To all my "skinny fat" guy friends out there, I want you to know that I know how frustrating it can be. You're not "fat" per say, but you're not exactly "lean" either. You are carrying extra weight around your mid section, and most diets and exercises don't seem to work. My husband is my inspiration for writing about the "skinny fat" guy’s dilemma because he's a skinny fat guy too. I'm a yoga instructor/nutrition specialist and am always trying to figure out different ways to help him shed some weight around the middle. My latest obsession has been with cleanses. I've been trying different cleanses over the past year. I did a juice cleanse which made me hungry and cranky. I did a 40-day vegan raw cleanse which was great but too long. Right now, I am working on a 14-day seasonal vegan cleanse that incorporates yoga. Unfortunately, when I brought up the cleanse to my "skinny fat" husband, well you can imagine, he was less than thrilled.
My skinny fat husband has his habits, and oh boy... are they hard to break. Like most skinny fat guys, he doesn't necessarily have a problem with over eating or eating cake and chips all day. His issues are a bit more complex. He has a bowl of cereal or a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for breakfast and often skips lunch due to a crazy workload which leaves him cranky and famished by 4:00 PM. He likes to drink every day, even if it's just one glass of wine. If I am not around to make him dinner, he has a steak, or a pork chop or sausages or chicken (no veggies). He then snacks on things like chips or frozen fruit and stays up very late because he's "not tired". Then he wakes up in the morning groggy and cranky. I'm sure when he reads this he will disagree, probably because his habits have become so embedded in him that he doesn't even realize they are habits.
Most people do cleanses because they want to get rid of "toxins" or lose weight. Our bodies are very capable of detoxing on their own, and even though cleanses can enhance this process, "detoxing" is not exactly why I like to do cleanses or why I recommend them to my clients (and all you "skinny fat" guys out there). Although cleanses may help you lose weight initially, it doesn't last if you go back to your old habits. I also don’t believe in cleanses that are actually fasts masquerading under a different name. I like cleanses because they make us more aware of bad habits and help us create new good ones. After following a simple cleanse (7 to 21 days), most people begin to notice how much better they feel, even after a couple of days. It's this feeling that I want my "skinny fat" husband and all of you skinny fat guys to feel. It's this feeling that can become addictive and encourage you to continue with your new healthy habits (even if it's just sometimes). I know you "skinny fat" guys want to be lean and healthy, and I firmly believe that if you gradually commit yourself to new healthy habits, you can reach your goals. Cleanses just reinforce these good habits, reminding us how to eat and be healthier. So I will be helping my "Skinny Fat" husband complete a simple 14 day cleanse which incorporates a vegan and sometimes raw diet, and omits toxins like processed foods and alcohol.