The Playbook For The Modern Man

How To Avoid The Dreaded Skinny-Fat Body

It could be worse than fat-fat.

  • LAST UPDATEDTuesday 7th January, 2020

Picture this. The weather’s heating up and the annual pilgrimage to the local swimming spot is in full swing. Immaculate looking bodies are strewn across the sand like beached whales sporting six packs, massive quads and cheap bronzer. And then you take off your shirt.

No man should ever be subjected to the embarrassing effects of the skinny-fat. It’s that terrible space in body shape limbo where you’re not exactly fat, but not muscular enough to feign brawniness either. Think man-boobs, male muffin tops and jelly arms.

Thankfully there is a way to rid the dreaded skinny-fat look just in time for shirts-off season. Listen up and sweat it out.


What Causes Skinny Fat?

Part of any good solution is knowing a problem’s origins. The skinny-fat phenomenon comes down to diet according to Jordan Ponder, fitness expert and founder of Paramount Recreation Club.

He says that skinny-fat people are those that often have massive weekends, work hard and then stress, leaving little time or energy for regular exercise and a stable diet.

“Skinny-fat is a result of high output during the week. So doing the opposite of that is key. That is, consistent during the week and then on the weekend some kind of moderation.”

In other words, skinny-fat will arise if you pair an absence of physical activity without gaining substantial weight. Ponder simply deems this as being unfit.

“Skinny-fat people who may look fine under clothes have no upper body strength and can’t do a chin up,” says Ponder.

“A slightly bigger person that’s hitting the gym at least has the strength and co-ordination. Skinny fat is an absence of lean muscle mass.”

How To Rid The Skinny Fat

There are specific ways to target the effects of skinny-fat and that all starts with shifting your mindset whilst replacing some cardio with lifting weights.

Forget About Your Weight

What skinny-fat men should be focusing on is their body-fat percentage as this attributes to the appearance of skinny-fat. Skinny-fat bodies carry around 16-25% body fat and the ideal is to get those figures down between 9-12%. Doing this will add definition to your body including your chest and abs.


Run Less, Lift More

Cardio is great for the heart and overall fitness but it will do no you no favours in filling out that XS T-shirt if it’s all the exercise you’re doing. Lifting weights is the quickest way to replace fat with muscles in skinny-fat guys.

Ponder says that doing push/pull leg exercises such as twenty push ups from the ground is a good place to start. From there it’s core strength exercises such pull ups, dead lifts, burpees and other hybrid movements which will help you look cut in the fastest time possible.

“Getting a foundational base established is the goal whether it be extensions or sit ups,” says Ponder.

Once the strength training is in full swing, make sure to change up the exercises constantly or increase the weights and reps so that the muscles continue to grow. It’s as easy as changing up the barbell to dumbbells. If you feel sore afterwards, you’re doing it right.

Kick Your Skinny Fat Eating Habits

Ridding the skinny-fat is a combination of exercise, consistency and diet. In other words, cut down the drinking, smoking and food binging. Ponder notes that avoiding skinny-fat involves having small portion feeds of three to five meals a day – ideally five.

“That’s breakfast, morning tea, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Skinny-fat people are skipping breakfast, having coffee, might have a piece of fruit then have a massive lunch like Thai takeaway.”

“After that they don’t really eat much, get home, have a drink and then kick onto dinner.”

Bad idea. Being skinny-fat is a time bomb according to the experts. As Ponder explains, you’ll rarely see many skinny-fat people of middle age – they’re either going downhill or getting better.

Stop Being Lazy

Skinny-fat is extremely easy to rid in a relatively short amount of time (10 weeks) but the issue comes from the fact that skinny-fat men are lazy to begin with. This is what prolongs the duration of skinny-fat bodies well into the months and years.

As such, eating badly and eating very little is the underlying culprit whilst drinking and smoking will compound this.


“If they’re consistent then the results will be super quick,” says Ponder.

“They don’t have weight shift so foundation strength gain can come pretty easy in those four to six weeks of discipline.”

So get moving, you magnificent skinny-fat bastard. See these simple exercises that will get you bigger, faster.

  • Another Commenter

    What’s the female.equivalent of skinny fat? So many women I see are carrying excess fat. They outnumber the fit women to such an extent that the fit ones almost seem like unicorns. It’s frankly disgusting and I suspect it’s a big reason why so many men let themselves go.

  • OP

    Are you really blaming women for what an individual (this case men) do with their own bodies? Wow. You know what I find disgusting? Men like you. From the fit woman here whose fit for her own self, not for a man or any other person.

  • noble lee

    @another commenter …You’re an idiot.

  • Michael Fera

    This is good advice taken to a ridiculous conclusion. Age is a big factor here, but under any circumstance, 9-12% body fat is elite athlete range. 12-15% is very fit. And it’s just irresponsible to call 16% “skinny fat”.

  • Matthew Foglia

    Totally agreed.

    Also five meals a day will keep your insulin elevated and is essentially the opposite of intermittent fasting , which is generally regarded as very effective for calorie control and fat burning.

  • Michael Fera

    Good point. The insulin rush during a workout is good…helps recruit sugar as energy .But high insulin all day long would be bad.

  • Nate Lightning

    You’re 100% correct, but it’s not just the women, the average American body is simply disgusting. Instead of trying to exercise and stay in shape, they’ll just promote having a “healthy body image’ – which just means being okay with being fat.

  • SashiMurai

    That’s exactly it. 3-5 meals is great for building muscle, but you get a little bit of fat too. Intermittent fasting burns that fat so your muscles can shine through. You can also eat massive amount of food while intermittent fasting to build the muscle, it just won’t be as quick as traditional bulking.

  • SashiMurai

    You know what I find disgusting? People like you in general. Why with the feminist vitriol? People find motivation every where. If more people in general were fit, there’d be more societal pressure to fit in. Pun intended.

  • Dawn

    Skinny fat is skinny fat, no matter if you’re male or female. It almost certainly has the same causes as well, that too many women of the women you see are smokers, drinkers, and have shitty diets. Keep in mind though that the female body tries to keep more fat on it anyway, because it helps with pregnancy and breastfeeding… something that irks me, since I am nearly 32 and childfree. If only an individual could tell their body they weren’t going to procreate so the fat storage is unnecessary, lol. It makes it slightly harder for us to attain a lean look and build muscle, but not so much that we need this unhealthy “fat acceptance movement”.

    I’m really not sure what overweight women have to do with overweight men though? It’s up to each of us as individual women and men to take care of our bodies. I have a boyfriend of 10 years, sure, but I don’t do my morning walks or weekend workouts for him. I do them for myself because I don’t want to get fat or lose muscle as I get older. He’s actually in worse condition than I am (I’m 31, 5’7″, 135 lbs, 24% bodyfat and he’s 43, 6’0″, 254 lbs, 35% bodyfat) so it doesn’t really make sense to say that my fitness or his lack thereof has anything to do with the other. However, I am interested in hearing why you think fat women are a cause of fat men, because I can’t see any correlation or causation there.

  • I’m The Boss

    Yes, I do blame women.

  • SashiMurai

    … cool story bro. It’s like you responded to the wrong comment.

  • OP

    You totally missed the point of my statement which shows, A) Your lack of reading comprehension skills and B)You like to take comments not even aimed you personally. Also, this person was SPECIFICALLY putting the blame solely on women….or did you miss that part? In general is a good term that op did NOT use. The whole point is why is a man blaming women for themselves being fat? We are all individuals and what we do with our OWN bodies is our choice and no one else’s. Also, I hate the word feminist, but since you want to “go there” how typical and sexist to state “Why the with the feminist vitriol?” but say nothing to the man who clearly has hate towards women. Stop looking to start an with a woman who was pointing out the obvious. You two are really pathetic and need to remember that you are in control of yourselves. No one is responsible for your lack of fitness but you.

  • Another Commenter

    Props to you for staying shape. It takes effort and diligence to keep on with a healthy routine, and it’s definitely more expensive and time-consuming than the alternative. My reasoning was purely anecdotal, but I believe it has merit. Back in my college years, just for example, I had a large circle of male friends, and these are precisely the kinds of issues we would discuss. When there is a dearth of fit, attractive women available, men find less motivation to become fit and healthy themselves. Conversely, when there are many attractive women available, a man feels a much stronger desire to take care of his body, because it will expand his mating options, especially considering a younger crowd. Of course, this may become less true as we age. I can’t pretend to know all the reasons that women choose to live healthy, but in society at large, it has traditionally been women that are expected to maintain their appearance over men. The men that I have known in my life are very sensitive to the “ratio” of fit and healthy females versus fit and healthy men in their area, and they make choices regarding gym memberships and eating habits that are directly related to the numbers.

  • Dawn

    Interesting hypothesis. What do you think of the “Red Pill” guys online? They claim that a man’s youth, vitality, physical health, and sexual attractiveness are not as important to getting a girlfriend, since supposedly we women only care about his ability to make money. In my experience, this is only true for golddiggers and to a lesser extent women who want to be stay at home moms/non-working wives. It seems disingenuous of them to claim that most women don’t want a physically fit, sexy, and healthy partner just as much as men do…or that we’re blind to our partner’s looks so long as his wallet is full.

  • MacGuffin

    Get over yourself, you whiny MeToo beeyatch.

  • OP

    LMAO! Seeing as that I don’t even care about the whole MeToo movement, jokes on you. And clearly you need an attention of a woman. Why else would you reply in a year old thread. Jesus, go get laid.

  • OP

    Lmao. Pretty funny since I don’t even care about the MeToo movement….try again… XD

  • Katie Sutton

    Oh good lord how stupid. Go you idiots for promoting body shaming.


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