This is part 3 of our series Our Keto Journey. In our last post, Barbara highlighted how a ketogenic diet helped her shed fat and is helping her guard against Alzheimer’s Disease. However, as I mentioned in this post here, not everyone goes keto for the same reasons. Remember, a keto diet is high in healthy fat, moderate in protein, and very low in carbs (<30 net grams /day).
In my case, I wasn’t overweight, but I did have a metabolically dangerous visceral fat issue that required I go keto. Also, since the keto diet has potent anti-inflammatory effects, I wanted to see if it was possible for the diet to get me over the last hurdle of recovering from chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).
Let’s first take a look at my use of a ketogenic diet for my fat problem.
A recent report found that the obesity epidemic in the United States is continuing to grow to unhealthy proportions. This means that tens of millions of Americans will continue to be at a high risk for diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, and many types of cancer.
But did you know that there are millions of individuals who don’t look obese, who are technically not overweight, but who are metabolically obese?
Medical researchers label these individuals as normal weight obese (NWO). You may have heard them characterized as having a skinny fat body type.
The problem for NWO individuals is that they are at the same high risk to suffer all the diseases associated with being severely overweight. Now before you think this is some small segment of the U.S. population, some researchers estimate that there may be up to 30 million Americans who fit this profile.
I’ll repeat that for emphasis. Up to 30 million Americans might be NWO.
The hidden danger for NWO individuals, though, is that since they’re normal weight, they don’t realize that they have a serious health problem. In fact, they are harboring a metabolic ticking time bomb waiting to explode into a severe disease at some future date.
As an NWO person, it was imperative that I change my body type. And here’s the good news. You can change your body type and improve health. And it doesn’t matter what age you are.
Read on to see how serious a health threat NWO is and how I defeated it.
What Is Normal Weight Obese (NWO)?
I’ve never been “technically” obese or severely overweight so I was spared the emotional trauma that accompanies this disease. But I did have a very serious problem with excess body fat.
Even though I was normal weight, I had an unhealthy amount of fat on my body compared to lean muscle. Individuals with this body type are termed normal weight obese.
Metabolically, it’s a very dangerous body type. As I mentioned previously, just like those who are severely overweight, we NWOs are at a higher risk for a host of metabolic diseases.
In fact, skinny fat people (the other term for NWO) might be even more unhealthy than overweight persons who have well-distributed weight and good muscle mass.
Do Only The Obese Have To Fear Body Fat?
By outward appearances, I always looked fit and trim. I wore clothes exceedingly well. But what those clothes masked was about 20-25 pounds of fat that resided right around my abdomen. Since that was the only place I was fat, my overall weight was usually normal as calculated by body mass index (BMI).
I also was not particularly lean. I did some weight lifting in my twenties, but at 30 years old I developed CFS. That stopped me from doing any intensive exercise. For the next 28 years, my muscle mass would remain poor in quality and I would even lose some muscle due to normal aging.
That excess fat around my midsection, though, meant that I was a particularly bad type of skinny fat. Now, I know God created me with abs. I believed they were in there somewhere, but for 60 years of my life, I never saw them.
There’s another name that scientists also like to call us. It’s TOFI. That means thin on the outside, fat on the inside.
The problem with excess fat around the abdomen (also called central obesity) is that it’s often indicative of a dangerous type of fat, called visceral fat, deeper inside our bodies. The American Heart Association states that,
Regardless of your height or build, for most adults a waist measurement of greater than 94 cm [37″] for men and 80 cm [31.5] for women is an indicator of the level of internal fat deposits which coat the heart, kidneys, liver, digestive organs and pancreas. This can increase the risk of heart disease and stroke.
To complicate matters, with my big gut I had skinny legs and a small butt. This is known as an apple shape skinny fat. Sheesh, the name calling just keeps coming for us NWOs.
Research has shown that thin hips and thighs when accompanied with a large belly are predictive of an even greater risk for metabolic disease.
As you can see, we skinny fatties are a metabolic disaster waiting to happen. The scary thing, though, is that we don’t realize it.
In order to improve my body type and become healthier, I went on a low-carb diet. It helped, but it only took me so far. I still carried around too much belly fat. To get where I needed to be, I had to resort to radical means.
How Do You Get To Be Skinny Fat?
There are basically three things that must be present for someone to become skinny fat.
- A poor diet – This means eating a lot of refined carbs, sugar, fructose, and seed oils (vegetable, corn, soy, etc.). Basically, it means consuming the standard American diet. Over consume that stuff, and you’ll gain weight, guaranteed.
- A sedentary lifestyle – Leading the life of a couch-potato or a lack of devotion to strength training usually results in lack of lean muscle mass.
- Genetics – The third factor necessary to be skinny fat seems to be something we have no control over. Recently, researchers have found that there is evidence that this body type is genetically determined.
That doesn’t mean, though, that just because a large part of this body type is genetic controlled, it can’t be changed. It requires hard work, but it can be done. And the rewards are certainly worth it.
I want to be around for my children’s weddings. I want to be there for my future grandchildren. And I want to enjoy my golden years with my wife. Therefore, my skinny fat body had to be transformed.
Before I get into how well the keto diet performed, let me give you some parameters on how doctors determine if an individual is at metabolic risk because of NWO.
How Do You Know If You’re Skinny Fat?
If a person is NWO and they already have symptoms of metabolic syndrome such as insulin resistance, diabetes, hypertension, dyslipidemia, or cardiovascular disease, they will use the term metabolically obese normal weight (MONW). An NWO person has an increased risk to become MONW but has yet to manifest overt disease.
However, determining what obesity actually is has been difficult for researchers. Classically, it’s defined as having too much body fat. However, the problem is what exactly is too much fat.
Can Body Mass Index (BMI) Determine Obesity?
In the past, body mass index (BMI) was thought to be a reliable indicator of obesity. It attempts to determine your risk for disease according to your height and weight. A BMI over 30 would place an individual in an obese category. Twenty-five to 30 would be overweight and 18.5 to 25 would be normal weight. You can calculate your BMI here.
However, there are several shortcomings of a BMI measurement. It ignores:
- Body fat percentage (BF%)
- Lean muscle mass
- Weight distribution.
This means that a person who has a BMI over 30 and is considered obese by BMI could theoretically be very healthy if they possess good lean muscle mass and good weight distribution.
On the contrary, you may have a normal BMI but be at risk for the complications of obesity like us TOFIs.
Body Fat Percentage
Medical researchers now focus on body fat percentage (BF%) as a better indicator of health. BF% is the total mass of fat divided by total body mass times 100. While there is no consensus on exactly what BF% constitutes obesity, researchers have proposed some guidelines.
The American Council on Exercise has suggested these parameters as acceptable BF%:
The Obesity Research Center at St Lukes-Roosevelt Hospital and Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons used the following BF% guidelines to establish obesity:
Other studies confirm these findings. This study which analyzed 6171 subjects greater than 20 years of age considered a BF% >23.1 in men and >33.3 in women as being NWO.
Another study of 4,489 subjects aged ≥60 years (BMI = 18.5 to 25) labeled men who had >25% BF and women who had >35% BF as being NWO.
From these sources, we can safely say that if you have a normal BMI but your BF% is ≈25% or greater, then you are considered NWO and thus at an increased risk for metabolic disease.
What Are the Risks Of NWO?
Several studies with large cohorts of individuals have consistently shown that NWO individuals suffer a greater risk for metabolic disease. See here, here, here.
This study of 6171 subjects found that individuals classified as NWO had a prevalence of metabolic syndrome 4 times higher than people with normal BMI and normal BF %.
Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is characterized by at least 3 of the following conditions: abdominal obesity, hypertension, high blood sugar, high serum triglycerides and low high-density lipoprotein (HDL) levels. MetS is also highly associated with diabetes and cardiovascular disease.
The study also found that women with a normal BMI but with the highest BF% (>33%) had about an 8 times greater risk of having metabolic syndrome and a 2.2 times higher rate of dying from cardiovascular disease.
If these results make you concerned about the amount of body fat you’re carrying around then that’s a good thing.
How Do You Determine Your Body Fat Percentage?
The easiest way to determine your BF% is to look at some images of people with their BF% indicated. That’s what I do. It’s not the most accurate but it’ll give you an idea where you stand.
You can also use this calculator here. But again accuracy is limited. These calipers will give you a better estimate of your BF%.
If you want to know your exact BF% you’ll have to have it professionally done. Remember you want it <25 if you’re a man and <32 for a woman.
Waist To Hip Ratio (WHR)
Remember, I mentioned before that I had a particularly bad type of NWO. My belly was large and my backside was small. This meant that my waist to hip ratio (WHR) was poor. This ratio is determined by dividing the circumference of your waist by that of your hips (W ÷ H).
Researchers now believe that this ratio gives a better indication of an individual’s risk for metabolic disease.
According to the WHO, a healthy WHR is:
0.9 or less in men
0.85 or less for women
This study done by researchers from Johns Hopkins University used the following guidelines to determine metabolic health risks associated with WHR.
What Are The Risks Associated With A High WHR And Normal BMI?
In 2015, the Mayo Clinic conducted a study on 15,184 adults concerning mortality risks on individuals with high central obesity as measured by WHR. This study was conducted over a 14 year time period. Their findings were astonishing.
- A man with a normal BMI and central obesity had greater total mortality risk than one with similar BMI but no central obesity.
- This same man had twice the mortality risk of participants who were overweight or obese according to BMI only.
- Women with normal-weight central obesity also had a higher mortality risk than those with similar BMI but no central obesity and those who were obese according to BMI only.
- A man of normal weight with a high WHR was 87% more likely to die than a man of comparative BMI, but no central obesity.
- This same man was twice as likely to have died compared to a man who was overweight or obese by BMI but had no central obesity.
- At age 50, a man with a normal BMI and normal WHR had a 5.7% chance of dying within the next 10 years, but that rose to 10.3% chance for men with normal BMI, but a high WHR.
- A woman of normal BMI but high WHR had an almost 50% increased risk of death compared to a woman of similar BMI without central obesity, and a 33% increased risk compared to a woman with obese BMI.
A recent study of 42,702 participants also found that “when compared with the normal weight participants without central obesity, only normal weight and obese people with central obesity [measured by WHR ed.] were at increased risk for all-cause mortality.”
Okay, I think I’ve made it pretty clear. If you’re an NWO individual, if you have central obesity, or if you have a high WHR, you’re playing with fire. It’s not something you want to ignore. Your health risks are too high.
At one time my WHR was almost a 1. That meant I was at a high risk for metabolic disease. I had to do something about it.
My Transition To Keto
Here is a progression of my journey to a ketogenic diet.
My highest weight was 193 pounds. At that point, my waist was 40. This caused my WHR to measure at a whopping 1.05. As I said, I was a metabolic ticking time bomb. I hit these numbers shortly after going gluten-free (GF). At that time, manufacturers were just starting to make tasty GF products (bread, pizza, pasta, etc.), and I was devouring them like there was no tomorrow.
On the paleo diet, I ditched all refined grains (except rice), sugar, industrial seed oils, and processed foods. If I had forsaken rice and sweet potatoes, I probably would have lost more weight.
It was the low-carb diet, though, that caused significant amounts of fat to melt away from my abdomen. However, I eventually plateaued, and that’s when I went keto. You’ll notice that my hip measurement increased by 1 inch. After two years of barbell back squats, my legs have gotten tremendously stronger (for me :)) but I guess I just can’t put any fat on my backside.
Also, notice that I didn’t lose strength during my keto period. Initially, I did reduce some weight on bench press and deadlifts, but within a few months, I regained what I lost.
So, as you can see, in order to really get where I had to be I needed to make the leap to keto. I don’t think staying moderately low-carb would have gotten me there.
It was during the paleo phase that most of the energy I lost because of CFS was restored. A big thanks to Mark Sisson at Mark’s Daily Apple for introducing me to paleo. That brings me to how keto could help my CFS.
Can Keto Help With CFS?
I developed CFS in 1986. It came on me literally overnight. Within 24 hours I had lost at least 60% of my energy levels. It took nearly 26 years to get back to 90 percent. The three biggest factors that helped me were daily walking, a reduction in stress, and the paleo diet. From what I’ve read, few people heal 100% from CFS. But I wanted to see if I could get to 100%.
Could the keto diet help get me there? I haven’t seen any studies suggesting it might, but theoretically it’s possible. Here’s why.
CFS Is An Inflammatory Disease
For years doctors told me I had inflammation going on inside my body. Like I didn’t know that. The fatigue, muscle aches, and early arthritic joint changes informed me of that every day. The experts said I must have some virus that we can’t detect. Nonetheless, I was chronically inflamed.
Doctors still don’t know what causes CFS, but a study released last year revealed that CFS is highly associated with an increased expression of inflammatory cytokines within the body. The researchers concluded, “Our findings show clearly that it’s an inflammatory disease.”
Now, in my first post in this series, I illustrated the potent anti-inflammatory nature of the keto diet. Would the keto diet be able to quell the inflammation still going on in my body? After being on the diet for 8 months, I can’t give you an empirical answer. But experientially I can say I’ve felt better than I have in 31 years.
CFS And Dysautonomia
About 90% of CFS sufferers have dysautonomia. I happen to be one of them. Dysautonomia is a dysfunction of the sympathetic and parasympathetic branches of the autonomic nervous system. Experts are not sure of the exact cause of the dysautonomia but there are 3 suspected ones. It’s either inherited, a result of some form of neurodegeneration, or it’s a result of an injury.
Now we know that a keto diet can help in conditions such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s where neurodegeneration has taken place. Can the keto diet help me with my dysautonomia? The jury is still out on that but I will keep you informed.
That’s my keto journey. In our next post, I’ll walk you through exactly how we do keto.
Thanks for reading. I hope you have a blessed week. Don’t forget to leave a comment. We’d love to hear from you.
P. S. If you’re looking for low-carb recipes, get a copy of Barbara’s newly released eBook Bursting With Flavor: 50 low-carb and gluten-free recipes designed to delight your taste buds. This isn’t just any cookbook. It’s filled with her tastiest and healthiest recipes. You’ll be able to walk into your kitchen excited to easily cook a new meal each day.
Read this next
Our Keto Journey Part 4: How We Calculate Our Keto Diet Macros
Our Keto Journey Part 5: Important Tweaks We Made For Keto Success
How To Use The MyFitnessPal App On Your Mobile Device
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- 65 Years Old And Getting Stronger: How We’re Doing It! - January 20, 2022
- If You’re Over 40 You’re Probably Losing Strength. You Must Deal With It Now! - January 4, 2022
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I commented on a post from your Progressing Pilgrim site. I am skinny fat and 45. Diagnosed with dysautomonia (POTS/OI) but CFS really is my problem. I am hoping you can answer a question for me. I was quite fit before I got sick. I built muscle very easily and was quite athletic. Years of a sedentary CFS life have turned my muscle to squish. I just stared a keto diet 6 days ago and as of yet am still very exercise intolerant. Do you think it’s possible to lose the cellulite looking fat that is present even on my calves now? I have really put my energy into caring for my home and children which hasn’t left energy for enough exercise. I do about 15 mins on a bike but have been trying to save my limited energy for my family. I used to over exercise and then have terrible flares. I know it’s not technically what happened but it appears that my muscle has tuned to dimpled fat. Do you think that this fat can be eliminated or would I just build muscle if I regain health? It’s really a vanity question because health is my goal but I’ve always read you can’t eliminate cellulite and that’s what it looks like I have-again even in my “skinny” legs. Thanks so much to you and your wife for sharing so much good encouraging information. I feel like your sites are really answered prayer. I feel like i have tried everything and have recently focused on trying to increase ATP. I am encouraged by your story. Blessings to you, in Christ Jesus, Kay
Thanks for visiting our sites and your kind words. First, let me say that any advice I give you shouldn’t be construed as medical advice. You should always work with a really good integrative doctor if you can find one. Okay, with that said I’ll answer your questions from my own experience.
I hear what you’re saying about focusing your energy on your family. Probably one of the reasons it took me so long to heal was because we homeschooled 4 children from start to finish and ran a high pressure business at the same time. You can probably imagine how stressful that was.
I think you mentioned in another post that you’re about 40% recovered. When I was at 40% I didn’t even think about exercise. My goal was to get my energy levels up. My first really big jump came when I started walking. Barbara and I have been walking consistently for about 1.5 m, 5x a week for over 10 years (3.0-3.5 mph). I have a treadmill so I can continue during the winter months. Walking was a way for me to destress and build back some cardio. At only 40% energy I doubt I could have done any work on an exercise cycle. No way could I sustain that kind of aerobic intensity. Maybe on a good day I could but not consistently. I’ve recently experimented with some HIIT on the treadmill but its still difficult for me to recover. For me walking, stretching and strength training work very well.
After 32 years of dealing with CFS I’ve come to the conclusion that stress is the number one factor preventing healing (assuming all offending external toxins are removed). So as I look back over the last 10 years the key to healing for me was reducing all kinds of stress. Now, I didn’t jump right into a super low carb diet right away. I went GF almost 15 years ago. It didn’t help my energy that much but I was healing my gut (less stress on my immune system). About 7 years ago I went paleo, then lower carb (<50 g) and then keto 1.5 years ago. My point here is that I had to gradually convert to fat burning. Jumping into keto too quickly would have created to much stress on my body. That’s one reason why I don’t fast. Now, what my diet transformation did do was eliminate toxins, increase my insulin sensitivity and eliminate abdominal fat. Again, this was a significant means in reducing overall inflammation and thus stress on my body. But I did it gradually. Could I have done it all at once? I doubt it. Four years ago I was able to start strength training. But even though I was about 80-90 % healed when I started I had to begin very gradually and with light weight.
I guess my point is that before I worried about body recomposition my main focus was to get my energy back on a consistent basis. Once I did that then I was able to concentrate on building muscle and losing abdominal fat.
Now more specifically to your point. I didn’t go low carb or keto to lose weight specifically. I wanted to lose fat and reduce inflammation. Barbara on the other hand wanted to lose both weight and excess fat.
Here’s what we learned. In order to lose fat you have to limit carbs. For us that was at least < 50g/day in the beginning and now we’re < than 20G/day. But we also learned that we have be sensitive to our fat intake. In order to lose body fat you have to make sure you are limiting enough dietary fat so that your body uses its own body fat for energy. So the term high healthy fat is a relative term. When we first went keto we were very strict in keeping to our macro ratios as figured out by the macro calculator at ketogains.com. Lately we’ve lowered our fat intake and upped our protein intake. We both practice eating only between 12pm - 8pm. Barbara tells me that weight lose is a little harder for women. Even though she’s almost at an ideal weight she’s having trouble losing those last 5 stubborn pounds. I personally think it has something to do with body set weight. At 62, though, she’s in super good shape, believe me. As far as cellulite goes I have no experience with this, lol. But I think once your energy levels are back, you become fat adapted, and you start strength training it will disappear. Just my opinion though, Barbara nods yes. One last thing on CFS. I believe that a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system is one of the primary causes or at least one that prevents healing in CFS. Some dysautonomias are inherited and some have no known cause but I think chronic stress just makes it worse. Lately, I’ve been using heart rate variability monitoring and guided breathing to balance my parasympathetic and sympathetic nervous systems. It’s been working really well. See here, here, and here. Sorry for the long winded answer. I hope I’ve helped. May God bless you in your recovery. John
Thank you so very much for responding. I absolutely understand what you said about being unable to exercise much when only 40% better. I didn’t explain well. My first diagnosis was of POTS/OI and I think I tend to consider CFS a remaining symptom which is a bit backwards. If CFS is the “umbrella” problem I think all of my other diagnoses would fall under CFS. I went gluten free in 2010 at the suggestion of a Mayo Clinic neurologist. Over time I healed from migraines, vertigo, IBS, and fibromyalgia pain. The fatigue is the one thing I have not been able to overcome. I still have hyperadenergic POTS but I feel like it’s pretty well managed. I started keto before I found your site(s) and your story has been enough for me to commit to 2 months of eating bananas and apples every day :). It’s been 2 weeks for me so far and like you mentioned I haven’t had the “keto flu” perhaps because I’m on a high salt diet for my POTS. I do think God designed our bodies to move and my illness certainly has led to a sedentary lifestyle which has weakened my muscles creating a cycle that has worsened my fatigue. Over the years I’ve tried many things and read many books trying to increase my energy. Because you were willing to share your experience,I feel hopeful that dietary changes may help me. Over the years I have found that a gluten free diet was the best treatment I’ve had. It will be amazing if keto is a tool for further healing. I’d like to share more but don’t want to put too much out on the internet. So I will just say thank you to you and your wife. Your willingness to share blessed me with increased hope and the willpower to continue trying to function better. May God continue to bless you and your family !
Again thank you for your kind words. Bananas and apples? I don’t know about that. Here are some really good videos from Virta Health on keto dieting. https://blog.virtahealth.com/dr-stephen-phinney-ketosis-ketogenic-diets/
Hyperadrenergic POTS is a tough dysautonomia to deal with. I pray God grants you strength in your healing journey. Have you tried guided breathing techniques? I find it really helps to bring my sympathetics and parasympathetics into better balance. I’ve confirmed this by using the Elite HRV app.
Goodness! I’m so confusing haha- still haven’t adjusted to my middle aged eyes and my need for reading glasses! I mean to say NOT eating my usual apples and bananas. So sorry about that but thanks very much for the link. I have one final question for you. How long did it take for you to notice any improvement when you switched to a Keto Diet? I know it took months for me to notice any improvement on a gluten free diet. However once I started to feel better the change was quite dramatic. I remember where I was when I stopped to pray and thank God because I no longer had a headache. My apologies for my poor texting.
Thank you also for the breathing recommendation. The emotional/stress component of this illness took a long time for me to acknowledge. I struggled because of my faith in The Lord and my upbringing which emphasized self control over making emotional decisions. It seemed to me that admitting to poor stress management was a spiritual problem (my view has matured past this) I denied not handling stress well because I am not reactionary. I definitely hold my breath when stressed. I have started using an infrared sauna and have purchased some Christians Meditation tracks. Both have helped with sleep I believe. Sorry for taking up so much of your time. I look forward to reading more of your posts. I seriously loved your post on evolution. I’m a former teacher who loves science and respects math so it’s a soapbox issue for me. My kids and I were talking the other day about different bird’s nests… who taught birds how to make them? Why don’t all birds make similar nests? Obviously they were programmed by their maker. I don’t think ants and bees are operating they way they do because of “learned” behavior. I personally have never found ants to be very trainable haha 😂. The lack of logic is mind boggling😢 forgive any typos please. I type with thumbs on my phone which is rather risky given my need for readers. Have a wonderful weekend and I hope you keep writing!
With each new diet change (GF, paleo, low-carb, keto) I progressively gained more energy. Paleo and keto giving me the biggest boosts. I went keto in October of 2017. By January 2018 I noticed that I was having multiple 100% energy days in a row. I was also not experiencing any of that “chronic fatigue” feeling at all. Concerning the evolution thing, I hear you 100%. I’ve been studying it quite deeply lately and I’m amazed at how recent findings concerning the nature and role of DNA. RNA and the genome in human physiology completely render evolution an absurd hypothesis. These systems could only have come about from an all wise, all powerful Creator (Isa 42:8). Clearly, those who believe this theory have had their minds darkened. As a teacher you may be interested in this. Over 1000 scientists have signed the Dissent from Darwin petition? Obviously it’s a theory in crisis among academics. Pray that skepticism would arise in the rest of our culture.
God Bless and have a great week.
Diane Shriner says
Just found this post. Describes me exactly. 5’2” and 123lbs. BUT: large waist no butt little muscle/strength. And thought since I wasn’t “overweight” diet didn’t matter much. I do love protein but too many “good “ carbs as well. What is the best Keto plan and how do I get it.?
Barbara Bianchi says
I like the plan laid out in The Keto Reset Diet: Reboot Your Metabolism In 21 Days And Burn Fat Forever by Mark Sisson with Brad Kearns.
There are detailed sections on how to get going with the diet, how to tweak it to your situation, and how to overcome stumbling blocks.
Have a great weekend!
Diane Shriner says
Barbara, Thank you so much for taking the time to give me such a quick and helpful response! That is amazing. I look forward to reading this installment and following you closely. I will also order the book you recommended Thank you again!
Barbara Bianchi says
Aw, thanks! I’m so glad you’re finding this information helpful.
All the best in your healthy living journey. And if you have any more questions please reach out to me. 😊
Diane M Shriner says
Last thing (I promise not to be a pest!) We are traveling all of August and I will eat low carb and sensibly but when I get back I am doing Mark Sisson’s Keto Restart, reading your columns and looking forward to your recipes and tips. Also (and as important) taking your exercise and strength trainingguides to heart!
This article is EXTREMELY misleading. You weren’t “skinny-fat” in any definition of the word. You were possibly normal fat, but in the photo above, it’s pretty obvious you were even heavier than “normal”.
But no way were your arms and legs emaciated or even skinny.
Talk about a click-bait article.