Teen girl eating a tomatoAh, to be skinny. Reminders of what you want to achieve are everywhere, with the cultural message that it feels really good to be skinny (and it doesn’t feel that great to be overweight). I In addition to how being overweight psychologically feels, it also brings on a huge array of other problems: heart disease, obesity, depression, high blood pressure and the list goes on. But, did you know that even when you do become skinny it doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re healthy? Skinny isn’t always the healthier choice—in fact, in some cases, it can be deadly. Here’s the real facts about a svelte figure that you need to know.

The Diabetes/Low Body Fat Connection

Are you starving yourself for a day or two, only to overindulge in a famished state of mind later? If you’ve ever gone through this viscous cycle—hardly eating a thing until lunch and then going hours without having a bite until it’s time for a late dinner, you’re body isn’t happy.  In fact, when it does get some much needed food, it’s going to store as much of it as possible (also known as being in a state of starvation.) You can’t blame your bod. When you eat infrequency, it doesn’t know when its next meal will be, so it stores as much fat as possible.

Measuring WaistHere’s where the real problem comes into play: the deeper the fat is stored in your body (which is generally out of your control, as it’s a determination of gender and genetics), the greater of  a risk it poses for heart disease, obesity and type 2 diabetes.  While you can look ‘skinny’ and altogether fall under the slender category, it’s where your fat is being stored that’s the biggest concern. Skinny doesn’t always mean healthy. If your fat is stored in your muscles or around your organs (as opposed to under your skin), it can greatly affect the health of your body.

What’s the cure?

Focus on health, not the number on a scale. To find out if you have the skinny/fat gene, start by becoming informed. Ask your doctor to give you some blood tests done that will tell you what your cholesterol and glucose levels are. Being skinny doesn’t always mean you’re healthy. Get informed, and become slender AND healthy by knowing how you store your fat, and what steps to take to be your healthiest and happiest!