T Nation

Skinny Fat = Insulin Resistant?


I have always been skinny (although always very atheltic, having been in the Armed Forces). I have spent the last year working on hypertrophy and eating mass gain diets (clean, and no alcahol) and find that I am still skinny with 17% body fat

Some one has suggested that this could mean that I am insulin resistant. Does this sound feasible?


Feasable? Yes.

The route of your problem? No.

Youve just started working out resigning the past and are expecting rapid muscle gains when that really isn't going to happen. (especially when starting off in your mid to late 20's)

Stick with CONSISTENTLY hitting the weights hard and eating good food and the results will come, it just takes time.


I don't think skinny fat aromatically equals insulin resistance.
With the amount of information you provided I don't think anyone could tell you that you have been doing everything right and it's the insulin receptors that aren't cooperating.

From reading your post I get the idea that you don't have a primary goal picked out. You talk about being on a mass gaining diet but sound worried about your body fat. So which is it; eating to gain mass(calorie surplus) or eating to lose fat (calorie deficit)?

As for the insulin thing:
Go get a physical.
Get a full blood workup done including a fasting serum insulin level.
Then come back here and put up your results.


thanks...... blood test is booked in


Skinny fat is more about being under-trained than anything else. Luckily, that can be fixed starting today.

And of course getting leaner will always improve insulin sensitivity.


I really hope most people don't think being unmuscled and carrying too much fat means you need a blood test.

I mean, I can say it wouldn't hurt, but the most likely scenario here is not enough muscle or time spent building it.


I agree with you, but the blood test won't hurt him and they are free if you have insurance so what the hell.

IF the OP puts his results up here it will mean he is serious about figuring this out and he can get more help.
IF the OP never post in this thread again we will know it is lack of training.

Sound good?


Dude, him even getting a blood test here would mostly mean he is looking for every reason for his condition than his own actions.

The truth? If we all got full body scans, there is a significant chance they would find SOMETHING even if it is benign.

Once again, obviously a blood test can be nothing but informative...but we are way off the mark if this becomes the advice to new trainers all around.


The blood test is next Wednesday, so we will resume this chat when I have the results :slightly_smiling:


This is worth emphasizing.

Having been on several university campuses recently, this latest fast-food-everywhere/realityTV/gamer generation seems to be starting out from a default deficit.

Kind of a shame how freeze-tag and jailbreak and just plain old bike riding around the neighborhood (without helmets) didn't last longer...


When I was seriously lifting like 3-4 years ago...everyone on campus was swole. Every time I'd go out to a bar or club, a good majority of the dudes were either very lean or big and lean. Now I go out...I feel like the majority are either out of shape or basically the normal, average build (if that exists). This is what I've noticed in 3-4 years time..


The OP hasn't talked about his training routine at all. And my experience in the military is it (as an institution, not everyone who's in it) has a very low standard for fitness, with a focus steady-state low/moderate intensity cardio (i.e. running everywhere, and being able to move with all your gear on), and a forced high-carb, almost no protein, no fat, diet while in barracks or while living off of MREs.

If that's still the 'model' for fitness being used, that could be a big part of your problem.