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  1. #1
    Registered User adam6798's Avatar
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    Skinny fat - 174lb and 25-30% body fat - I don't know how to fix this

    I'm male, 37 years old (I don't know why my profile says 50), I'm 174lb (12st 6), I'm 5'11 in height and from looking at example pictures on the internet I would estimate that my bodyfat percentage is somewhere between 25-30%. I'm weak and if I stand sideways and let my stomach go I look pregnant.
    I've wanted to fix this problem all of my life and I have lifted weights on and off but never made progress due to losing motivation.

    About a month ago I decided to have one last go at fixing myself (at my age it feels as though I have to do it now).

    I'm working out in my garage with a squat rack, bench and free weights, doing a basic push/pull/legs, doing each twice a week.
    I am currently eating above maintenance, up to 300 calories above (at least according to my estimates/calculations which could be wrong).
    I've been doing this for just over a month, my lifts are increasing, I can feel muscle building on my shoulders, arms, back, legs, everywhere really.

    My problem is that when I look in the mirror all I see is fat and it demotivates me. I feel like I'm making progress but then I let my stomach go in the mirror and suddenly I feel like I've made no progress. I keep thinking maybe I should cut and get rid of this fat, but I have nothing to cut to. But maybe I could cut and rely on newbie muscle gains to get some extra muscle while shedding the fat too?

    The other part of the problem is that I've just measured my belly and it's 40 inches - according to medical information I've seen that's the borderline where health issues start to escalate.
    Should I to cut at least enough to get my belly down to a safer measurement before carrying on with my slight calorie surplus? Will my belly ever reduce unless I do a cut?
    Or should I just plough on with my current calorie surplus and forget these negative thoughts and hope that over time my body starts to take shape and the belly reduces?

    I've read so much about all of this stuff and I feel as though I understand my options but it seems like I'm screwed whichever course I take...I cut to nothing or carry on building but keep my 40 inch belly.

    I'm currently reading up on body recomposition but I don't want to keep switching, I need a plan and stick to it.

    Can anyone offer any words of wisdom?

    (Just to reiterate, even though I say my belly is 40 inches and that I am maybe 25-50% bodyfat, I just look skinny)
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  2. #2
    Registered User shaneinga's Avatar
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    There is no reason to be bulking at 25 to 30 percent body fat. Your intuition is correct, you need to drop body fat. If you want a good easy number to shoot for, try to get your waist measurement under half your height.

    At 5 foot 11, or 71 inches you should shoot for a waist measurement of 35.5 inches. It's not a set in stone measurement but something good to aim for.

    Continue to lift weights while you do this but dropping body fat should be your main goal at this point.
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  3. #3
    Registered User Luclin999's Avatar
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    Work on losing the fat but keep lifting to stress your muscle mass to insure that most of the weight lost is from fat and not from lean tissue.

    Figure out your maintenance calories and aim for a deficit of about 500 calories/day below that to start losing roughly one pound per week. At the same time, start a proven weight training program for beginners like Stronlifts or Fierce Five and follow it to the letter. Do that consistently for the next six months and you should look a lot better overall.

    And don't let "age" be an excuse for not getting it done. This is a comparison of me from 6.5 years ago (when I was 48) vs. today ...



    It takes work but it can be done.
    Last edited by Luclin999; 07-08-2020 at 11:49 AM.
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  4. #4
    Registered User adam6798's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by shaneinga View Post
    There is no reason to be bulking at 25 to 30 percent body fat. Your intuition is correct, you need to drop body fat. If you want a good easy number to shoot for, try to get your waist measurement under half your height.

    At 5 foot 11, or 71 inches you should shoot for a waist measurement of 35.5 inches. It's not a set in stone measurement but something good to aim for.

    Continue to lift weights while you do this but dropping body fat should be your main goal at this point.
    Thanks, I appreciate the advice, it is helping me to refocus - I agree now the fat has to be the first thing to focus on. Having that goal in mind of 35.5 inches sounds useful.
    My main issue with the idea of cutting was always that all of my fat is on my belly and is pretty much hidden when I hold it in...what will the rest of me look like as I lose fat...I can only hope that working as hard as I can in the gym will counteract some of that.
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  5. #5
    Registered User adam6798's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Luclin999 View Post
    Work on losing the fat but keep lifting to stress your muscle mass to insure that most of the weight lost is from fat and not from lean tissue.

    Figure out your maintenance calories and aim for a deficit of about 500 calories/day below that to start losing roughly one pound per week. At the same time, start a proven weight training program for beginners like Stronlifts or Fierce Five and follow it to the letter. Do that consistently for the next six months and you should look a lot better overall.

    And don't let "age" be an excuse for not getting it done. This is a comparison of me from 6.5 years ago (when I was 48) vs. today ...

    It takes work but it can be done.
    Thanks a lot for the advice, I'll try the deficit and will look at stronglifts. I mostly started doing my push/pull/legs routine because it was very similar to a pretty easy split that I'd already done in the past, i.e. back/biceps, chest/shoulder/tri, legs.

    You look as though you started with more of a muscle base than I have, but hopefully I can do something similar, that's a pretty impressive transformation.
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