Why are some people skinny but with a double-chin? What causes this double-chin, and how do you fix it?
The Anatomy Of Being Skinny And The Double Chin
Being skinny means that you are under-muscled. This means that you aren’t carrying enough muscle mass for your frame, making you look skinny.
Now, you can also be carrying too much fat, making you look fat. If you are both under-muscled with too much fat, this is often called the “skinny-fat” body type.
The problem with the skinny-fat body is that it’s characterized by being both weak (under-muscled) and too fat.
But it gets worse. It’s not a normal type of fat. Normal fat is called subcutaneous fat, which is stored directly under the skin.
Skinny-fat people are dealing with a bad type of fat.
This bad fat is often called visceral or intramuscular fat—and it’s correlated with all sorts of bad health outcomes like heart disease, diabetes, and inflammation in general.
So if you’re skinny with a double-chin, you can’t just cut calories and eat less energy through a calorie deficit.
This is because the fat neck isn’t a calorie problem but rather a health problem.
2020 Study: Neck Fat Is Heart Disease And Inflammation
Let’s take a look at this study published in late 2020, called Neck adipose tissue accumulation is associated with higher overall and central adiposity, a higher cardiometabolic risk, and a pro-inflammatory profile in young adults.
Researchers looked at 139 “healthy” young men and women using a CT scan to look at their necks.
Here’s a CT scan of what they found:
This is sort of a complicated image, so I’ve added a few things to it to help you understand what we’re looking at.
- BLUE—Subc. Nat = Subcutaneous Neck Fat. This is normal fat storage that we can use for energy.
- RED—Interm. Nat = Intermuscular Neck Fat. This is a bad fat storage pattern, which is linked to inflammation and heart disease.
While it’s true that the obese and overweight necks had more regular subcutaneous fat that they could melt away through eating less food, they would still be left with the extra intermuscular fat, which is linked to bad health outcomes.
To solve the fat double-chin neck, you must improve your health and reverse your heart disease and developing diabetes (insulin resistance.) Here’s what the researchers found correlated with neck fat.
- More neck fat = more cardiometabolic risk
- More neck fat = less physical fitness
- More neck fat = worse glycemic control and blood lipids
- More neck fat = high inflammation levels
These health effects of neck fat were seen in both men and women.
Is it normal for skinny people to have double chins?
It is common, but it is not normal for skinny people to have double-chins. People in general, who are truly healthy, should not have double-chins.
What this means is that people with double-chins have developing heart disease or diabetes—whether or not they’re skinny (low levels of muscle) or have more muscle mass. The study authors considered them “healthy” as they were all in between 18-25 and without full-blown disease, but these people were clearly on a path to a bad health outcome.
It is not normal for young eighteen-year-olds to be showing symptoms of developing heart disease and diabetes.
How do I get rid of the fat under my chin?
Because the fat under your chin is not really a calorie issue but a health issue, you cannot just eat less food and expect to go away. You must fix your health to do this. It is best to work with a medical professional who can see you in person and work with you to improve your diet and your lifestyle, like a licenced naturopath or functional doctor.
But there is a lot of research has been done on this area of ways to improve and reverse markers of heart disease and diabetes. Here is what many studies have found to help with improving insulin resistance and heart disease.
Do more of these things
- Walk 7,500 to 10,000 steps every day outside in the sunshine.
- Do resistance training, like lifting weights, a couple of times a week.
- Eat more wild seafood, pasture and grass-finished meat to get more omega-3s and phytonutrients.
- Drink spring water, which is rich in minerals and doesn’t contain fluoride or chlorine
- Consume more bone broth or collagen-based sources of protein like gelatin or collagen powders.
Stop doing these things
- Stop eating all forms of processed sugar like soda pop and candy
- Stop eating all forms of iron-fortified white flour (burger buns, pizza, pasta, muffins, croissants, etc.)
- Stop eating all forms of industrially processed oils (deep-fried foods, chips, foods from restaurants, etc.)
- Stop eating all forms of food that include additives, particularly citric acid and titanium oxide.
- Stop eating all forms of foods treated with glyphosate or other herbicides and pesticides
- Stop drinking hard alcohol and wine treated with sulphites
- Stop using heavy blue lights like LEDs in your house which disrupts melatonin release at night
It may seem complicated, but it’s well worth learning because you can get your health back, and feel great, and look great, while you’re doing it. Each day you can feel a little bit better than the last. If you want more help, we cover the exact game plan of what to eat and how to exercise in the Skinny Fat Fix program.