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27 Y/O, 6'3" Beginner. 8 Months Progress

I started going to the gym 8 months ago for the first time in my life. Rightly or wrongly I self diagnosed myself as skinny fat. My goals are aesthetic, mainly wanting to put on size. I want to look more in proportion with my height and fill out my clothes better. I am 6ft3 and weighed 183.2lbs when I started, I now weigh 221.4lbs. For the first 6 months I followed a beginner push, pull, legs routine going to the gym 3 times a week. I have now moved onto an upper/lower split going 4 times a week.

For supplementation I take 2 servings of whey protein and 5g creatine mono hydrate a day. 8 months later I am pleased with the weight and size I have been able to put on but not sure what I need to do now? Should I be at a calorie deficit or surplus? I want to reduce the fat in my midsection or get better definition there but worry about loosing the size I have put on. Would appreciate any help you guys can provide

The number one thing you could do to improve aesthetics is lose bodyfat. As for ‘losing size’: Of course you will. But so long as you continue to train hard, and assuming you don’t pursue a stupid weight-loss plan (the Watermelon Diet!), you will not lose an appreciable amount of muscle. Further, you will probably look bigger (at least when your shirt’s off).

Note 1: You may need to diet back down to (or even below) your starting weight, depending upon the level of leanness needed to meet your internal standards. In that regard, bear in mind that the mirror–not the scale–is the arbiter of your success.

Note 2: If by aesthetic you actually just mean big, there’s no point in leaning out.

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Appreciate the reply, some great insight there!

In response to your question, by aesthetic I mean my main aim is to improve my physiques appearance, for superficial reasons I suppose.

Do you have any advice on the calories I should be consuming? I’ve previously been eating at a surplus of 500+ and from I’ve read for fat loss “cutting down” I need to be in a deficit?

Simply flip it–average a 500 cal/d deficit. That will produce about 1 lb/week fat loss–a perfect pace.

You’ve got a good frame, and are carrying a decent amount of muscle. You’re going to look great dieted down.