Let’s talk about the old fat or fit debate

Is it better to be chubby and active or slim and inactive? -THIN OUTSIDE, FAT INSIDE or FAT OUTSIDE, THIN INSIDE (TOFI v FOTI) ?

Some people still seem to think slim (regardless of activity) equals healthy. Sometimes it does, but sometimes – not at all.

We all have body fat. We actually NEED it to do important jobs in the body.


Do I have too much body fat?

People with different body types just have it in different places and amounts.  In an ideal world we should aim for lean inside and out.  But that is just an ideal.  Show me an ideal world and I’ll show you a flying elephant.

The important thing to consider is WHERE our fat is stored:

subcutaneous – this is what we notice as our ‘fat’, it is stored beneath the skin.

visceral – this is what we can’t see, on the inside, in our middles, surrounding our internal organs.

From a health point of view, too much visceral fat is bad for us – too much of it is linked to a host of nasty health problems.

Whether we are chubby or slim, a poor lifestyle is associated with too much visceral fat.

But without having an MRI scan to look at body composition, we can’t really tell where most of our fat is stored, although an indicator is to take a waistline measurement. If it is on the high side, you’re likely to have a bit too much fat on the inside. Speak to a medic if you’re really concerned.

So what can improve the situation?

There is no magic bullet unfortunately – just improve lifestyle – eat better and get active. Focus on that rather than fat v fit.


So, can I be fat and fit?

Ok, getting back to whether it is better to be chubby and active or slim and inactive?  There is no definite answer – but, my money is on chubby and active – as this tends to be en route to you getting leaner inside and out anyway.

So for this reason, if a customer was to ask me this ( and I wouldn’t put it that way either, It’s just what people have asked me..) I’d say yes, in my opinion as a trained health and fitness professional.

So remember this if you ever think ‘I’m too fat to exercise’.  This is a nonsense thought.   NEVER get despondent if you are exercising and don’t feel like you’re seeing a difference, as fantastic and important changes are probably happening on the inside!



If you are larger, and want to start exercising, have a look at my blog on exercise intensity HERE


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Ann, The Beginners Coach
Outer Hebrides, Scotland