The “Skinny Fat” Solution – The importance of Training and Sleep

Rishi Dhingra

Rishi Dhingra

If you’ve got skinny arms, maybe skinny legs, no chest, probably no abs, but you have midsection fat, you have low muscle mass and a high body fat percentage.

There are ways to fix this “Skinny Fat” conundrum with Diet, Exercise and Sleep. I covered how to use a well balanced diet to solve this problem before. In this article, I go over the importance of training and sleep in fixing a skinny fat body.

Your training regime is different from simply exercising. Your focus should be on weight training and not cardio. Please remember that any form of resistance training is very important to increase your muscle mass. But if you’re not on some sort of a committed plan that you’re consistent with, you’re not going to build any muscle. If you exercise intermittently and think that that’s a committed plan – it’s not. And it’s the reason why you haven’t built any muscle.

If you’ve had real training history behind you, you can’t look like this and be skinny fat. And what I mean by training is having a progressive plan that is followed consistently. Because even a bad plan – followed consistently, is still going to help you to build muscle.  

You need to get on a training plan, and these are the things that have to be part of that plan.

1. You have to focus on building your base strength around a strong foundation in the bigger compound lifts – the squat, bench, and deadlift. You have to be progressively increasing the weight you’ve been using over a period of time. Try to lift heavy weights. When I say heavy, I mean heavy relative to your strength. 

2. Week by week try to increase the weight – and that’s what I mean by progression. You need to build a foundation and then work forwards from there. I would suggest you work out for 5 days and rest for 2.  Stick to full body workouts – which will be enough if done in a progressive manner to help you to build the muscle and drop the fat. Your workout time should range from 45 minutes to a max of 60 minutes.  

3. Cardio. I would suggest you keep your cardio training 2-3 times a week. Also, your cardio training should not exceed 5 to 10 minutes. The best TIME to do it is RIGHT AFTER your lifting session, and the best WAY to do effective cardio is to do sprints or high-intensity cardio. After the weight training session, go for 3 to 5 sprints in a matter of 5 to 10 minutes. These can be runs, rowing, or cycling. Trust me, it will help you immensely – and the way you spend that 1 hour working out will really dictate how fast you see results.

Pause for a quick reality-check.
The Reality is you might have a fear of resistance-training – which I definitely had. And if you do, don’t worry – you’re not alone. A lot of people, when they first start out training, with no muscle on their body, without gym experience – feel this way. But know that – as a newbie, you’re going to gain muscle sometimes just by looking at the weights, but you have to look at those weights consistently in order for that to happen. 

You need to understand that some of those exercises are going to feel a little daunting to you and you may feel like avoiding them altogether. But you need to find the path to start doing them consistently and get comfortable with them. If that means working with a personal trainer or an experienced friend to get you started – then so be it.   

As you start to get more comfortable and consistent with your training, there’s a couple of things that might actually happen. 

1.  You might actually have some fun. Because training might be a bit scary to you at the start of your journey,  you’ll reach a point where you look forward to them – because you start to see changes in the mirror – and that becomes your motivation.   

2. As you learn and start to enjoy training,  you’re also building a better mind-muscle connection from training regularly. Your body will automatically crave more of it.  

If you start doing these things, you will start seeing the results. The only thing that you can mess up is the consistency with which you’re training and your training frequency. Remember, muscle growth is going to be the solution to your skinny fat problems. And making the few but important changes to your nutrition is going to make all the difference in helping you to get to your goal. 

Know that if you have no appreciable muscle mass in your body right now because you’ve never followed a training plan before, then guess what? Those newbie gains will come in  handy here. They allow you to start adding muscle weight at a much faster rate than any other point in your life.

Finally, we have sleep. All you need to do is maintain consistent sleep timings and sleep 7-8 hours every night.  

If you follow these recommendations and do them right, I assure you you will get results quickly.  You’re going to start to like what you see in the mirror at a much faster pace than you may have even expected.

I’m a practising nutritionist, with a background in human physiology and nutritional sciences. I take a holistic & scientific approach to all aspects of health & wellness. I use food and lifestyle changes to optimize one’s nutrition to promote longevity & healthy ageing. So, if you want to hack your healthspan and be the best version of yourself, sign up for my 3 month personalised holistic health program today,   and become your own nutritionist! 

Formal Consultation and Blueprint

You’re super serious about your health goals and are eager to see results soon! Perfect!
A formal consultation is the first step in this process.

If you sign up for a formal consultation, you will receive a detailed questionnaire to fill out which I use to create a customised nutrition plan or formalised blueprint for you to follow.

I analyse your answers and the metrics you’ve recorded to define goals, calories, energy balance, macronutrients, deficits and surplus. I look at micro level detailing of your eating habits and patterns and suggest foods to add or delete based on your preferences, via a formalised blueprint.

The Blueprint will also include suggestions for eating frequency, windows and patterns. It will suggest pre and post workout nutrition options and recommend supplementation based on any deficits that show up in your questionnaire. Styles and frequency of training are also recommended.

The goal is to create a sustainable short and long term strategy to ensure you’re always in optimal health.

After creating the blueprint, a consultation call is arranged during which we go through the blueprint together. I explain macros and the role of hormones in overall health and take care of any comments, concerns or questions you may have. Once we’re aligned on the route forward, the Blueprint is sent to you.

This Blueprint will serve as the guide through your transformation journey.