People who stay thin despite an indulgent diet often have a high percentage of body fat, which can lead to diseases as they age. In such cases, a need exists to reduce body fat and increase lean muscle mass. A weight loss program can actually worsen the condition if it causes too much muscle loss along with fat loss. If you are skinny fat, aim to maintain muscle mass and reduce body fat.
- Skill level:
Weigh yourself on the scale and check a body mass index, or BMI. BMI helps you determine whether you have the healthy weight for your height, but it can be misleading for people who are short, muscular, tall and people with certain health conditions.
Measure around your waist at the level of your belly button, then measure your hip circumference. Divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement. If you have a waist-to-hip ratio of above 1 for men or above 0.8 for women, then you need to improve your body composition.
Start an exercise program that starts with weight training, followed by a shorter cardiovascular session that can involve running, using the elliptical trainer or aerobics. This lets you use maximum strength for lifting and continue to burn fat during cardiovascular exercise. Start with the weights you can comfortably handle, then increase the weight as you go. Exercise two to three times every week.
Divide your meals into several smaller meals, eating every three hours. Increase your protein intake to help your body build muscle and repair itself after exercise. Eat carbohydrates that have low sugar contents.
Take 1,500 mg of conjugated linoleic acid, or CLA, twice a day. It helps your body lose body fat, especially in the abdomen area. It also maintains muscle mass. CLA takes time to show results, so try it for at least three months.
Take 100 mg of 7-Keto dehydroeplandrosterone, or DHEA, to maintain your metabolic rate.
Reduce your stress level because high levels of cortisol or stress hormone can trigger the breakdown of muscle mass and increase the fat deposit around the abdomen. Taking 500 to 750 mg of a blend containing Magnolia officinalis and Phellodendron amurense can help balance your stress level. About 100 mg of Phosphatidylserine, or PS, can also protect your brain and muscles from the effects of stress.
Tips and warnings
- Eat within 45 minutes after exercise to replenish your strength.
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