Bulking Advice and Lower Back/Love Handle Fat

Hey guys. I’m 31 years old and 6’1. Currently in the process of a bulk which I’ve been doing for about 2 months now. I’ve gone from around 186lbs up to 202lbs. I’ve been able to put on some good muscle in that time, particularly to my upper legs, deltoids and lats but I’ve also, inevitably, put on some fat too which I was aware of but not quite aware to how bad it was until I was checking my back progress in the mirror earlier. I’ve got a lot of fat in the lower back and love handle area. I know this is the area men tend to store there fat but I’MO it looks quite bad on me. My torso is an hour glass shape, starts wider at the top of my lats and then comes in only to go straight back out at the love handle area. Not sure if I’ve got wide hips which is making the problem worse.

I’m unsure as to what I should do now? If I carry on with the bulk this is only going to get worse and, I imagine, will be more difficult to correct with diet later. And how much weight should a person look to put on during a bulk anyhow or is it purely a personal choice?

Here’s some stats. I’d consider myself mainly an ectomorph with some mesomorph qualities.

Body fat: 16-18% (that’s a guess based purely on pics of people at certain body fats and seeing people estimate the body fat of others on forums)
Cold flexed measurements
Chest: 41"
Waist: 33"
Biceps/Calves: 15"
Forearms: 11.5"
Quads: 25"

I don’t know your training age but that type of weight change in that time, coupled with the love handles you describe, makes me think ‘dirty bulk’. You may want to consider a cutting phase designed to get you into better eating habits and improved insulin sensitivity. There is some consensus around trying to build when you are lean enough, although that starting point is hotly debated. On one end of the spectrum is Poliquin, who states everyone above 10% BF is ‘fat’. Others have said 12-15%. If you can get a genuine measurement, i.e. DEXA, then you may be in a better position to plot a course of action.

How much cardio/ conditioning do you do OP?

Your body is going to put fat on where you are predisposed to put fat on. Food choices may help give you control on whether subcutaneous or visceral fat gets piled on but if you think overeating cabbage is going to magically redistribute fat, you’re in for a bad time.

Best bet is not to put masses of fat on.

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Yeah i wouldn’t let fat gain get any higher.

How are you bulking, cheat foods/very high carb?
What training program you on?