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skinny fat

The term skinny fat can be confusing – how can someone be skinny and fat at the same time? Well skinny fat people are those that look skinny in clothes, but have high body fat and low muscle mass. So underneath those clothes they actually look soft and flabby.

Both men and women can be skinny fat, but I’m just going to focus on skinny fat women in this blog post, and what they need to do to go from skinny fat to fit and toned.

AM I SKINNY FAT?

Skinny fat women tend to carry most of the fat around their mid-section, especially hips and thighs. You know, the dreaded “muffin top / love handles” and “saddlebags.”

If you are skinny, but struggle with fat around your hips and thighs that you can’t seem to get rid of, then you might be skinny fat.skinny fat

WHY AM I SKINNY FAT?

The skinny fat body is usually caused by one, two or all of these:

  1. Doing cardio only, and avoiding resistance training
  2. Poor diet
  3. Genetic factors

I often see the skinny fat syndrome in women who do lots of cardio and don’t do any resistance training. The cardio keeps them slim but doesn’t build enough muscle to keep their body fat levels down. As you get older, your metabolism naturally slows down. Building muscle helps to keep your metabolism up and your body fat levels down. Avoiding resistance training can cause the skinny fat look.

Eating a poor diet high in carbohydrates and refined foods will also cause you to look skinny fat and store a lot of excess body weight in the mid region.

Also, being skinny fat can be a genetic trait, so you can thank your parents for that! If you genetically have this body type, it is not impossible to change. With the right workout program and a good diet, you can become skinny and toned!

I should also mention that in some cases, being skinny fat can be caused by a range of health conditions including hypothyroidism, hormone imbalances, certain medications (such as the contraceptive pill and antibiotics), gut health issues, and more. If you have been exercising consistently (both cardio and resistance training) and eating a good diet for a long time, but still can’t seem to lose weight and tone up, then it could be worth seeing a health professional.

SKINNY FAT WORKOUT PLAN

skinny fat

For skinny fat people who want to tone up and lose a bit of excess body fat, you will need to do a combination of resistance training and cardio.

As I mentioned above, it’s really important that you don’t neglect resistance training. Building muscle will help boost your metabolism and also reduce your body fat levels.

The resistance training should include both a mix of high intensity interval training (HIIT) and circuits using weights or body weight. HIIT is an awesome exercise for skinny fat people because it burns a really high number of calories in a short period of time. But the best part is, after your HIIT workout, you will continue to burn more calories. HIIT is one of the best exercises to get rid of the skinny fat body.skinny fat

However, another really common complaint I hear from women is that they become too muscular when doing HIIT and lifting weights, particularly in their legs. I have written a blog post on how to lift weights without getting bulky, to help with this exact issue. It has some good guidelines and workout ideas that will help you tone up, without getting bigger and too muscular.

If you are already skinny, you don’t necessarily need to do a lot of cardio. But I do recommend it so that you stay slim with all of the HIIT and weight lifting you will be doing. Please have a read of this blog post on cardio and why it’s so important for getting lean legs.

Skinny Fat Recommended Workout Plan

The workout program below is only a framework to guide you. If you really want to get started and get results, it is best to have a proper plan to follow. You will be much more likely to stick to it and be consistent if you are able to follow a guide.

The workout program in my eBook is great for skinny fat women because the workouts will help you tone up and get rid of your skinny fat body, but without becoming bigger. If you are serious about getting results, then it is definitely worth investing time and money into yourself.

My weekly workout recommendation for a skinny fat person would include the following:

1-2 days of full body resistance training

You don’t need to lift heavy weights – you can use body weight only, lighter dumbbells, resistance bands, ankle weights and gliding discs. Just get those muscles working. Aim for a 30 minute resistance training workout.

Also, please have a look at the blog post I mentioned above some guidelines on how to lift weights without getting bulky.

1-2 days of high intensity interval training

As I mentioned, HIIT is amazing for getting rid the skinny fat look, and the workouts don’t need to take long! You can do a great HIIT workout in 20-30 minute.

Just be careful not to overdo it on lower body HIIT exercises such as burpees, jump squats, jump lunges, box jumps, etc as they can make your legs overly muscular. I have posted lots of different HIIT workouts that won’t cause bulk, so have a look at these for some workout ideas.

If you prefer not to do HIIT (especially endomorph women who may get bigger with HIIT), that’s OK. You can still get great results with full body resistance training, and I would aim for 3 sessions per week in total.

1-2 days of high intensity cardio

High intensity cardio can include exercises such as running, swimming, dancing, cycling, etc. Do something that you love so that you will actually stick to it! Keep your high intensity cardio workouts to 20-30 minutes (obviously if it’s a dance class or spin class, you can go longer).

Plus, it’s a great idea to try and fit in as much low intensity cardio as you can!

1-2 days of rest

It’s really important to give your body some time to rest and your muscles to recover. Overtraining can cause you to hold onto excess body fat, so if you feel like your body needs a break, give it one.

Skinny Fat Weekly Workout Schedule

So for example, your weekly workout schedule might look like this:

  • Monday – 30 minute full body resistance training + 30 minute walk
  • Tuesday – 20-30 minute run
  • Wednesday – 20-30 minute HIIT circuit + 30 minute walk
  • Thursday – REST or full body resistance training
  • Friday – 20-30 minute run
  • Saturday – 20-30 minute HIIT circuit + 30 minute walk
  • Sunday – REST

SKINNY FAT DIET PLAN

skinny fat

Diet plays a huge part in your body’s ability to lose weight, so you can’t just rely on a good workout program alone. If you don’t eat a good diet, you won’t get rid of the excess body fat.

In general, someone who is skinny fat and looking to lose excess body fat will follow similar guidelines to anyone that is trying to lose body fat.

Cut The Crap

You don’t need to do anything fancy with your nutrition. Just cut out the packaged foods (think anything unnatural that comes in a bottle, packet, tin or box), processed foods, fizzy drinks, sugary foods, deep fried food and anything that is “typical” junk food such as cakes and chocolate. I’m not saying that you can never eat it, just try to limit it to a few times per week and keep portion sizes under control!

Reduce Carbs

It is becoming more and more well-known now that a diet lower in carbohydrates will help you lose weight quicker. Don’t cut out carbs completely though as your body still needs them and that’s where all the fiber is! You just need to be smart about it.

  • Switch any white carbs (i.e. bread, rice) to brown and whole meal varieties;
  • Eat more carbs on your workout days and less carbs on your rest days;
  • Try to eat most of your carbs at breakfast or post workout;
  • Aim to get most of your carbs from fruit, vegetables, and whole grains.

Fruit and Veg

Fruit and starchy vegetables such as potatoes do contain carbohydrates, but they also contain a range of vitamins, minerals and fiber, which your body needs. I know your probably always hear people talking about fiber and how you should try to eat more of it. But it really does play a huge part in keeping you full and regular.

Aim for 2-3 pieces of fruit per day, and at least 5 serves of vegetables. This can be hard to do without consciously thinking about it, so you really need to make the effort.

Try to eat vegetables with every single meal and snack to get those 5 serves in. If you have smoothies for breakfast, add some spinach. If you have an omelette, add spinach and other green vegetables. Some of my favourite healthy snacks are carrot sticks and hummus, egg cups made from eggs and vegetables in muffin tins, and whole pieces of fruit.

Lunch and dinner are a little easier to eat vegetables – pack them in as much as you can! 1 cup of vegetables has very little calories in it compared to any other foods so will keep you full, fill you with nutrients and won’t result in weight gain.

Water

It can also be hard to drink the required 2L of water per day if you’re not consciously thinking about it. Try recording your water intake for a couple of days to see how much you are actually drinking, and aim for 2-3L per day. This will also help with bloating. One of my favourite tips is to carry a water bottle around with you everywhere you go. It will help you drink more water!

SUMMARY

To summarize all of the information above:

  • Skinny fat people are those who look skinny in clothes, but underneath the clothes look soft and flabby;
  • The skinny fat body is caused by doing cardio only, eating a poor diet, and genetic factors;
  • The skinny fat workout includes a mix of resistance training (HIIT and lifting weights) plus cardio;
  • The skinny fat diet includes reducing carbs and sugar, and eating more fruit and vegetables; and
  • Drinking lots of water is also very important and will help with bloating.

If you stick to a good workout and nutrition plan you will get results. But you need to be consistent and actually put in the work! Eating healthy for a few days and then binging, going out of for lots of meals, drinking alcohol or skipping workouts, will set you back. You need to be consistent!

GET STARTED WITH MY SKINNY LEGS PROGRAM

If you need help with a plan, or you don’t know where to start with resistance training, or you tend to get bulky when you lift weights, then my eBooks are perfect for you!

My eBooks include a full workout and nutrition program which will help you get a lean and toned body, and get rid of your skinny fat body forever.

And because all of us are different, I have created separate eBooks for each of the 3 main body types.

Click here to find out more about my eBooks.

Steps to Lean Legs ebook Rachael Attard

Related Post

90 comments on “What To Do If You’re Skinny Fat”

  • Faydra says:

    Hi Rachael! I have found you on Instagram then traveled along to your website and I’m looking into skinny fat notes! I just have a question, since I workout in the morning, (the only time I have to squeeze it in before school) from 5:00 to 6:00 and I have no idea what and how much to eat before and after!! Help!

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Hi hun, I have a blog post on what to eat before / after exercise – here’s the link. If you’re doing it straight away in the morning, then you don’t necessarily need to eat something, unless you prefer it. If you need something before exercise, I suggest 1/2 a banana or something small. After workouts you should eat a mixture of carbs and fats so a piece of whole meal toast with avocado and poached eggs or a spinach and bacon omelette would be great! x

  • Shay says:

    Hi Rachael! I came across your blog and I love all of the advice you provide. I was on your instagram page and you had said that you had a blog post for ‘skinny fat’ people. I am one of those people but my only fear with working out is that I DO NOT want to gain any weight because I have health issues that affect me when my body weight is too high. Is it possible to tone up WITHOUT changing your body weight? I actually could do with losing around 2 kgs (lol). I am 5’4 and 52 kgs. It would mean so, so much if you responded back! Again, your blog is the first blog I’ve come across that may be able to help me! :D

    Thank you!!

    • Andrew Brown says:

      Hi Shay, Rachael here. Yes it is definitely possible to change your body composition without gaining weight. When I did it, I actually lost a little bit of weight :) Just stick to a mix of HIIT, weights and cardio, and make sure you’re eating right and you’ll get the results! x

  • Shay says:

    Hi Rachael! I came across your blog and fell in love with it instantly because I feel like you provide accurate information. I saw on your IG that there was a post for ‘skinny fat’ people like myself. I was thinking go buying your skinny legs guidebooks but I had a question. I am 5’4 and weight 52 kgs and I CANNOT gain any weight due to personal health issues and my question is – can I still lose fat and tone up while keeping my weight the same (50kgs)? I know that I will fluctuate a bit in the beginning but is it possible for a person to become smaller and more toned in appearance whilst weighing the same? I don’t mind losing a few kgs but I cannot gain weight. BTW I am an endomorph (I don’t know if this info will help lol :D).

    Thank you!! and I hope you see my message because I really need help :D

  • Emily says:

    I notice my body seems skinny fat. I constantly have jiggly thighs, a belly, jiggly arms and it’s not disappearing. I’m also wanting to lose my calf fat. Is there any workouts you can recommend? I’ve tried hit and saw it didn’t help much.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Emily. If you’ve already done HIIT and it didn’t work, it is probably more to do with your diet so make sure you get that on track as your first priority! For exercise, I would recommend trying a combination of things – weights, cardio, HIIT, classes, etc. Variety is great! :) All the best xx

  • Crystal says:

    Hi,
    How long should the full day body weight training be, like 40 min?

    And, is lifting heavy Dumbbells ok to gain muscle? ( I’m currently doing 5 lbs. should I do 15 pounds or is that too heavy?)

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Crystal. 40 minutes is a good amount of time for a full body weights session. If you’re doing HIIT, it can be 30 minutes. Dumbbells are great! The weight depends on the exercise and your current strength. I wouldn’t jump straight from 5 lbs to 15 lbs. I would increase it more slowly xx

  • Crystal says:

    Hey Rachel,
    What dumbbell exercises do u recommend for arms and thighs?
    Are bicep curls good for toning arms?

  • Crystal says:

    Oh, and one more thing;).

    Can u give me an example of a hiit circuit workout?
    Like how long and what kind of exercises?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Have a look at these workouts here, here and here for some HIIT exercises. Oh and also bicep curls are OK, but there are body exercises that will tone up your arms and work your entire body too (such as boxing, push ups, etc) xx

  • Eunice says:

    Hi maam rachel im 17 year old girl and i think im skinny fat since my collar bones is quite noticeable but i have a love handles , bra bulges , back fat and stomach fat i was hoping could you tell me what workouts i could do please

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, I think some resistance training would be great to help you tone up! Because you are only 17, I would suggest doing mostly body weight exercises, 3 times per week. And don’t forget that diet is the most important thing to help you get a flat stomach and lean down all over so make sure you try to follow the nutrition advice in this blog post xx

  • Charlie says:

    Hi, Rachael.

    Is there any way to substitute weight training to gain the same results? Due to personal reasons, I don’t like weights.

    Thanks xx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Charlie, I completely understand! I am the same as you and now try to avoid heavy weights as I don’t like the look it gives me. You can definitely still achieve results without lifting weights. I would still do the HIIT if you can (but just do body weight exercises) and then some other style of lighter resistance training – have a read of this blog series for the type of exercises I recommend. Good luck! xx

      • Charlie says:

        Thank you xx

  • Shareen says:

    Hi Rachael,

    I hope you are doing well.

    I came across your website by looking for exercises to get skinny legs without them becoming bulky.

    I am 24 years old and throughout my entire life I had a great body and was always very skinny naturally. I guess I never put any thought into it and took my body for granted, because 2 years ago I started noticing major changes around my thighs and upper legs. I have a office job where I require a lot of sitting, my diet hasn´t been great and I just noticed how my body transformed from being naturally thin to skinny fat. I however never had gained so much fat as to where I became a size more, for this I am super grateful but it is time to get back to the old me :). The way I have been feeling throughout the last two years have been insecure and with lower self esteem. I really want to do my best to get that stubborn fat of my thighs and upper legs, but I am scared by doing exercise I will only make them bigger. I do play tennis and tend to go for runs quite often, but somehow the fat hasn´t disappeared. I am interested in purchasing your e-book – but first could you please, based on my story tell me which category I fit in to make sure I will start doing the adequate exercises and follow the right nutrition plan. My best guess is that I am Ectomorph and that I need to stick to this program.

    Would love to hear back from you regarding this!

    Thanks so much for having this website. It has already been a great discovery for me :).

    Kind regards,
    Shareen

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Shareen, thanks for your comment! From what you have described, I think you also sound like the ectomorph body type. You’ll get results with any program but I think the ectomorph would suit you best! xx

  • Monica says:

    Hi Rachel , I’m Monica I’m 5’4 ,I weigh 145 and im 16 im turning 17 this year in april, Im a skinny girl but my stomach has the most belly fat I really wanted to get a flat stomach and a bigger butt can you give me some advice ?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Monica, if your stomach is the issue then I would definitely make sure you’re eating a healthy diet. I have a few blog posts on how to eat healthy (here and here) and what I eat in a week (here and here) so have a look at these blog posts. And then I would make sure you’re doing some type of resistance training. As you’re still young, I would focus on body weight exercises (check out some exercises here and here). Good luck! xx

  • sheima says:

    Hi Rachel!
    I’m sheima, I’m 16 and suffer from the skinny fat syndrome, sadly.
    I used to always go to the gym when i was overweight but now i realize, it’s not all about cardio in my case.
    I wonder which dumbbells weight a beginner should start with? and for how long should i stick with it till i aim for higher weights?
    I’ve never really done any weight , hiit workouts before since i thought mainly cardio could help me achieve a toned body.
    I have flabby arms, quite big belly and thights.. which makes me really depressed, and i really don’t know where to start..

    And.. since i have a terribly social anixety when it comes to the gym.. do you think i could workout at home and get the same results?
    I need suggestions, advice, everything since i’m lost!
    Please help!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi hun, you can definitely get results without going to the gym! I would start with body weight circuits and body weight hIIT sessions for now – you don’t have to lift weight. Have a look at the workouts that I linked to – it will give you a good idea on some workouts you can do at home to get results :) Also remember that diet is the most important thing when you are trying to lose weight, so make sure you’re eating healthy too :) xx

  • Raeesa says:

    Hi Rachel, I recently started working out but realised I concentrated on too much cardio and have developed the skinny fat syndrome sadly. I’m so glad I came across your article, thank you so much. I really want to get rid of the fat quickly as I’m getting married in a few months, could you please advise me on a good hiit workout and eating plan to lose skinny fat in 2 months? The fat is concentrated on my back (lower back, bra bulge) & stomach & my thighs. What would be the correct dumbbell weight to use and can I workout at home instead of the gym? Thanks again xxx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, congratulations! You can just do body weight HIIT exercises so you don’t need a gym membership. Have a look at some of my HIIT workouts on my blog here and here for some ideas (I also have more, if you look at the related posts section at the bottom of each blog post, or type in HIIT into my blog search bar). Also just remember that diet is the most important thing when it comes to losing weight. Good luck! I’m sure you will look amazing for your big day xxx

  • ana says:

    Very confused. I thought you couldn’t loose fat and build muscle at the same time?

    build muscle= surplus of food and little cardio

    thoughts?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, you can definitely still lose fat and build muscle at the same time. You can still build muscle eating at a calorie deficit (it just might take a bit longer compared to if you were eating at a surplus) xx

  • Sarah says:

    First off, I loved reading this. I’m a 29 yr old mom of 5 and I work full time teaching high school. My youngest are twins that just turned 1. I am skinny fat and it sucks. I was a collegiate athlete at one time and working out and eating right was my life. I may never lose all of the belly. Twins arent as kind as singletons in that department, but I would appreciate any tips you’d have on workouts I could do at home. Getting to a gym regularly seems like a fairy tale.

  • Hajra says:

    Hi, I am 30 yrs old with 5′ and 42kgs i think i am skinny fat because though my waist is 24.5 but i feel my lower is fat and my arms are little jugly with i have not fat thighs but i also don’t have thigh gap too. The main problem is that i don’t do exercise but i walk every day for an hour but i always feel tired. I do eat less because i don’t feel very hungry. I don’t want to loose weight but i want good body.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, that’s great that you do lots of walking! That will help you slim down your legs. But you definitely need to add in some type of resistance training to help you tone up. If you’re really tired all the time and not hungry, there could be some other health issues that you need to get checked for. I would definitely recommend seeing a doctor and / or naturopath to get checked out. Good luck! xx

  • Barbara says:

    Hi Rachael. I read your article on Skinny Fat women with great interest. I am a 41 year old woman of Mediterranean descent, and have only just realised that I probably fall into this category. I feel like I do eat healthily 80% of the time, and practice yoga 4 times a week. I’ve recently joined a gym for women, which has a circuit approach to weight-training mixed with the odd body-weight exercise, and I will usually go 3 times a week. I have also just started to run (slowly!) and will try to go 2/3 times a week. Am I on the right track, or should I join a proper gym where I can use the weights without restriction and try some HIIT classes/DVDs at home? I feel like I never make any progress with my body fat despite my efforts. Any specific advice would be greatly appreciated. Many thanks, Barbara

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Barbara, I think what you’re doing sounds great! I would perhaps try to add in 1-2 more higher intensity workouts such as this or this per week to really get results quickly. But the cardio that you’re doing and circuit training is great, and will help you tone up and get rid of the skinny fat look. Good luck! xx

  • Jojo says:

    Hi Rachel,I came through this website and it’s amazing.I am from India and I am also skinny fat.I am 24 years old,my weight is 49.5 kg and 5’3” height.I want to reduce 5 inch of belly fat without reducing weight.Please tell me the exercise for full body resistance training and HIIT circuit which I can do at home.It’s not possible for me to go gym.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Jojo, thank you! :) The best exercises are HIIT workouts. Please have a look at all the HIIT workouts I have posted on my blog. All of these you can do from home and they will definitely help you reduce belly fat and get rid of the skinny fat look. Just go to my blog and type in HIIT workout and they will all come up :) xx

      • jojo says:

        Thank you dear for your reply.I want to know that if I follow the diet plan and exercise,than in how many weeks I will be able to loose 5inch belly fat??

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Hi Jojo, it really depends on how much you’ve already got to lose and how dedicated you are. 5 inches is a fair amount so will take some time. I would say maybe 3-6 months. Good luck! xx

          • Jojo says:

            I saw your HIIT wokouts in your blog.Please tell me exercise for “full body resistance training” also which I can do at home on Monday.

          • Rachael Attard says:

            Hi Jojo, here are some examples of full body resistance training here and here xx

  • Natalli says:

    Hi Rachel, I’ve been browsing for the past week trying to find answers to my questions and all the time I bump into you) I’ve read so much already but I’m still stuck. I’m 35yo 5’9 130lb and a skinny fat. Also I’m an ex-long jumper and multi ankle-knee and one but quite serious back injury are my long time companions. All workout I’ve seen are not knee-friendly, all this squats-jumps-lunges is a not can do for me. It even hurts to spell. All I can do is a silly “legs waving” how I call it((( I workout at home, I’ve just started with 2Ib ankle weights but my knees strongly suggest me not to do so(( I’m absolutely lost. I dont’t know even how much should I eat. Should I cut or surplus? Any advice is most appreciated! Thanks in advance!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Natalli! I’m sorry for my very late reply – I just returned from my wedding and honeymoon. And I’m sorry to hear about your long term injuries. You can definitely still get results without having to do jump squats, jump lunges, etc. I personally love working out with ankle weights so keep it up and keep trying all the different workouts on my blog or in my eBook :) If you’re trying to lose weight, I would eat at a calorie deficit (anywhere from 250-500 calorie deficit per day), and try to eat lower carbs (keep them between 20-30%). Good luck! xx

  • Lauren says:

    hi Rachael I just stumbled upon this site and realize I am skinny fat I lost quite a bit of weight about four or five years ago but I have zero confidence in my body. I’m very soft especially in the muffin top area. I work out four-five days a week a mix of HIIT and some other cardio mixed with strength classes yet I still can’t seem to lose my love handles I’m beginning to get discouraged and am believing I will never have the muffin top free body

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Lauren, I’m sorry for my very late reply. I just returned from my wedding and honeymoon. I’m also sorry to hear that you don’t have any body confidence. You have done well to lose weight so congratulations! Everyone will store fat differently and this area seems to be your problem (it is also my biggest problem area!). I actually find that the main reason for fat storage here (if you eat well and exercise, as it sounds like you do!) is actually hormone issues (especially the contraceptive pill) or issues with cortisol levels. It could be worth going to get these hormones tested from a doctor or naturopath to see if this is the cause! Good luck! xx

  • Hannah says:

    Hi Rachael,

    Your blog posts have been really useful to me! I’m skinny fat and have been trying to find ways to slim down. I’ve been trying cardio and HIIT workouts but my results have been minimal so far. I’ve restrained from doing any strength training, but I think I would be starting in on some pilates/bodyweight training now. My question is, I’ve noticed that my calves have been expanding since starting on HIIT workouts. Admittedly there were a lot of jumps and squats in my workouts. I’m just wondering what HIIT workouts you would recommend to slim down, but without adding extra bulk to my legs?

  • Caila says:

    Hello Rachel. I dont want to loose wait but I need to thıghten my legs because they are flabby. Do you thınk that walkıng an your legs exercıses ok for me or do i need to do weights? I really want to wear my shorts wıth confıdent but my flabby and sagging legs does not allow me. Please enlight me.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Caila, yes I would say walking and the my resistance style workouts would be great for you :) If you aren’t worried about making your legs bigger or if you find it difficult to gain muscle, you could add weights. But it’s up to you. It’s not necessary. Good luck! xx

  • Bethany says:

    Hi lovely, I sadly suffer with skinny fat syndrome. I got to an extremely low weight last year, and stopped exercising all together. I then put a lot of weight back on quickly when my doctor put me on a high calorie meal plan. I have now been exercising for the past five months and my fitness is generally a lot better, and I eat a very healthy vegan diet. But I seem to have bigger flabby hips, thighs and lower belly with an extremely skinny top half – I’m talking chest bones, visible ribs, tiny boobs! I am uk size 4 on the top, but a uk size 8-10 on my bottom half?? I have been on the contraceptive pill for a few years and I am stopping, because I wonder if it is just adding to the problem. But I have no idea why my body is so messed up? If you could give me some advice, I would appreciate it a lot! Thank you xxx

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Bethany, yes it could definitely be caused from the pill, and also from the past when you got to an extremely low weight. This could have damaged your metabolism and may be preventing you from getting good results now. I would try going off the pill (but of course make sure you’re careful ;)) and also have a read of this blog post on how to recover from a damaged metabolism. Good luck! xxx

  • Ana says:

    Hi Rachel! Thank you very much for all the useful information! (: I started exercising on April 18th (very specific x)) but overdid cardio and underate for one month (my weight didn’t change at all) And then I gradually increased my caloric intake and now I exercise 30 minutes daily (2 days HIIT and 4 days bodyweight exercises) and eat 1500-1650 calories a day( I have been doing this and perfectly hitting my macros which is 40%C 30%F 30%P for one month while eating clean) My TDEE is around 1770(I have been in a slight deficit x)) but my skinny fat body is still exactly the same, I know it takes time and I was wondering do I need patience or am I missing something in my nutrition or workout plan? x) Thank you very much!!!<3

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Ana, how long have you been doing your new routine for? If you’ve been doing it consistently for 4-8 weeks and have noticed zero change then you might need to do something different. It will take time to see results though so don’t give up! It could also be worth adding in 1-2 sessions of high intensity cardio. Also, how did you calculate your TDEE? xx

      • Ana says:

        Thank you very much for answering! Yes I have been doing it for 4 weeks, I used IIFYM inputing that I am sedentary ( the 30 minute session is all the physical activity I do) and that the difficulty is “difficult” lol in your calculator I am not sure if what I am doing is consider light or moderate activity but considering my lifestyle is sedentary the TDEE varies from 1680(little to none) to 2154 calories(moderate activity) thank you!(:

        • Rachael Attard says:

          Ok I would consider it maybe between light and sedentary. Also maybe give it a little bit more time and do some cardio as I suggested :) Good luck! xx

          • Ana says:

            Alright!!!Thank you very much!

          • Ana says:

            Hey Rachael!!! Thank you very much for the advice!!!! I’m finally getting results!!!!THANK YOU!!!! <3 I would like to achieve a toned body like yours so should I still on a small caloric deficit even though I increased my exercise difficulty just a bit? Now I train with weights, pretty light ones but I don't know if I should stay on a deficit or not to keep improving hehe, thanks again!:))!

          • Rachael Attard says:

            You’re welcome :) Yes continue on a slight calorie deficit until you’ve reached your goals :) xx

          • Ana says:

            Thank you!:)!

  • Riane says:

    Hi, I think I am skinny fat because of the excess fats in my belly area. I work out 3-4 times a week. I’ve been doing boxing, muay thai and weight lifting and even eating less. What should I do?? Your advise will be much appreciated.

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Riane, it sounds like you’re doing everything right! I would try adding some cardio and keep mixing up your workouts. It will take some time and persistence so you just need to keep it up! If you’re still really struggling to lose any weight, please have a read of this blog post. It outlines some other reasons that may make it difficult to lose weight xx

  • Jojo says:

    Hi Rachael..Somewhere I read that doing walking or running on empty stomach in morning is good but we have to eat something before doing HIIT or strength training.I want to ask that can I do 30 mins walk or run (cardio) in morning and than 30 mins exercise (strength training) in evening?Can i divide time like this?

  • Sania says:

    Hi Rachael, I’m 20 years old and I’m in need for some advice. I’m 5’7 and I weigh 141 lbs but despite that, I look really out of shape and wide with my endomorph figure + skinny fat. I don’t have access to a gym but I desepreatly want to melt and slim down/tone up my arms, thighs and muffin top. I’ve been doing Pilates as well as high intensity cardio before but seeing as though resistance training is a must- I’m wondering how on earth I’d be able to achieve the slender-figure I want at home by myself without the equipments/mechanics (as I heard it’s all really specific). I only use weights/dumbells but that’s all hands- and it’s really all I do at the moment. Any tips would be great, thank you!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, it sounds like you’re doing great already with pilates and high intensity cardio! Pilates counts as a form of resistance training :) Please have a look at the workouts on my blog as most of them you can do at home with no equipment. Also don’t forget that diet is THE most important thing when it comes to weight loss. Good luck! xx

  • Michelle S. says:

    Hi Rachel,
    I follow you on instagram, and I love your posts. :) I used to have an eating disorder. I lost a lot of weight and I was skinny everywhere but my stomach. Today, I am healthy again, and I eat a pretty good diet (or so I think). I am 4 11 and weigh around 86-90 pounds. I am not looking to lose weight but to look more lean/gain abs. I look skinny now, but not toned. I do 20-30 min of HIIT at least 4 times a week. What should I do to get toned? (Because of my height and weight, I also have the figure of a fifteen year old, but I am 23?) How can I change that?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, HIIT should be a great workout to help you get toned, especially in the stomach region. I would keep this up! 20-30 mins 4 times per week is also a great amount. It sounds like you are on the right track, you just need to give it a bit more time :) xx

  • Jazmine says:

    Hi Rachel, I’m 15 years old 5’9 and weigh 160 pounds and I’m a African American girl. I enjoy sports like volleyball, soccer, and track and field, but I took a break from sports my freshman year year of high school to focus on academics. I’m a sophomore now and I’m currently playing volleyball. Everyone says I look athletic and fit and that I’m not fat. I know I’m not fat but it could be better. I know it’s not genetics because there are no overweight people in my family and both my parents played sports all their life. I gain muscle very easily in my legs (my legs aren’t body builder muscular but you can See them when I walk and exercise and their still a little jiggly, but I’m fine with my legs).My arms look toned and when I flex you can clearly see muscle but the area above my arm pits when I squeeze it doesn’t feel like the other toned areas of my arm. How can I fix that? The second thing I want to ask you about is my stomach. I don’t have love handles or a muffin top but my stomach isn’t flat. I can take both my hands, hold my belly fat and shake it, and I can almost do the same to the outer sides of my stomach towards my side. I also realize that sometimes I wake up with my stomach flatter or fatter. Why is that? I take a cardio and core conditioning class at school every other day for 90 minutes. When we get in we warm up with high knees, but kicks(e.t.c) nothing intense. Then we we take dumbbells( I tried to take a 10 but I couldn’t move my arms so now I do 8 but will gradually start to increase) and work out our biceps, triceps, deltoid, and our Brachioradialis. Then we work on our core. (Our p.e teacher makes us do all types of different exercises, she says we have to work on all of our stomach muscles to get the best results. I know its working because I can feel the burn in different areas of my stomach.) I’ve been in her class for a month now and when I flex my stomach you can see where my abs are trying to surface but there all the way towards the top of my stomach where I have less body fat. When I flex my stomach I can feel my abs in the lower part of my stomach but their covered under fat. How can I get rid of that? After core exercises we do different leg exercises, push ups, and planks. After that she let’s us out on the track and she gives us the option to run walk or jog, and sometimes we do exercises with tires. I usually run the straight aways and walk the curves, I do this for about 20 mins with no break. After the track we go back inside and play a game that requires us to move around a lot. I know that I’m exercising right and I eat lots of fruits and veggies, but my stomach just seems to stay the same. Is there something I’m doing wrong or need to change?

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, it sounds like you’re very active so that’s great! To answer your questions – everyone wakes up with a flat stomach because usually you haven’t eaten or had anything to drink for around 8-12 hours. I think the reason you can’t get rid of excess fat on your stomach is due to diet. It is super important to eat healthy and also eat the right amount for your body. But also remember that you are still very young and your body will continue to change (for the better) in the next few years. I wish you all the best! xx

  • Paula says:

    Hi Rachael! I was wondering what your opinion on BBG was for skinny fat people? I have some love handles I can´t seem to get rid of! I eat healthy and excercise 5 times a week, I don´t know what else to do!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Paula, well I do think BBG and HIIT focused programs aid with fat loss. I do prefer my style of training because it doesn’t cause the bulkiness that these type of workouts can sometimes cause, and still helps with fat loss. I have had love handles also for most of my adult life, even at my slimmest. I have finally learned that love handles actually seem to be caused by high cortisol and hormone imbalances (if you eat well and exercise and they still don’t go away). Hormone imbalances can also be made worse if you are on the contraceptive pill. High cortisol sounds like something that only happens to very unlucky people but it is actually so common! Have a read of this blog post I wrote for more about it. But I would say that hormones are causing it for you xx

  • ophelia says:

    Hello Rachael, is there any diet plan in your skinny legs book? Are there guides on the resistance training/HIIT exercises?

    Do you know roughly how long it will take to get the body you have if I do this 5 times a day?

    Thank you :)

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, yes there is a diet plan included :) And yes guides on the resistance training/HIIT (demonstration videos and photos). You don’t need to do it 5 times per day, just follow the plan as is :) It’s really hard to say how long because everyone is different and it depends on how much you want to lose. But most people notice differences after maybe 2-3 weeks! xx

  • ophelia says:

    Hello Rachael, thanks for responding! I am purchasing the book now! I do have a couple more questions. You’ve recommended this schedule (Which I will strictly follow!) for skinny fat

    Monday – 30 minute full body resistance training + 30 minute walk
    Tuesday – 20-30 minute run
    Wednesday – 20-30 minute HIIT circuit + 30 minute walk
    Thursday – REST or full body resistance training
    Friday – 20-30 minute run
    Saturday – 20-30 minute HIIT circuit + 30 minute walk
    Sunday – REST

    For the days with walking, should I do it before or after the HIIT circuit?

    I would like to achieve abs and lift my butt as well. I found some videos from your channel here
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8cDh4QvjBc8
    and here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qGaa6GroVfI but I don’t know if they are categorized under HIIT or resistance training? If I would like to achieve both the abs and butt quickly, how should I incorporate these exercises into the schedule you provided above and how long should I do them for and how often a week? Thanks lovely you’ve been a great help xo

  • ophelia says:

    Hello Rachael, adding on to my previous comment I just posted..

    I found some exercises on butt & abs that I want to do and following your skinny legs schedule above and after purchasing your skinny legs guide.. I don’t really know exactly what I should do. My goal is to achieve abs, butt & tone my legs at the same time. In that case, can I still follow the skinny fat schedule? If I were to do some exercises I found on youtube, should that be part of the schedule above? I don’t really know which category they belong to. Eg if I want to do this ab routine https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kz-rj42Zevw should I do it outside of the skinny fat schedule or is this considered HIIT or resistance? I’m new to workouts :(

    Thanks Rachael!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi lovely, I know I already replied to your email but I just wanted to clarify that my program will help you tone up your abs and get rid of the skinny fat look. So you just need to follow the program as is! You don’t need to add in any extra workouts :) xx

  • bex says:

    Im skinny with a a fat podgy belly that makes me look pregnant.. I train hard with weights 4 x a week, i do 3 x spin classes a week, I am a runner and run long distances from 7-20k at weekend and I am a vegetarian, gluten free…I am feeling down about my belly as I do a lot of training and its not disappearing
    What advice could you give me please

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Bex, I’m really sorry to hear that. It sounds like you are doing lots of exercise which is great! Vegetarian diet is usually healthy too but just remember you can be unhealthy as a vegetarian (sugar and processed carbs are still vegetarian…). There are usually 2 reasons that women have trouble with belly fat and that’s 1) diet, or 2) another issue such as cortisol, hormone imbalance, gut health, etc. Have a read of this blog post which mentions some of these reasons why you might not be able to lose weight. I hope that helps! All the best xx

  • Kathy says:

    Does your ebook only focus on legs?

    I am skinny fat all over, and need a plan for a total body transformation.

    Also, does your ebook have a nutrition guide for meals and how many calories I need for my body fat %, to be able to lose fat and gain muscles?

  • Jaya says:

    Hi Rachael..I want to start exercise for skinny fat body.I have fat only around belly.I am thinking of purchasing “resistance tube” so as to do resistance exercise at home?Which color resistance tube should I purchase as different color tube have different resistance?I don’t do any exercise.After 5 months I am getting married and I want to reduce atleast 3inches from my belly..Please help!!!!!

  • Diane says:

    Hello Rachel, I’m 20 female 5’2 in height and weights 100 lbs. My concern is that my upper and lower stomach are big. It is not big in terms of circumference,it is big due to the bulging shape of my stomach. My upper body is small especially my breasts (cant even fill an a cup) and my lower body in contrast is ok. My biggest problem is my breast size is it possible to make it a little bigger without getting a bigger lower body .. is it possible. Please help thank you very much. I am really depressed…

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Diane, I’m sorry but there’s not much you can do about your breast size, without having plastic surgery. In terms of your bulging stomach, it could be worth going to get a check up with your doctor to make sure this isn’t visceral fat or any other health issues. All the best xx

  • Charlie says:

    Hi Rachel,

    I’m 33 and went from not exercising at all to attending HIIT classes 3 – 5 times per week for the past 4 months. I’m 5″6 and 116lbs and definitely fall into the skinny fat category. I think I thought I would see results faster given that I’m already slim… but haven’t noticed that much change. I’m definitely pushing myself when I attend classes. I’ve read some places that I might not be eating enough calories to gain muscle, but I’m worried about over doing it the other way and just gaining more fat. Thoughts? Thanks!

    • Rachael Attard says:

      Hi Charlie, I would say your issue is probably diet related. You can still build muscle in a calorie deficit. And in order to lose weight, you SHOULD be eating at a calorie deficit. Have a read of this blog post on how to calculate your daily calorie intake just to get an idea on how much you should be eating. And then you can decide if you’re eating too much/too little xx

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