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Being Thin Doesn't Mean You're Not Fat

Being Thin Doesn't Mean You're Not Fat

I have talked about being TOFI (thin outside, fat inside) before, but it is back in the news more than ever right now.

New research has found that people who maintain their weight through diet rather than exercise are likely to have major deposits of internal fat, even if they are otherwise slim.

They eat too many fatty, sugary foods — and exercise too little to work it off — but they are not eating enough to actually be fat. Scientists believe we naturally accumulate fat around the belly first, but at some point, the body may start storing it elsewhere.

There is an increased risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes with anyone who has increased fat, no matter where it is. This means that normal-weight persons who are sedentary and unfit are at much higher risk for death than obese persons who are active and fit.

MRI's seem to be the only real way to tell if you're TOFI right now, so in order to keep your internal fat deposits at bay then a combination of diet and exercise is the way to go. If you just want to look thin, then maybe all you need to do is diet, but if you want to actually be healthy, then exercise has to be added as well.

Thanks to ccsugar for bringing this issue back to my attention.


honeysugar28 honeysugar28 10 years
This is great everyone needs to excercise and eat right no matter how they look on the outside for overall health.
ccsugar ccsugar 10 years
You're welcome! :D
divinedebris divinedebris 10 years
honestly, i've never heard of this. like most people i think, skinny people are healthier than i am because i've got a little extra cushion around my tummy. but this article scares me a little. i have terrible eating habits, i'll admit it. i don't eat lunch if i'm at work. i do got to the gym 3-5 times a week and i feel better but my diet is very poor. i mostly worry for my husband, he's one of those naturally great metabolism people and he doesn't watch what he eats. now i shall look it up!
CestLaVie CestLaVie 10 years
Hm, interesting. Sounds like somethring that I may need to watch out for.
krisua krisua 10 years
I'm so thankful you brought it up. Recently, there have been studies that show you can get the same weight-loss results either by dieting OR exercising, which might motivate some people to skip the workout.
susanec susanec 10 years
This is at least in the clinical sense, rather than the physical. The consensus is exercise and a healthy diet, rather than any extreme. Some of the women in the article I referenced had over 30% body fat at a size 0 or 2; they were happy with the outside but the inside had been neglected.
quietriott quietriott 10 years
um, i don't particularly like the title of this post, because it sounds like the kind of things that my college dormmates who had eating disorders would say about themselves.
RebeccaAdele RebeccaAdele 10 years
Thanks! I read the first article, but this helped me bring this issue up with my boyfriend. He has heart disease on both sides of his family. His father died of a heart attack young. This really helped me get him to think about his food choices even more. Even though he eats pretty well, exercise and even more fruits and vegetables will help :)
BeautyXRush BeautyXRush 10 years
Haha I agree, people assume that skinny people are the healthiest, but that's not the case for everyone. I know I have to work on my cardio, I work on building strong muscles more than I work on my cardio. I have now just recently started walking 3 miles a day, and I do yoga every night.
susanec susanec 10 years
Allure had a good article in their last edition (I believe it was April) about this very topic but it featured people who were naturally very thin and ate very, very poorly. The women referenced specifically did not exercise, at all and by choice, and discussed models who had no muscle tone whatsoever.
jhuck jhuck 10 years
I'm sure that I am TOFI. I don't have time to get a lot of excercise, but I walk a lot for work. I have excellent metabolism, but ate so much garbage as a kid and always stayed thin. I'm still that way today but I eat much healthier. I sometimes think to myself that although I am skinny now, I could be in much better shape and I could probably be a lot smaller if I was really able to take care of myself. Not that I want to be any smaller.
llendril llendril 10 years
everyone who has ever said to someone, "you're so thin. why do you exercise and watch what you eat?" needs to read this!
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