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Overweight? Are You Skinny Fat? Burned Out Fat? Or Stressed Fat?

Posted: October 12, 2016 > Body > In the news > interesting & new > liposuction > tummy tuck > Blog Home

laurengreenbergmd_healthyeatingIn researching another topic for a blog, I found this on The Telegraph website.  Now I am a doctor, and I love science.  I am not sure how all of this holds true, and I would need to research it. But in reading their categories, I thought it was an interesting way of looking at fat. Most of their recommendations would apply to everyone: build muscle, sleep well, eat protein, avoid stress, eat small meals. As I Google “skinny fat,” a host of articles come up.

Here is what I found on the original article:


Characterised by:

  • Poor diet and exercise regime
  • Healthy or low BMI
  • Lack of muscle tone
  • Poor metabolic health (high-blood lipids, high blood glucose, visceral fat). Visceral fat is normally present when there is a large build-up of fat around the abdominal area.
  • In more extreme cases, visceral fat can coat the internal organs, leading to serious cardiovascular health problems and diabetes.

How to tackle it:

  • Identify problem areas by measuring body fat using callipers; a DEXA scan can reveal the presence of visceral fat.
  • Building muscle is key: an exercise programme should stress cardiovascular and muscle resistance.
  • Diet should then support the exercise demands: make sure you are fuelled properly if you’re exercising (carb intake should match exercise demands).


Characterised by:

  • Constant tiredness
  •  Interrupted sleep patterns or difficulty dropping off
  • Increased appetite and carbohydrate and sugar cravings
  • Tiredness can negatively affect metabolism by causing shifts in “hunger hormones”.

How to tackle it:

  • Cutting down on alcohol will help to regulate your sleep patterns.
  • Add protein to every meal – this will help to control your body’s insulin levels by slowing down your rate of digestion.
  • Introduce a sleep-inducing wind-down time to the end of the day: banish distractions, sip a caffeine-free herbal tea. Have a relaxing bath, read a book in bed.
  • Supplements that can help with sleep include magnesium, Lactium, taurine and vitamin B.
  • Introducing regular cardio and weight-bearing exercises will promote a healthier sleep pattern, as well as help you build muscle.


Characterised by:

  • Inability to lose weight, even when dieting; weight accumulation around the tummy.
  • Stress fat is normally related to burnt-out fat, as they have a knock-on effect to one another – all hormones in the body work together as part of the endocrine system.

How to tackle it:

  • Stop dieting: if you deprive yourself, your body will think it’s being starved, which raises stress levels, contributing to fat storage
  • Eat little and often to control blood sugar fluctuations and eliminate refined carbohydrates, sugar and alcohol.
  • Sip herbal tea instead of caffeine (a stimulant makes you more stressed, causing more release of cortisol, thus more fat around the middle).
  • Food also plays an important role in stress relief. Making healthy food choices – balanced protein, fresh fruit such as raspberries, blueberries and cherries, and vegetables – will aid a sense of wellbeing. Avocado, asparagus and nuts are good healthy, stress-relieving foods to include.

Please keep in mind: subjects covered in this blog and certain tips and advice are not substitutes for professional medical advice. This blog is for general informational purposes only. If you are considering plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery, or cosmetic enhancement, you should always consult with a board-certified plastic surgeon and/or your general practitioner in-person for professional medical advice.

If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or (in the United States) 911 immediately. Always seek the advice of your doctor before starting or changing treatment.

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