
Body mass index is a number used by health professionals to assess whether or not your weight is in a normal range based on your height. But a normal BMI of 18.5–24.9 offers a weight range of about 35-40 pounds — you could be at either end of the range, or somewhere in the middle, and still be considered normal. It doesn't account for body composition — fat or lean percent — and it's not accurate for heavily muscled or pregnant individuals. In essence, it's an imperfect measurement that offers a quick and easy, best-guess approach for assessing weight-related health risk.
In contrast, body fat percent offers an entirely different picture — it's a measurement that reveals whether or not you're carrying too much fat weight, regardless of the number on the scale.
The Big Deal
The concept of skinny fat is getting a lot of attention because we all know people who seem genetically blessed — maintaining a healthy weight without exercising or watching what they eat. But weight isn't the only thing that matters. Studies show that whatever you weigh, poor nutrition and a sedentary lifestyle elevate your health risks. Check out these research highlights related to the skinny fat concept:
- A recent study found 29% of subjects classified as lean and 80% of subjects classified as overweight via the BMI method fell within the obese category when body fat percentage was measured. Compared to subjects with normal body fat percentage, these individuals also had higher levels of cardiometabolic risk factors such as C-reactive protein, a marker of inflammation.
- Another study of BMI-assessed normal-weight subjects found abnormal metabolic profiles associated with obesity, including elevated triglycerides, glucose, and C-reactive protein; low HDL cholesterol, insulin resistance, and high blood pressure. Subjects with higher body fat percentages were most likely to have abnormal metabolic profiles, despite having a normal BMI.
Its true – big things do come in small packages. Chia seeds are edible seeds rich in anti-inflammatory omega-3s that contain 2.6 g of ALA (alpha-linolenicacid) in only 1/2 a tablespoon. As if that that wasn't enough, Tiffani Bachus, RD, creator of Total Balanced Body, LLC, shares that they're a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps support digestive function and acts as a natural detoxifying agent. Talk about packing a punch!
If you ever get frustrated with your rate of progress (and who doesn't), just remember; success is always guaranteed to the persistent. Nothing in the world can stop someone who knows what they want and is willing to continue paying the price until they get it. It just takes time.
Become the architect and builder of your own dream body. You WILL build the body you want eventually if you're patient enough and you refuse to quit. And set your goals HIGH! Create a fantastic blueprint. Michelangelo said, 'The greatest danger is not that we set our goals too high and miss them, the greatest danger is that we set our goals too low and we reach them.'
Fitness Tip: Stand and Sit Up Straight - No slouching on the cardio equipment please! Stand up straight, hold your head up high, and get more out of your cardio workouts! Standing upright and supporting your own bodyweight uses the stabilizing muscles of the torso. The more muscles you use during any exercise, the more fat burning your body can do!
Fitness Tip: One Size Does not Fit All - Don't forget that weight training machines are designed to fit all different shapes and sizes. Make sure you take the time to adjust each weight machine to fit your body height and dimension. A few extra moments will reduce your risk of injury and make the exercise more effective.
Exercising While Your Pregnant
A Pregnancy Fitness Guide
Exercising While Your Pregnant - A Pregnancy Fitness Guide
There was a time when exercise during pregnancy was discouraged-but not anymore! Times have changed and we've gotten smarter about women's health. Most experts now encourage exercise during pregnancy.
In 2002, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists began recommending that pregnant women should exercise moderately for 30 minutes most days, if not every day (unless there are medical reasons prohibiting it).
Exercise benefits mom by:
- Improving muscle tone and cardiovascular fitness
- Reducing the risk of developing gestational diabetes
- Preventing excess weight gain
- Improving sleep patterns
- Preparing you to hold and carry your growing child
- Improving appearance and posture
- Promoting circulation and stimulating the digestive processes (which help prevent hemorrhoids, constipation, varicose veins, leg cramps and swelling in the ankles)
- Alleviating some of the discomforts of pregnancy, such as lower back pain
- Strengthening the muscles needed for labor and delivery, which can ease delivery and labor time
Exercise benefits baby by:
- Preparing the fetus to transition to the non-maternal environment
- Increasing placental efficiency for blood circulation, which supplies oxygen and nutrients to fetus
- Decreasing fetal fat without decreasing overall growth of the fetus
- Increasing newborn's readiness to self-calm and self-quiet
- Increasing fetal movement, which possibly helps develop oral language skills by age 5
The exercises you can do during pregnancy depend on two things: your current health and how active you were before you became pregnant. If you were not active before, don't use pregnancy as the time to begin a strenuous fitness regime; if you did exercise before pregnancy, you can continue your program with some slight modifications.
Before you begin (or continue) any exercise program, discuss it with your healthcare provider. Together, the two of you can plan an exercise program that is consistent with your current level of fitness and health conditions. It is mandatory that you consult a doctor first, especially if you have any of these conditions:
- Heart Problems
- Asthma or chronic lung problems
- High Blood Pressure
- Thyroid Problems
- Extremely over or under weight
- Muscle or joint problems
- History of spontaneous miscarriages
- Repeated C Sections
- History of previous premature labors
- Carrying multiples (e.g., twins, triplets)
- Incompetent cervix
- Persistent bleeding
- A previously sedentary lifestyle
NOTE: If you experience problems such as bleeding, premature labor, dizziness, severe abdominal pain, or feeling unusually tired, during or after exercise, you should stop immediately and contact your healthcare provider before continuing.
You've been here before.
You told your friends that you were going to lose weight last year...only to fall off the wagon two weeks later and give up.
You managed to successfully fit into those old pair of pants back in January...before getting sick.
You won that weight loss competition at work...and immediately put all of the weight back on.
You started a blog to track your progress...and then gave up after two weeks.
You went to the gym for a whole month straight...before things at work got busy.
You've told yourself dozens of times before that "this time its going to be different" ...before doing things the same way as before and getting the same results.
This time, it really IS different.
This time, you've identified your kryptonite and know how to avoid it.
This time, you've identified how to build systems and remove emotion from the equation.
This time, you've built your support team.
This time, you've finally learned how to eat right and not let drinking stand in the way.
This time, you've decided to put your money where your mouth is, like Saint.
This time, you've stopped collecting underpants and put your focus on phase two.
This time, you've learned how to track your progress.
This time, you've finally realized that "eventually" never happens.
This time, you've finally realized that the ONLY person who believes your excuses is you.
Prove them wrongWhen you tell your friends you're going to get in shape, they might say "good for you" while secretly doubting you.
And who can blame them? You've been here before.
Prove them wrong.
And while you're at it, prove that little voice in your head that says "you can't do this" WRONG too.
Every single day, quietly "go to work" and get a little bit better.
Be thankful for all of the times you've failed before.
They got you where you are today.
And today's a brand new freaking day.
This time, it's different.
Now prove it.
5:00pm Low Impact Fitness Training
6:00pm High Intensity Fitness Training
7:15pm – Zumba
6:00pm High Intensity Fitness Training
9am - Fitness Boot Camp
Classes are all 8weeks - $40 per session.
The CSD Fitness Boot Camp Starts May 5th @ 9am here in Helendale - via the Helendale Park and Rec. Dept – located: 26540 Vista Rd Ste C. – Cost: $40 for 8 weeks. Contact me for details - Patty 760-951-3508 firstname.lastname@example.org. Exercising with a friend is a great way to keep you coming back week after week!!!
If Saturdays don't fit into you workout plan....
Try week nights... and make new friends!
5:00pm Low Impact Fitness Training
6:00pm High Intensity Fitness Training
7:15pm – Zumba
6:00pm High Intensity Fitness Training
Conniving. Manipulative. Scheming. I'm not talking about your ex; I'm talking about your grocery store. On your next trip, be prepared to fight back against the tactics most supermarket chains use to get you to spend more money on "extras" that you don't really need-tactics that affect your wallet and your health.
You're on your weekly grocery trip. You've got your list in hand, and you're ready to purchase the items you need for your healthy, preplanned meals. You walk through the supermarket doors and?oh! Look at the Fourth of July decorations! Visions of cookouts, party favors and kids with sparklers are now dancing through your head. You hang around the display, pick up a "two-for" deal on red, white and blue wrapped chocolates, and grab streamers and balloons because your sister-in-law might have forgotten supplies to jazz up the kids table for the party next week. 2,549 calories and at least $10 unplanned dollars later, you've been the victim of a grocery store scam.
Distractions at the grocery store happen, and that's no accident. Strategic product placements purposely distract you from your well-intended list and entice you to purchase those little extras. Supermarket chains spend thousands upon thousands of dollars to know exactly how, where, when, and why you shop. They use this information to get you to linger longer, fill your basket-make that your cart-to the brim, and spend more of your hard-earned cash than you intended to spend. But your grocer may be scamming more than just your wallet with these marketing maneuvers.
Let's put on our spy gear and take a mental tour through the supermarket to investigate the nooks and crannies where stores hide their tricks. Take note so the next time you head to the grocery, you'll have a plan of attack.
End the End Cap Enticement
Conveniently placed on the end of every aisle, "end caps" are home to sale items and seasonal kits that may not have been on your list but look oh-so-inviting when you see them. Items for s'mores, pumpkin pie, or green bean casserole are often creativity combined on these aisle ends. Foods on end caps are generally low in nutrients and high in added fat and sugar. Battle plan: If it's on your list for greater health, you just saved a trip down the aisle. If it's not, smile, but keep walking past the pretty display and find your next listed item.
Shelve Your Impulses
Major brands pay grocers to shelve their top-selling items at eye level. They even go so far as to place products geared toward children right within their little paws' reach-cartoon characters, bright colors and all are low to the ground or cart-level for wee ones who sit in the seat of your shopping cart. Battle plan: Make an educated decision. Glance up and down before choosing an item (less inexpensive generic items, often the same nutritionally, might be lower or higher on the shelf than more expensive brand named products). And always check out the nutrition facts label. Also, if you are shopping with the kiddies, ask them to help you find healthful foods in the store. Turn your grocery list into a scavenger hunt checklist to play as you shop.
Show Seasonal Spirit Who's Boss
Memorial Day (Super Bowl Sunday, Thanksgiving, or really, any other holiday) is right around the corner and you can bet your buttons the local grocer won't let you forget it! Decorations, party favors and supplies are mixed in with fat- and sugar-laden desserts and snacks, all in one convenient center aisle display. Grocery stores play on your holiday spirit, enticing you to pick up extra goodies on a whim! These add-ons amp up your bill at the check out and can add loads of calories to your stash very quickly. Battle plan: Plan your celebration, complete with healthy snacks and recipes, and stick to it. Ditch the "we just might need" mentality. Simplicity is best (and healthiest) during these times of year!
Boycott the Bakery
The smell of fresh bread, cinnamon rolls and apple pie is wafting through the baked goods area as you're picking up your whole-grain bread this week. Your senses are begging you to bring some home; it just smells too good! Many grocery stores strategically plan their baking times during the busiest hour of the day. It has been proved that shoppers pick up more items when the luscious smells are present in the store. Battle plan: You've heard this one before. Never shop on an empty stomach. Shopping after a meal can help stave off cravings and keep you focused on the task at hand. Think about the delicious meals you are shopping for and don't let distraction get the best of you. If you must, send in the troops to grab your items and avoid any too-tempting aisles altogether!
Bust by Bargains
You see the signs: 5 for $10! Buy two get one FREE! 2 for the price of 1! These "bargains" can seem like a great idea, but consider the product you're saving on. If it's on your list of super-healthy, nutritious foods, go for it! You've helped your health AND your pocketbook. However, consider the product-healthfulness should trump a bargain every time. Do you really need five rolls of cookie dough or a free box of pastries? It's not likely. Battle plan: If you're only getting it because it's on sale, you probably don't need it. The same rule goes for non-food items like toiletries, cleaning products and household items. No excuses here.
Free Yourself from Free Samples
When you see little carts set up with mini toasters and microwaves handing out bits and pieces of goodies, you've entered the realm of free samples. This tactic is widely implemented by grocers to increase products sales because it works wonderfully. Free sample stations are great ways to demonstrate the versatility of certain products, but how often are the featured foods healthful or nutrient-dense? How often are they full of vitamins, minerals, lean protein, healthy fats and fiber? How often do they feature whole, unprocessed foods that are naturally good for you? The products grocers generally hand out to promote sales are convenience items, ones that shouldn't be on your shopping list if you're trying to eat healthier. Battle plan: If the product is free of trans fats, made with whole grains or free of added sweeteners, enjoy a little nibble. Use your label-reading skills to determine if it's a healthful item you can pick up during your next grocery trip. Look at the amount of protein, calories, fiber, added sugars, salt, and types of fats to assess how healthful the food might be.
Outsmart Checkout Impulses
And the last, but certainly not least dangerous contact point between you and your supermarket's products is the checkout lane. Fully stocked with sugary, salty and saturated fatty snacks, these grab-n-go items can pack a punch when it comes to piling on empty calories. Along with the plethora of candy situated in the checkout aisle are cold sodas, foamy fountain drinks, salty trail mixes and magazines touting the latest weight-loss craze. You can easily add hundreds of calories and a few extra bucks to your bill in the minutes you spend checking out. Battle plan: Flip through a magazine you know you won't buy, chat with the person standing behind you in line, organize your groceries perfectly on the conveyor belt-anything to keep your hand from wandering to those impulse purchases. If you haven't eaten in hours and you don't think you can make it home, plan ahead and purchase an extra piece of fruit to eat on your ride home.
Focus first when it comes to grocery shopping. Be mindful and make your moves with intention to keep impulses at bay. Many times, our habits drive our purchase decisions and "wants" trump "needs." Making a list, sticking to it, and questioning yourself each time an "extra" almost lands in your cart will not only save you a pretty penny, but will also keep your healthy living habits on track.