T Nation

Dark eye sockets anyone?

I’m dieting and doing cardio to get lean, and I am making progress but still not where I want to be. My ab “group” is visible, i.e. the outline of my abs, and my arms are getting leaner, but I still have a lot of fat to lose. Despite this, I’ve noticed that I have dark circles under my eyes and it looks like two worms are under my temples (ok, they’re just veins). I dont understand how I can still have all this fat to lose (esp lower back!) and yet my face is starting to make me look like a POW. I’ve even resorted to using some cosmetic product for “Dark circles under the eyes”. It ain’t working, probably because whatever is causing my dark circles isnt the same thing that makes middle-aged women get them. How is it that all these lean guys in the magazine have normal-looking faces when they are ripped? Is anyone else experiencing this while trying to get lean?

I get the same thing when I am dieting; darker circles under the eyes, wrinkles more evident–that POW look you mentioned. I think it is just an “IS” and just accept it as part of the process in the same way that if I am bulking my face fills out and I look younger and smoother. You would have to bump this for someone like Bill or Cy for a scientific explanation of why it happens.

As for the lean guys in the mags having normal looking faces–airbrushing, photoshop and lots of neat tricks with light!!

Most likely you’ve either:

  1. cut calories too low
  2. lost weight too fast
  3. lost too much weight
  4. are just stressed out

People seem to vary on how lean they get before they get the POW look as fat is not always lost proportionately…some lose a disproportionate amount of fat from their face vs other areas.

I’m sorry to break it, but I never have gotten dark circles unless stayed up for 3 nights in a row. I fluctuate from 3-5% bf… but I’m also younger than 30, and if I’ve ever been above 10% bf in my life I’d be really shocked. So ‘those guys’ with airbrushing— not always needed. Also if you’re absolutely dehydrating yourself and completely starving yourself of carbs, then I’m thinking the sinking in of the eye socket can be lower cellular osmotic pressure. You might also be out of cardio shape and are just really straining yourself. Have you asked other people whether you have dark circles? Perhaps you’re just not used to having deeper set eyes? Unless you’re 2% BF, I don’t think it’s from a body fat issue–

Mrs. Roids regularly gives me “dark circles” under, over and all around my eyes.

My face also gets real lean when cutting. You just hold fat in the stomach,lower back area and that is where the fat will probably come off last. I’ve gotten down to 8-9% and still had fat on my stomach and lower back. Might be something you have to live with. People always tell me my face is too lean.

Iron deficiency or vitamin K deficiency will cause dark circles. You could try an eye cream with Vitimin K for starters (generally it takes 6-8 weeks to see results). for amore permanent solution you can get fat grafting under the eye. Fun.