16 May SKINNY FAT | How Under Eating And HIIT Classes Are Keeping You Stuck
If you’re skinny fat, or if you have 5kg (10pounds) or less of weight to lose, this article is for you.
Under eating and HIIT classes are keeping you stuck.
I’m going to show you how eating more and ditching the HIIT can result in fat loss.
Yes, you’ll get better results if you quit eating as little as possible and train properly. That means actually lifting some weights and getting strong.
You need food to make that happen.
Change your perspective and you’ll change your body.
SKINNY FAT: How Under Eating And HIIT Classes Are Keeping You Stuck
Many people will tell you that you can’t lose fat and eat more food.
They’re not completely wrong, but they are ignoring those of you who are under eating.
I’ll be very clear. Not all of you can eat more to lose fat.
However, this is possible for you if:
- you’re skinny fat
- you have 5kg (10 pounds) or less of weight to lose
- you haven’t reached your strength potential
To understand how this works, you have to remember fat loss and weight loss are different.
There’s also more to losing fat than just food.
Your energy consumption will effect your energy output.
This will impact your success at fat loss overall.
If you’re wondering why you’re stuck even though you’re doing:
- HIIT classes 4-6 days a week
- eating a 1200 calorie a day diet
- doing 1 hour plus workouts 5-6 days a week
- eating a “healthy” diet
You’re stuck because you’re not eating enough food. And you’re not training properly.
Training matters a lot. Quality is most important here not quantity.
Doing all the movement and not eating enough is a recipe for disaster, not only in terms of fat loss but also your health. It’s a big stress on your body and you’re going to end up feeling like rubbish. If you don’t feel your best, you’ll always be performing sub-optimally (not just in the gym but in life too).
It all connects. Remember, your energy consumption will effect your energy output.
Let me show you how this works through the experience of one of my clients.
SKINNY FAT: 10cm Lost By Eating More Food
Meet my lovely client Sara.
I want to show you how Sara lost 10cm from her waist and got leaner by eating more food.
Sara has been going through my recomp process. That is, losing fat and building muscle at the same time. You can read more about that here.
Eating more food has transformed her body from skinny fat to lean and “toned” over the past 10 months.
Rather than speaking for her, I thought I’d ask Sara some questions about her journey and then I’ll explain how eating more helped her transform her body.
I hope this helps you understand that it’s possible to lose fat if you have a similar starting point.
Note that Sara’s answers below are all unedited and shared with permission from Sara Same with the photo above.
Where were you before finding me (in terms of your body, body image and relationship with food)?
I was in a very negative and sad place, mentally, physically and emotionally. It was in the middle of COVID and I got to my heaviest. I felt sick from binge eating all the time and was extremely unhappy in the way that I looked and felt. My relationship with food was bad. I would spend the day binging and then punish myself for the next few days and then binge again. It was a terrible/unhealthy cycle.
What were you struggling with?
I was struggling with it all. Nutrition, physical activity, anxiety, positivity, consistency.. the whole lot.
What had you tried to change and how did it make you feel?
I tried to change my habits which felt good at the time and for the few days it lasted! But as I mentioned, these good habits never really lasted that long and then I’d go back to feeling crap again.
How did you find me?
TikTok! Will forever be indebted to TikTok for that lol!
What made you decide to take the leap to work with me?
Upon watching all of Jodie’s TikToks I soon realised she wasn’t just another “fitspo/influencer” – there was something different about her, something more to her. Jodie’s scientific and highly educated approach won me over. Then, I did a bit of a stalk haha (looked on her IG, YouTube, read your articles) and I just knew.. If I invest in a coach it HAS to be her! In addition to that when I slid into her DMs to ask a question, I wasn’t even expecting a response but she was so prompt, generous and happily answered all of my questions. At this point I knew I had to take the leap!
How has working together changed things for you?
Working together has absolutely changed my life. I am the BEST version of myself I have ever been. I have grown and developed in ways I didn’t know that I could. And although I’m learning everyday I am the most educated I have ever been in training and nutrition AND I FEEL AMAZING!
What results have you got?
Physically – I have lost fat and am beginning to gain muscle/lean out a little more. I am also the strongest and fittest I have EVER been. (And am still working towards the goal body recomp – it’s a process I’ve fallen in love with)
Mentally and emotionally – I am the happiest and most confident I have ever felt in my body. I also feel complete in a way because Nutrition and strength training is always going to be apart of my life now.
Do you feel you’re in a position to keep your results even after we stop working together? Why?
I do actually. Jodie has taught me a lot over the last 10 months in terms of nutrition and training, so I feel quite confident that I could “keep” my results. However, at this point I don’t want to just keep my results, I still have a lot of work to do to get where I want to be and a lot more to learn so I won’t be going anywhere anytime soon.
SKINNY FAT: The Transformation Plan
Now I’m going to explain what we did to achieve this.
Sara came to me whilst still doing a challenge where she was eating on average 1200 calories per day and working out 6 days a week (mostly HIIT). She also had digestive issues which are common when your body is under a lot of stress (not eating enough and training too much).
My first goal for Sara was to get rid of some of that stress. We cut out the HIIT workouts and replaced them with 4 full body weight training sessions per week. She also started eating 1600 calories per day straight away (we did not reverse diet).
Sara’s weight didn’t go up, it actually went down after 2 weeks of this. So we increased calories some more. Over the course of the past 10 months we have increased her calories to 2000 per day and she’s maintained her weight whilst losing a total of 10cm from her waist.
She is stronger than ever in the gym and lifts with confidence- that’s the key to her transformation. She’s put the extra fuel into her training.
Respect your body and it will respond better.
The reason we kept increasing Sara’s calories is because her weight kept dropping. She didn’t need to lose weight, she needed to lose fat.
None of this would have happened if she wasn’t pushing herself in her workouts to do better than last week.
The cool thing is, Sara was in lockdown and started with home workouts for the first 5 months. She only had bands and adjustable dumbbells.
I get asked all the time if it’s possible to make progress at home. Yes you can!
But you have to be able to push yourself beyond what’s comfortable. You have to be using good form and tempo. Sara sent me videos of her workouts every week and has never stopped working on improving her technique.
SKINNY FAT: Under Eating And HIIT Classes Are Keeping You Stuck
Let’s summarise why under eating and HIIT classes keep you stuck from losing fat.
HIIT is a way to increase energy expenditure. You can maintain your muscle but it won’t help you build new muscle.
If you have very little muscle but too much body fat, you need to do exercise that’ll help you build muscle (weight training) and then focus on your diet to help you lose fat.
If you eat as little as possible, you won’t have the energy to put into your workouts to keep getting stronger and stimulate those muscles.
You’ll also feel super moody, have poor digestion and no energy= Not a great combo to keep you motivated for long enough to stick to your plan and make progress.
Imagine the type of workout Sara has now, going to the gym feeling confident and energised, as opposed to what she used to feel like.
If you don’t eat to fuel your workouts you’ll be keeping yourself stuck.
If you don’t push yourself to get stronger in your workouts you’ll also be keeping yourself stuck.
HIIT classes, even with weights, don’t have enough rest time in them to help you get strong and build muscle.
To achieve a skinny fat body transformation like this you have to be patient.
Sara has never complained about how long things are taking. She has trusted the process and focused on being consistent. She has had breaks from tracking over Christmas and holidays yet still kept moving forward.
When your plan is sustainable you can fit life in and keep making progress.
If you stick to a sustainable plan for long enough, without worrying about time, amazing things will happen to your body.
If you’d like some help with your fat loss journey, feel free to reach out here.