Are You Skinny Fat?

I know a lot of people that are relatively skinny - but that do not exercise in any way shape or form. Some of these people follow strict diets, while others eat whatever they want. But alas, there is a difference between looking thin and being healthy - and that difference is body composition.

Thin people that do not exercise are often considered “skinny fat” - a recently coined term referring to people that look thin on the outside, but that have a disproportionate amount of fatty tissue on the inside. They look healthy on the outside - but the inside tells a very different story. My mom always said, “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and the skinny fat epidemic is proving her correct.

The number on the scale is not an accurate measure of your body’s health. Period. A scale can be massively misleading - true health isn’t measured by weight alone, but rather by a number of factors like body fat testing, cholesterol levels, blood pressure and so on.

Fortunately, skinny fat is very treatable. It just takes a little energy, effort and dedication. Here are some of my best tips for breaking out of the skinny fat syndrome:

  1. Do cardiovascular and strength training exercises. Cardio means hitting the treadmill, bike or swimming. Do an exercise that you enjoy - but that makes you sweat. Strength training means lifting weights or using weighted machines. Cardio incinerates fat and boosts you metabolism; it will build needed muscle and help to improve your fat to muscle ratio.
  2. Don’t eat whatever you want. You know what’s healthy and what is not - stick to a reasonable nutrition plan. I recommend using the 80/20 rule.
  3. Manage your stress. With stress comes cortisol and with cortisol comes abdominal fat and muscle breakdown. Managing stress will not just improve your life - but it will improve your health.

Bottom line: Don’t gauge your healthy but a scale alone - and wherever you’re at on your health and wellness journey, exercise and nutrition are necessary components.

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.


  1. b3n03vil says:

    Interesting topic to start off with. I have never heard of ‘skinny fat’ but I’m aware of people who are skinny fat. I usually notice them eating whatever, are never active but they still look like they’re in good shape. Thin doesn’t mean healthy though, so I tell them to watch their sodium and cholesterol intake. Skinny people get heart-attacks and strokes too!

  2. You know I have been told for many years that I am really just a skinny fat kid or just a fat kid in disguise ~ and I know that if it weren’t for my high metabolism that I would be fatter than I am right now. I stand at 6’3″ and weigh between 155 & 160 lbs and I have been that weight for the past 5 1/2 almost 6 years. When I was in high school I did eat whatever I wanted ~ fast food multiple times a day and just random trips to the pantry. But with all this I never worked out until I went in the Military and was forced to work out. Now that I am out of the Military I don’t work out again but I a more conscious of what I am eating since I am becoming a Chef, but I still eat a lot of food and will have the occasional McDonald’s and what not. With the start of my school year coming up next month I am going to start working out again, but I do agree with this fact of being the skinny fatness.

  3. Davey!!
    This is a great blog. I know exactly what you mean about these “skinny fat” individuals, in fact I have a few friends that follow this lifestyle. I have been following your blogs and videos for quite some time now (have not missed one) and I’ve decided that seeing how you have a boyfriend…I cannot steal you-Which I’m sure everyone who follows your blogs would love to do. Your energy and overall good nature baffles me. You are definitely on my list of people I would love to meet someday. Keep on making people happy 😀


  4. i m skinny fat .. i cant go to gym .. because i dnt have much time … is there any way ..i could do training at home ??? ..HELP

    • Benjamin says:

      affan, i’m also “skinny fat” i live where we have no gym, the nearest one is three hours away, and after reading davey’s blog i bought his total body assault workout videos and plan to try them. And he suggests doing different , i think he called them zones, each day so that you have variety and time for muscle recovery.
      BTW i’m 5’9″ and weigh only sixty kilos so i’m pretty thin and at work i’m on my feet for eight hours a day, so i believe davey’s fitness program will help me to increase my stamina and overall health.

    • Yes - there are three things that I’d recommend.

      1.) Eat a healthy and balanced diet.
      2.) Run - even if you don’t have a treadmill. Jog outside or do something that makes you sweat. This will help burn fat.
      3.) Do basic strength training - things like push ups and pull ups will build muscle mass and improve your fat/muscle ratio.

  5. I have the opposite body type, I’m afraid. Whatever I do, I’m always going to look a little heavy. I’m just built that way.

  6. Well, i’m in the skinny fat category, but i do have a goal: if my calculations are right, i have about 20-21% body fat, by new years, i wanna reach 12-14. I hope i can do it!
    PS> i train at home too, you can find fitness programs online, get some reviews and choose the one that fits you best. You don’t ever need to go to the gym. Although i would like that too! 🙂

  7. this is a great blog, finally someone who talks about fitness in a way I can understand 🙂

    I’m really skinny thanks to awesome genetics. I don’t think I’m skinny fat though, I use to work out a bit. I’ve tried to gain some weight ( I’d have to gain about six to seven pounds to reach a BMI of 20) but since I eat very slowly i’ts impossible for me to eat enough to build up muscle, especially since I eat lots of vegetables and fruit and dont like junkfood.

    about eating healthy: would you consider tempura deep fried vegetables, one of my favourite foods) as healthy or unhealthy?

  8. Mitchell Baker says:

    I found this idea of “skinny fat” very interesting. I consider myself thin, but I always feel like I could stand to lose some fat on my body. By the way Davey, I find you very inspiring. I’ve been watching your youtube videos forever and get excited every time there is a new one. Thank you for everything. I really do admire you. 🙂

  9. Very interesting and well written. I think sadly this describes me very well. I do go on brisk walks at least 4 to 5 times a week, but that’s pretty much my sole exercise…

  10. Oh god, I feel like such a skinny fat loser at school. Maybe I should start using your workout videos.

  11. I definitely fit into the “Skinny Fat” category. Maybe I ought to cut out some of the things I eat that aren’t too good for me and start doing some push-ups. Maybe I could take up running again and mix some crunches in there too. Heh, this sounds like a good idea to me. Let’s do it! =D

  12. I am skinny fat. I’m working on it, alright ?! 😉

  13. yes that’s true
    thanks 🙂

  14. its actually pretty fun when eye-fucking— i mean jealous of someones body to think ha! skinny fat! makes you happyier about yourself, and as long as you dont accidentally blurt out anything from this comment with said subtlely-raped person, theyll, be happy with their (possibly not skinny fat, maybe just skinny) body, and you get happier from looking and not being as jealous because you know that their body isn’t necessarily healthy….. oooo need more davey wavey videos to eye-fuck………. ily dw xx

  15. Hey Davey. I’m 15 yrs old and I want to be muscular or just be normal because i’m skinny. I eat a lot everyday but never gets fat. I search on internet that ejaculation can lose weight and this is my question. is this true?

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  1. […] thin isn’t a necessarily good indicator of health. You’ve probably heard the term skinny-fat used to describe individuals who are thin - but totally unhealthy. These individuals, despite […]