How to tell if you are skinny fat?

In this brief article, we will answer the question, “How to tell if you are skinny fat?” and provide information on what skinny fat means, some dangers of being skinny fat, how to reduce visceral fat levels as well as how to check fat levels.

How to tell if you are skinny fat?

An increase in body fat percentage can help you tell whether you are skinny fat. An excess amount of fat present around the waist can be another sign of skinny fat. If you suspect that you are skinny fat, check your body composition. 

An increase in triglycerides, LDL, and low HDL levels can be another indicator. Apart from this, higher glucose and blood pressure levels can be a sign of being skinny fat.

What exactly does skinny fat mean?

Skinny fat means individuals who appear to have normal weight but higher levels of visceral fat. These individuals can be termed as metabolically obese with normal weight. Such persons have a higher risk of health issues.

The main danger of being skinny fat is that such individuals might not realize that they are prone to developing health issues (as they appear to have a normal weight). 

What are some dangers of being skinny fat?

Individuals who are skinny fat might have a normal weight but they are at a higher risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes unless they switch to a healthier lifestyle. 

A person is at risk of being skinny fat if they consume unhealthy foods and are not physically active.

Individuals who are obese might be able to see visible fat in abdominal regions, thighs, arms, or buttocks. However, people who are skinny fat might not be able to detect higher fat levels. In their case, the visceral fat is high.

Visceral fat is termed internal fat. This fat surrounds the organs. Visceral fat can increase the risk of developing cardiovascular diseases or diabetes. Visceral fat levels can be high even if a person has a normal BMI.

What can you do to reduce visceral fat levels?

  • Make sure to consume foods containing fiber. Foods that have fiber can provide satiety. Some of the foods that have fiber include whole grains, fruits, leafy veggies, nuts, and whole pulses.

Fiber can reduce levels of cholesterol and blood glucose levels. Besides, fruits and veggies contain water. This can further promote satiety and help in losing weight.

  • Keep yourself hydrated. If you keep forgetting to drink water, you can keep a water bottle next to your workstation. If you are tired of consuming water all the time, you can switch to consuming soups and juices.

Make sure to consume homemade juices as commercially prepared ones can be high in sugar.

Besides drinking water can help in filling your stomach too. Water also aids in flushing out toxins from your body.

  • Exercise plays an important role in reducing visceral fat levels. Individuals should indulge in a minimum of 30 minutes of exercise per day. If you have a sedentary job, it can be better to take breaks in between by standing up at your desk and walking around.

Indulging in sports like swimming, cycling, or even dancing can be beneficial. Apart from this, people can also climb stairs instead of taking a lift.

  • Sleeping on time is critical to health. Sleep deficiency can be linked to obesity. As a result, avoid skipping sleep and make a proper sleep schedule. Switch off the phones before going to sleep.
  • People who are skinny fat tend to have low levels of muscle mass. As a result, they need to consume more protein. 

Protein can be obtained through lean meat, fish and other seafood, pulses, milk/ milk products, and soy. Protein powders can be consumed too.

  • Do not completely avoid consuming fats. Instead consume healthy fats obtained from nuts and use healthier oils like canola, soy, or rice bran oil.

How to check your fat levels?

You can use skin calipers to check your fat levels. Even though skin calipers might not give the accurate amount of fat present in your body, they can definitely be an inexpensive way to check body fat.

If you want more accurate results, DEXA (Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry), bio-impedance, and underwater weighing can be other ways to check fat. Among these, underwater weighing can be difficult to conduct but bio-impedance and DEXA are pretty accurate.

Bio-impedance devices are easy to use. It can give both abdominal and visceral fat levels which can help you in determining whether you are skinny fat.


In this brief article, we have answered the question, “How to tell if you are skinny fat?” and provided information on what skinny fat means, some dangers of being skinny fat, how to reduce visceral fat levels as well as how to check fat levels.