You run everyday and eat healthy, but it takes little more than an invite to indulge in a fattening dinner or skip your regular workout. Missing servings of fruits and vegetables, while allowing too many processed foods in your diet, outweighs the hours you log hitting the road for a short post-work run.
When this happens, you become skinny fat, or, as it’s medically referred to, metabolically obese normal weight (MONW). Mark Hyman, MD, describes this in the Huffington Post, “It means you are under lean but over fat — not enough muscle and too much fat (especially belly fat).”
If you’re not sure where you fall on the healthy to fat scale, there are a few ways to figure it out and fix it.
See Your Doctor
Head to your doctor and ask for a variety of tests. Hyman says the following tests will give you a clear picture of whether you fall under the skinny fat category.
- Glucose: Have your glucose levels tested while fasting. Be tested 2 hours after having the equivalent of two sodas, as well. Your levels should be less than 90 mg/dl when fasting and below 120 mg/dl after one or two hours of having the sodas.
- NMR Lipid Particle Test: Get tested for the number and size of your cholesterol particles. Total, there should be fewer than 1,000.
Eat More of This
So, if the tests come back and confirm your concerns, it’s time to get back on the right track. Eat more of these to improve your overall health.
- Low glycemic load foods: This includes nuts, non-gluten grains, vegetables and lean meat.
- Plants: A plant-based diet is always the healthiest choice. If it grows naturally from the ground, you can and should eat it.
- Protein: Plan to eat more eggs, chicken, nuts, and fish; this will get your metabolism humming all day long.
Eat Less of That
After adding some healthier items to your diet, take out the things that are making you skinny fat.
- Sugary drinks: Starbucks coffees, soda and powdered iced tea should no longer be a part of your diet. Go for leaf tea, black coffee or seltzer water.
- Processed foods: Processed foods should never be a part of a healthy diet. If it comes in a package, you can bet it’s processed. These foods are laden with sodium, MSG, and other harmful chemicals and additives that play with your body and hormones.
Add Strength Training to Your Routine
Finally, a healthy body is a strong body. With robust muscles, you’ll burn more fat while you workout and when you rest. But, strength training doesn’t have to include lifting weights. If you don’t want to hang with the body builders in the weight room, try some of these moves.
- Jumping Jacks
- Abdomen exercises
With a few simple diet and exercise changes, you can go from being skinny fat to skinny strong. Eliminate the wrong things, add in the right things, and feel your body get healthier in no time.