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  1. #1
    Registered User SkinnyFatCat's Avatar
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    Diet and help for a 'skinny-fat' guy... (photos attached)

    Hi, I'm a 26 year old guy weighing 77kg (170lbs) who's looking to finally get into shape... When I was younger I was never particularly sporty preferring to spend my time living a sedentary lifestyle playing computer games and the like. In my teens I was actually quite chubby, but intead of going to the gym and working out and playing sports like I should have, I simply ate a bit less and lost a bit of weight but also any shape that I could have had...

    However, I have now realised the error of my ways and am trying to fix what I've done over the last 10 years. I'm trying out Rippetoe's programme having joined a gym and am just starting... I think this is probably a good programme for someone like myself. I'm looking to gain a good athletic physique of about 90kg with minimal body fat.

    My main question comes down to diet though. I would self-diagnose myself as being 'skinny-fat' (i've uploaded pictures however so that you may judge for yourself), when one is in this uneviable position, what is the best route to take in terms of diet? I'd rather not put back on the flab I had when I was a kid (and as you can see i have a loose ring of flab arround my belly and lower back now), but at the same time I really wish to gain muscle to attain the kind of physique i desire. What kind of diet would I be best off on to achieve that? Would a supplement like cyclone by maximuscle which includes 500 calories a day (lots of dextrose) cause me to put on too much body fat? SHould I be eating in 'calorific excess' still? Would a diet such as the anabolic diet by any good for a beginner like me? And... slightly off-topic, but, have I chosen the correct program in Rippetoe's?

    Any advice appreciated!

    Many thanks, SFC.
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  2. #2
    Banned ryan250's Avatar
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    Some guys have lots of muscle? but too much fat. To get in great shape? these guys simply need to drop some weight.

    Other guys are all "skin and bones". To get in great shape, these guys just need to pack on a few pounds of muscle.

    But some guys are both skinny and fat?

    At The Same Time!

    These guys are stuck in "limbo-land". If they try to "bulk up"? they?ll just get fatter. But if they try to "trim down"? they?ll just get even skinnier.

    What to do?

    Fear not. Because in this article, I?ll reveal a fool proof plan that you can use to escape the curse of "skinny-fat".

    What Is Skinny Fat?

    Skinny-fat is the un-enviable situation of having not enough muscle and too much body fat.

    If you fall under the "skinny-fat" category, here are three keys that you can follow to banish your extra body fat, build muscle and escape the trap of skinny-fatness.

    Key #1: Pick A Path And Commit

    If you?re skinny-fat, then you need to both burn off body fat and gain muscle.

    But there?s a catch. You can?t make significant progress trying to accomplish both goals at the same time.

    It?s like trying to run North and South at the same time.You?re going to go back and forth? but eventually you will be right back where you started.

    Now, it?s not impossible to gain a small amount of muscle while you are peeling off body fat. And it?s not impossible to burn a small amount of body fat while adding new muscle.

    But you need to pick your primary goal (adding muscle or burning off body fat) and commit to a course of action.

    Key #2: Stop Listening To The "Experts"

    The muscle magazines would have you believe that you can magically burn off 60 pounds of fat while simultaneously adding 90 pounds of muscle.

    Sorry Charlie? but that just ain?t going to happen.

    In order to get rid of that skinny-fatness, you?ve got to stop listening to the so-called bodybuilding "experts."

    Here?s the thing:

    Professional bodybuilders have incredible genetics for building muscle and burning fat. Their bodies work differently than yours and mine. They respond better to weight training, recover quicker? and even process nutrients differently.

    On top of that? these guys are taking boat loads of illegal steroids that allow them to recover even quicker, build muscle at an accelerated clip and burn off fat even while over-eating.

    You know how some guys never work out but still have large muscles? Or how some guys can eat whatever they want and still have six-pack abs?

    Those guys obviously have a different genetic make-up than you and I.

    Heck? even the fact that your body has figured out a way to get skinny and fat at the same time should be proof positive that maybe Mom and Dad didn?t exactly bless you with the best genetic combination for building muscle or burning fat.

    But no worries. All hope is not lost.

    You can still build an incredible physique. But you can?t blindly follow the advice of popular bodybuilding professionals because they are clearly playing by different rules.

    Key #3: Kill Two Birds With One Stone

    Bodybuilding is a sport of extremes. And when trying to gain weight or burn off body fat, we too often get caught up at one end of the spectrum.

    For example, just because you are trying to gain weight? you don?t necessarily have to eliminate cardio and start pigging out.

    In fact, if you followed a sensible weight gain strategy and included some moderate cardio, you could actually build muscle while slightly reducing your body fat.

    On the other side, if you are trying to burn off body fat you don?t necessarily have to cut your calories super low and sacrifice all your muscle.

    If you follow a sensible fat loss strategy, you could actually burn off body fat and keep all your muscle or even add a few pounds of new muscle.

    I?m Not Just The President?
    I?m Also A Member

    Remember those hair club commercials where the announcer would say something like "How do I know so much about toupees? Well, I?m not only the president of the hair club? I?m also a member."

    I?ve got a similar story. What makes me qualified to help skinny-fat guys? Well? I used to be a skinny fat guy.

    And I managed to add muscle, burn off body fat and get "un-skinny-fat" in just 30 days.
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  3. #3
    Registered User longsnapper50's Avatar
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    ^^^ did u wright that or was that an article?
    support the troops.
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    Registered User oaks's Avatar
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    I would suggest going on a clean bulk for a while, buddy. You should try to build a solid muscle base so that, when it comes time to cut down, you have some muscle tone, and wont become even skinnier.

    Since you are just starting you have the ability to make great gains in the first 4-6 months of training, so use that to your advantage.
    Find a calorie calculator, there are plenty in this forum, and go on a clean bulk for the first 4-6 months. After that, then you can start to shed a few lbs.

    Just my thoughts, but thats how i'd approach it.
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  5. #5
    Fallen From Grace KevinConflict's Avatar
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    Dont cut, bulk. Seriously.
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  6. #6
    Registered User hooked4life's Avatar
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    Really not that fat. If you bulk well (do a lot of reading about it) you will be bale to gain a lot of muscle without much fat at all. I think you will be pretty happy with what your frame will look like with 15+ pounds of muscle added to it.
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  7. #7
    Infinite Series jack3d_brah9's Avatar
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    you're not really fat at all the problem is you just have little to no muscle, like people said above go on a slow clean bulk and some added muscle will make you look loads better. Plus after you gain that muscle even if you do put on a little bit of fat you'll still look better and it will be easier to burn off that fat when its time to cut.
    "The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights"

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  8. #8
    Stay hydrated RandallH19891's Avatar
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    I agree. I am in a similar boat as you, and I decided to bulk and add mass. The fat can be shed later. The problem is, if you cut down now, you'll still look flabby. So, the solution is to add muscle mass, then cut down to something better.
    Just going through the motions is one of the most disadvantageous things you can do.
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  9. #9
    Registered User K-Dawg_05's Avatar
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    I would find your maintenance level and stick with that and just bust your ass off in the gym, and see where it takes you.
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    seaman extremist battousai216's Avatar
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    clean bulk.

    and no dont eat maintenance, you'll just be maintaning which i don't believe is your goal.
    you wanna know how i did it, this is how, i never saved anything for the swim back.
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  11. #11
    Registered User sejjie's Avatar
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    both ways are fine, I personally cut first to sub 10% bf with little muscle then bulked up clean, and am happy with results.
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  12. #12
    Registered User K-Dawg_05's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by battousai216 View Post
    clean bulk.

    and no dont eat maintenance, you'll just be maintaning which i don't believe is your goal.
    yes find your maintenance, you have enough fat there is no need to go into a surplus and store more fat even if you gain some muscle, you can still gain muscle and burn off that fat. Once you reach about 8 percent bf then bulk.
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  13. #13
    Registered User SkinnyFatCat's Avatar
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    Thanks for all your help guys! Looking at your advice I think I'm going to go for a slow, clean bulk. Keeping an eye on my weight and body fat and work hard in the gym!!

    Thanks again for your advice!
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  14. #14
    Registered User DueceMob's Avatar
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    I was/am the exact same boat as you... when i 1st started I had a very similar body to you, very weak and bf around 20%.

    I never cut back on calories just eliminated the bad stuff and replaced it with lean foods, I eat more now than ever. Just hit the gym hard and don't over cardio it. i fell into the cardio trap early and got skinnyskinny fast. If i could do it all over I'd just hit the weights hard right off the bat
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  15. #15
    Registered User SpaceButler's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by K-Dawg_05 View Post
    yes find your maintenance, you have enough fat there is no need to go into a surplus and store more fat even if you gain some muscle, you can still gain muscle and burn off that fat. Once you reach about 8 percent bf then bulk.
    I'm also riding the skinny-fat express to no where. I like this thought though.

    I've been wracking my brain on whether to bulk (when my waist is 33 inches and my ass is 39), or continue to cut, (when my chest is 38.5 and my arms are 12.5).

    If I was to find my maintenance, would that be the best way to cut fat until I'm lean enough to start a real bulk? Cause if that's a general consensus, I'm just going to commit to that for a few months until I get 10-12% BF.
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  16. #16
    Registered User LoRdAc][d's Avatar
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    I am in the same boat as you.

    Started at 23% bf @ 178lbs, 120lbs lean body mass
    Cut for 8 months to 14%bf @ 148lbs (123lbs lean body mass, pathetic!) and I was skinny fat! Couldn't go any lower because I had such low muscle mass.

    Been clean bulking for 2 months now, check sig for details. Up to 166lbs but I dunno what my bf% is. I want to bulk for 1 more month then get dunked to get my bf %.

    In all honesty, I HIGHLY recommend cutting first before bulking. I was weight training and doing cardio for those 8 months of cutting and it TOTALLY prepared my joints, muscles and body to hit the bulk hard. If you've never worked out before and you're stepping into the gym expecting to do reps to failure or super sets, you're going to burn out and mess up your body.

    If I had gone straight to the bulk, I would have had to slowly ease into the weights over 1-2 months of high reps no failure, 10-12 reps per set.

    Do what you want but that's what I would suggest. Don't cut for 8 months like I did, but get in the gym and prepare your body with low weights for at least 2 months, otherwise you might get frustrated and quit.
    Goal: Reach 165 lbs of muscle. 15 more lbs of muscle to go!

    July 1, 2008 - 148lbs, 120lbs LBM, (started bulk)
    Feb 1, 2009 - 190lbs, 140lbs LBM, (end bulk, start cut)
    Nov 17, 2009 - 162lbs, 132lbs LBM, (end cut, start bulk)
    Aug 22, 2010 - 210lbs, 150lbs LBM, (end bulk, start cut)

    "You can't get to the top by sitting on your bottom"
    Who cares how strong you are? Bodybuilding is about how you look.
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  17. #17
    Registered User RADIRON's Avatar
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    fat? what fat? that teeny weeny belly bulge? dude, you're not fat, you're soft. decide if you wanna be jacked or if you wanna be an emo kid and go from there. that softness would be gone pretty soon if you start hitting the gym and eating right.
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  18. #18
    Cut cut cut... scoot557's Avatar
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    I usually recommend bulking before cutting in situations like these. Extra muscle mass makes cutting much easier, although it's a slower process in the beginning, I think it makes for better end results given the same time period.
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    Interesting things read on this forum. An FAQ of sorts. -
    http://forum.bodybuilding.com/showpost.php?p=226367561&postcount=24

    Read this to see common nutrition myths debunked.
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  19. #19
    Registered User SpaceButler's Avatar
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    Damn these decisions!

    I'm just going to pick something and stick with it for a couple months.
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    Originally Posted by SpaceButler View Post
    Damn these decisions!

    I'm just going to pick something and stick with it for a couple months.
    Best possible way to do it. So much faster than spinning your wheels at maintenance for a long time.
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  21. #21
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    Originally Posted by oaks View Post
    I would suggest going on a clean bulk for a while, buddy. You should try to build a solid muscle base so that, when it comes time to cut down, you have some muscle tone, and wont become even skinnier.

    Since you are just starting you have the ability to make great gains in the first 4-6 months of training, so use that to your advantage.
    Find a calorie calculator, there are plenty in this forum, and go on a clean bulk for the first 4-6 months. After that, then you can start to shed a few lbs.

    Just my thoughts, but thats how i'd approach it.
    x2

    Heavy weights. Clean diet. Slightly above maintenance. Fitday.com is a great for calorie counting and macro breakdown.
    Live, laugh, Love.
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  22. #22
    2009 World Series champs GiambiFan's Avatar
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    When in doubt, bulk.
    Milos Sarcev > Nutrition Forum

    Jay Cutler will always be Mr. O to me.
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    Don't mean to hijack the thread, but it seemed better than making a whole new one.

    Even with low muscle mass, should it be reasonably achievable to get to, say, 12% body fat without resorting to some extreme diet? Like if I keep up on my weightlifting and protein consumption, with carbs in check, would one have an unusually hard time getting to that level of leanness?
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    Don't worry, hi-jack away! Useful for us both in the end...

    I'm definitely going for the clean bulk option as I think I'll just look like a stick if I cut now. I'll just keep an eye on my body fat and regulate if its looking like it's getting out of control. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that my beginner gains will enable me to lose a bit of fat and gain some muscle at the same time but even if it doesn't work out at least I'll have something to cut back to!

    Thanks for all your input guys!
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    I'm in the same boat and it sucks. I'm 5'11" 165lbs and 12.5% bf and my physique looks about the same as yours. I've been sea-sawing back and forth between bulking and cutting for over a year with basically no gains like some people mentioned in this thread. So I do agree that you're going to need to pick a path and stick with it all the way through.

    Unfortunately, I also have a predisposition to store fat in my face meaning any bulk makes me look 10000x worse than most people when they bulk. I think at this point I'm just going to eat at maintenance and try to lean out instead of putting on mass and be happy with my natural weight range. It beats out having a puffy/bloated face. Oh yea, I have a flabby-ass too at my current stats as well which is annoying as hell, I'm doing HIIT 3 times a week for 20-25 mins each time to try to solve this problem.
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    Same here, im at 180lbs with a height of 6'2" and i'd say my BF is 12-14%. Ive been doing straight up cardio the last year or so coming from 270lbs, I really think its time to switch over and clean bulk it with a 3 day split and minimum cardio (25 mins hiit 3 times a week).

    I've been in that struggle mode deciding on what to do and this week has been the start of my clean bulk. Clean out all the crap in my diet (as hard as that is in college) and eat an ass load of good foods with high protein.
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    just keep in mind that cardio does not 'burn fat.' it simply burns more calories, that might contribute to a net calories deficit. what i am saying is that cardio on a bulk is only good for general health and what not. doesn't help you stay lean while bulking.
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    Originally Posted by ryan250 View Post
    Some guys have lots of muscle? but too much fat. To get in great shape? these guys simply need to drop some weight.
    looks like this article was copied from here: http://ezinearticles.com/?Help-For-G...Are-Skinny-Fat
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    Hi guys, sorry to bump the thread but thought it'd be better than starting a new one, and thought I'd see if anyone of the people above are still on here and can say how they went with the paths they said they were choosing?
    I'm a smidge under 6 foot, weight 169 pounds (have put on about 6 pounds in the last few months since I started at the gym/eating more), and when I say i'm skinny fat, I don't just mean a little flabby. I mean look at me side on and i'm getting a pronounced belly, which I think is getting worse.... My goal is to be able to wear a normal size t-shirt without my arms taking up less than half of the sleeve's width haha....

    What I'm wanting to know is if I should keep eating heaps and try and get a calorie surplus through food/(isomass has been recommended to me also), or if due to the high percentage of fat already if I can grow muscle without taking in the excess calories. Its not actual weight that I want to gain, as I know people that are almost identical to me in height and weight but have a more 'usual' frame ie not skinny arms etc...

    I guess I've been reading about everything a skinny guy needs to do to 'bulk up' but nothing skinny-fat related, and thought that maybe I've been going about it the wrong way. Oh and yeh I've been lifting at the gym now for a few months, so I'm not just sitting on my ass or anything, except in the cardio deparment...

    Cheers guys
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    Originally Posted by Clintonb View Post
    Hi guys, sorry to bump the thread but thought it'd be better than starting a new one, and thought I'd see if anyone of the people above are still on here and can say how they went with the paths they said they were choosing?
    I'm a smidge under 6 foot, weight 169 pounds (have put on about 6 pounds in the last few months since I started at the gym/eating more), and when I say i'm skinny fat, I don't just mean a little flabby. I mean look at me side on and i'm getting a pronounced belly, which I think is getting worse.... My goal is to be able to wear a normal size t-shirt without my arms taking up less than half of the sleeve's width haha....

    What I'm wanting to know is if I should keep eating heaps and try and get a calorie surplus through food/(isomass has been recommended to me also), or if due to the high percentage of fat already if I can grow muscle without taking in the excess calories. Its not actual weight that I want to gain, as I know people that are almost identical to me in height and weight but have a more 'usual' frame ie not skinny arms etc...

    I guess I've been reading about everything a skinny guy needs to do to 'bulk up' but nothing skinny-fat related, and thought that maybe I've been going about it the wrong way. Oh and yeh I've been lifting at the gym now for a few months, so I'm not just sitting on my ass or anything, except in the cardio deparment...

    Cheers guys
    a basic leangains.com program could work for you. surplus to build, deficit to cut. alternating days if you want to do both.
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