There is this myth out there today that skinny is better. While I won’t argue whether or not it’s better than being over-fat, skinny is hardly the best-case scenario. The problem is that people think skinny means two things: lean, and healthy. Sorry to disappoint, but it doesn’t necessarily mean either. It is possible to be skinny, and fat, and unhealthy.
“No way. You don’t know what you’re talking about.”
Sorry, but it’s true. I’ve tested the bodyfat of quite a few people who would be considered “skinny.” They’re relatively tall, and have a weight around 160 lb (for men) or 130 (for women), but have a bodyfat around 20/25% respectively. This doesn’t mean that they’re overweight, but under-muscled. A healthy bodyfat for males is 8-12% and 16-20% for females. So their “weight” may be perfectly fine, but their ratio of fat to muscle is too high.
“But I’m a woman, I don’t want to gain muscle.”
Actually, everyone should want to build at least a little muscle, and here’s 7 reasons:
- Increased muscle, along with a decrease in fat, will give you that lean look you’re really after. As you can see in the image above, 5 lb of muscle takes up much less space than fat, so you would get smaller.
- Muscle mass is the number 1 indicator of longevity. This means that the more muscle one has, the longer they can be expected to live. This information is from Tufts University
- Muscle mass helps prevent Alzheimer’s Disease. Source
- Strength, which usually accompanies muscle mass, is the number two indicator of longevity. The simple truth is, man or woman, strong people are harder to kill.
- 80% of the body’s insulin receptor sites are in the muscle. Therefore, by adding more muscle you become more insulin sensitive, and less Diabetic.
- Every pound of muscle increases your resting metaoblism up to 50 calories per day. 5 pounds of muscle could burn up to 25 pounds of fat over the course of a year.
- Getting “bulky like Arnold” is extremely difficult, even for men. It won’t happen to you.
Keep this in mind when starting a “weight loss program.” Do you want to simply be lighter, or do you want to be leaner? Leaner not only looks better, it’s healthier too.