A lot of people make the mistake of equating a skinny body, or a bikini body, with being a healthy body. But does a bikini body really mean that it’s a healthy body? The answer isn’t as simple as you might think.
A Few Quick Facts
Time reported that a study found that having a bikini body doesn’t mean that you’re healthy.
Sure, being overweight or obese increases your risk for a range of ailments, but when experts performed a genetic analysis of over 75,000 individuals, they discovered that skinny people might have a genetic variant that increases their risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, even if they have low body fat.
Beyond that, experts have realized that different people will store body fat in different ways, and where fat is stored is largely based on gender and genes. In fact, some people have a genetic variant that makes them unable to store body fat beneath the skin. So, where does that body fat go instead?
People who are thin and lean, and who have that enviable bikini body, might not have any visible fat under their skin. But, this doesn’t mean that they don’t have any fat. Instead, it means that the fat might be found deeper in the body, in their muscles and around their organs. This can lead to higher cholesterol, difficulty processing insulin, and a greater risk of disorders like diabetes.
Some people are considered “skinny fat,” which means that they look thin, but they don’t have a lot of muscular strength and they actually have a lot of fat deep in the body where you can’t see it. It’s that fat that’s actually even more harmful to your overall health than subcutaneous fat that lies underneath the skin and is easier to get rid of.
How to Achieve a Bikini Body That’s Also Healthy
Now that you know a bikini body does not always equate to a healthy body, you might be wondering about what steps you can take to achieve both. It is possible, after all, to have a beach-ready body that is healthy and strong. Here are some tips to help you get started:
- If you have any amount of weight to lose to get ready for bikini season, don’t push yourself too hard by forcing yourself to lose a lot of weight in a really short amount of time. Keep in mind that experts recommend losing only 1 to 2 pounds per week, so set up a plan that will allow you to achieve slow and steady weight loss that will not shock or harm your body.
- When it comes to shedding excess weight, you also don’t want to go to extremes with fad diets or super restrictive eating plans. Not only do these eating plans typically result in people binge eating because they just can’t take it anymore and they give in to their unhealthy food cravings, but they might even put you at risk of nutritional imbalances or deficiencies. Rather than cutting out entire food groups, or specific foods, enjoy everything in moderation. Find the right balance so you can give your body what it needs, and so you won’t end up feeling deprived and miserable along the way either.
- Focus on nutrition at every step. Sure, you want to cut calories, but you want to cut them wisely. If you are going to reduce your intake of any foods, it should be unhealthy processed and packaged foods. Increase your intake of plant-based foods, which tend to be lower in calories, higher in fiber, and high in nutrients, such as various vitamins and minerals that can support your overall health.
- Exercise is so important, whether you need to lose weight or not. So, if your goal is to get a bikini body that is healthy and strong, you absolutely should incorporate plenty of physical activity into your weekly routine. It’s up to you whether you work out at home or at the gym, or even in the great outdoors, but the key is to get your body moving, get your heart pumping, and get your muscles working. By building muscle, you can help increase metabolism. Plus, you’ll be burning calories and fat, and improving your stamina, so you’ll be doing wonderful things for your health. And you’ll also start to notice that the shape of your body begins to change as well.
Focus on More Than Just Getting a Bikini Body
Ultimately, being thin doesn’t necessarily mean that you are healthy. Also, even if you exercise all the time to maintain your lean physique and your muscle mass, if you are not eating a healthy diet, you might be putting yourself at risk of problems like heart disease. Take care of yourself by eating right and being active, but also consider seeing your doctor for a thorough exam and blood test at least once a year. You might be surprised to discover that you aren’t as healthy as you thought, even if you are very thin.