Fit but flabby – is it OK?

Fit but flabby – is it OK?

by Pamela Ng 10 Jan 2018

Fitness comes in many shapes and sizes. Even elite Olympians have pretty significant differences when it comes to their physiques. While the relationship between fat and performance is debatable, health is a separate matter altogether. Can fitness and flab co-exist in the same space?


Perception of fitness and body fat


Show anyone on the street a picture of a person with a marshmallow-y body and the last thing that they’ll associate with it is “fit”. After all, if someone works out, stays active and follows a healthy diet, shouldn’t they naturally sport a lean physique? While this may be true for some, there are people who have bodies that don’t exactly follow the rules.


Causes of excess fat


There are many causes of obesity and being overweight. Often, many would cite laziness, where one simply puts on slabs of weight because they don’t bother to exercise or eat properly. After all, your body reflects the amount of effort you put into it, right?


This isn’t necessarily true. Pre-existing medical conditions can hamper fat-loss, even when proper fat-loss protocols are being followed. People can be active, strong, yet continue to sport a fairly pudgy physique. A malfunctioning thyroid gland is a common condition and a perfect example of how internal conditions can hold a greater influence compared to external one. In some cases, people who suffer from it are unable to lose weight or achieve the lean appearance no matter how much they work out.


Flabby and healthy?


Studies have shown that those who are overweight or obese have a significantly higher risk of having health problems, mainly of those involving the heart. However, there is a distinction between acceptable levels of body fat and those that border on the excessive. For men, that figure lies between 12% and 15%, and 25% and 28% for women. You don’t need to be shredded to be considered healthy, but that doesn’t mean you should cast away your worries when it comes to skin-rolls and double-chins.


Under normal circumstances, if you lead a healthy lifestyle, having a little more of yourself to love shouldn’t be a big concern. But if you are following all the rules and are concerned over your lack of progress, there might be a deeper explanation as to why – one which a general physical examination might reveal.