T Nation

Drop Body Fat And Increase Size


Sup guys, this is my first post here. Im 22, 5'10" 184-186 depending on the day! My whole life Ive been either pudgy or really thin and never truly fit. Im coming off a pudgy spell and Im sick of the fluctuation. Ive commited to fitness and have been consistent since August, its not the longest time but I had to start somewhere.

My question is perhaps based on missunderstanding. The way I understand is to decrease body fat % you need to create a caloric defficiency in order to force your body to turn to fat for energy. On the other hand muscles need to be fed and in order to gain mass a caloric surplus must be induced. As I have seeb pics of many strong lean bodies it appears that Im missing a major piece of the puzzle. If you can advise Id appreciate it.



You gotta pick a goal. Its hard to gain ALOT of muscle and lose alot of fat at the same time. It can be done in some moderation but if you really wanna put some size on you gotta eat to do it. Same thing goes for being cut, except that you gotta focus on losing fat.. The thing for you is to build a decent base before you worry about getting cut. Now if your already pudgy then maybe a massive bulk isn't the right idea but perhaps eating a little above maintanence and doing a little cardio on your off days.


It depends on your meaning of the word "simultaneously." You CAN do both over the course of weeks and months. You don't have to bulk then cut (or vice-versa) exclusively. Since you're relatively new to this, I really recommend learning to eat clean without focusing on calories so much. Then, cycle through some different weight training programs and learn what's best for you.

Bottom line: at this point, don't waste time focusing on "bulking" or "cutting"...learn to eat well, lift hard, get stronger, get smarter, and PUT ON MUSCLE.


I agree... Establish the habits of eating well and exercising first. Keep track quantitatively of what's happening to your body (ie measure weight and calliper sites every few weeks). Then, once you're ready, adjust your caloric intake from there.


I think Im a bit further then I let on. Ive read an enourmous amount on nutrition and have spoke with the head of the science dpt. at my college, as well as with two personal trainers who by looking at them know a thing or two.

So Ive cut what I now call "Bad Phill" foods out of my diet. No fast food, no mayo, mustard, things like that. I eat a lot of fish, chicken, vegetables, fruit, whole grain wheat bread, and various other foods on the recomended list.

I also take a multi vitamin and have been captain water drinker since I started in Aug. I dont drink alchohol (alchoholism is common in my family) I also dont drink soda. Just unsweetened brewed ice tea and water.

To be straight to the point, I got the pinch test done today and Im 21% bf down from 27% and quite honestly Im embarassed about it. I really am struggling with how to go about this as I dont feel I am improving at an acceptable rate. Im thinking about trying out supplements but am afraid to be snake oil.

Hopefully that was helpfull, I appreciate the feedback!


Well, on the plus side, though you may not be seeing it visibly, you did achieve a decent drop.

Seriously, if you can just keep things moving in the right direction, then it won't be long until you get where you want to be.

All the work you are doing in the gym should ensure you've got some muscles, and when you finally get down to them, you'll be able to see them.

Just keep going... you shouldn't be discouraged with your progress, this stuff doesn't happen overnight.


Very true. The biggest mistake alot of people make is when they don't see results in a day a week or even a month(atleast not alot of results) they do something drastic especially in the way of losing fat. But just keep going and you'll get there.


I know we're living in the tail end of the days of "overtraining hysteria", but honestly, how much are you doing now and what's keeping you from doing more. I think everyone's observed athletes that eat like shit and remain lean and mean.

This isn't just because of genetics. They both take in and expend a ton of energy. You should do the same. Eat more, move more.

If you're in college, don't they have group fitness classes for free or at least for reasonable fees? Do one every night on top of your regular workouts. Last week, for example, I did four of my regular workouts plus one rugby practice, two spinning classes, a personal training class workout, two yoga classes and two hour long bouts of racquetball.

That's between 10 and 15 hours of work. It's alot, but it's nothing compared to what some of the shit eating athletes I know do.

You also need to eat more. If you're eating good food, you can almost always eat more then you think you can. Plus, the more active you are the more that food's gonna go where you want it, and the less it goes where you don't (blubber).

?G man, energy flux.

There's a saying, which I read as being Okinawan, "Make much, spend much." That should be your goal, metabolically speaking.


I know if you're going from pudgy to too skinny and back, I'd be wondering greatly about what you're sticking in your mouth. How clean are you eating? Vegetables intake? Etc?

Are you working towards strength, size...what?


I made a reply that covered my food intake a few hours ago and Im not seeing it? Probably a user error.

My weight fluctuation was due to me being the captain of the bong smoking team. So my skinny phase was due to me not taking care of myself at all, that was easily 4-5 years ago so Ive since returned to my normal physique.

Todays meals is an excellent example of my diet.

Woke up and had one cup of coffee with a tad of soy milk and also a banana. Took my multi vitamin with a protein shake in water(120 cal, 3carbs 24g protein)

For a snack I had an orange and one of those honey oat bars.

For lunch I had half a turkey and chicken sandwhich on whole weat with tomatoes, sprouts, lettuce, oil, vinegar, and little salt and pepper. I also had a vegetable medley that my school offers that has brocoli, tomatoes, celery, carrots, and cucumbers.

I then hit the gym, today was a quick day, I did lunges and squats and then had to jet to fix a gate at my Mom's.

After the gym I had another shake prepared the same way and a bowl of chicken soup.

For dinner I had a few slices of bread, a piece of salmon and a small salad with some strawberries and balsamic vinnegarette dressing.

I enjoy eating this way so it isnt hard for me. I actually like vegetables. lol.

As far as training, I lift 3-4 times a week with target rep rage in the 4-8 zone. I train chest and tris day one back and bi's day two, legs day three and then a mix of chest back and arms on the fourth. I do not do cardio at the gym however I do walk for an hour 3 days a week although this sometimes gets pushed aside for school or random life duties.

Also I had my BF % checked today with the calipers and I am 21% =( that sucks. I bench 225 for 3 reps, deadlift 225 for 8, leg press 475 for 6, I can do 10 chin ups, although on the whole this isnt a lot for me personally its a nice improvement.

Thank you for reading this and I really appreciate the feedback!

P.S. the post I thought didnt get posted is now being displayed?


Zero, keep going. If you're wanting to lose fat then do as you're doing as it seems to be working. It's not an overnight thing as vroom said. THe way you are progressing seems good however as you're not going for a starvation approach which would make you lose fat/muscle and before you know it you'll be a bunch of bones with no muscles on them or fat...

One thing you can't do is lose fat and increase size (i'm assuming you mean gain muscle) unless you're an absolute beginner or a genetically gifted lucky bastard... :)... If you want to lose the fat stick to that... Once you get to a point where you start thinking that you've lost enough and, in fact, you'd rather increase your muscle mass, then start bulking.. evenwhen bulking, don't rush it, rome wasn't built in a day...

Anyways, try to remember you have to directions you can follow, lose fat or gain muscle.. stick to one.. reached your objective? good, then evaluate and see where you want to go from there...

Hope this helps in some kind of way..



Thanks Ale, it does help. I was worried that my improvements were mediocre at best. Im a good student and like to achieve well above average results in everything I do.

Is there anything beyond what Im doing that would help me lose fat quicker?? I dont mind staying around my muscle size right now but with summer coming and living in Arizona I would love a lean body to make my friends jealous. I have a good long term gf so I need different people to impresss!! lol.


yeah - when you wake up, on an empty stomach, drink a lot of water and then do some kind of aerobics for 30-45 mins on a completely empty stomach, or you can have coffee but no milk and no sugar. Or possibly some kind of fat burning supplement like HotRox or ephedrine if it is still legal. The key words are EMPTY STOMACH and AEROBICS.

That will vastly accelerate your fat loss but it is hard work and the morning will be catabolic / stressful to muscle gains. You can still have your protein drink after the workout though. But yeah it isn't optimal if your main aim is building muscle but you said you want to burn fat, mostly ... so something has to take a bit of a backburner.

If you can't fit in that much aerobics then at the very least do something to get a sweat going in the morning to get your metabolism up for the day.

The idea behind the exercise on an empty stomach (in fact, you should be mostly empty after a nights' sleep) is that your body has to call on reserves of energy to power your exercise. Your body won't want to though and will try to make you lazy. It will affect your mind and you'll make up excuses like "not enough time" or "nah that would never work" or "I can't do that I'll be catabolic and lose muscle" and all the other excuses that lead to being 30%+ bf or hey even 75% BF (the biggest loser is showing on TV at the moment).

Ditch the soy milk and all soy products unless you're a girl. Are you a girl? no. Therefore no soy. Waste of time. Soy in coffee is an insult.

But otherwise, you seem to be doing heaps of right things and making good progress so don't be discouraged. You don't HAVE to do what I suggested, you will probably lose the fat the way you are going, just slower.


Hey I didn't realise there is a current article on this on T-Nation

"100 Workouts From Ripped City"

Good article, read it mister


Thanks for all the advice! Ive run some searches and found the "T-Dawg Diet" what I found most interesting was the emphasis on timing. I have definetly not been following that type of guideline. This site really is an excellent resource and I feel fortuneate to have found it.


I wanted to add that aside from the T Dawg Diet Ive made my first Biotest purchase and gotten the HOT-ROX supplement based on the information and reviews I have read. If ever there was a good time for a before and after this is it!


Most people looking to gain size and drop fat cycle bulking and cutting cycles. Also, read the article on the "g flux" or whatever, basically a higher energy flux can help you achieve both at once.


Im still continuing to read as many articles on here as I can. The vault of information is really unbelievable.

Today is my official D-Day. Beyond diet and training refinement Im going to focusing on educating myself. One of the articles I read today "6 Lost Lifters" suggested that I set a goal and a plan. Im going to do so now, please provide feedback.

Goal: Drop from 22% BF to 10%
Goal: Increase strength in core excercises, squat, bench, deadlift.
Goal: Learn how to determine ideal "weights" for above mentioned excercises.

Plan: Follow the T-Dawg 2.0 Diet Strictly. Supplement with HOT-ROX. Follow the 100 Workouts to Ripped City Article.
Plan: Keep a strict record of food intake on my new www.fitday.com food log.
Plan: Weight train 4 days a week and PUSH MYSELF.
Plan: Read as much as I can on here and ask questions to those I can see face to face.
Plan: Learn to prevent injury!

The good news is Ive been doing most of my plan for some time now. I just now have a diet to follow, fat sups to help, and a log to keep everything written down. The better news I made it through day one without any stress. My concerns are becoming bored with walking my dog through the neighborhood and injuring myself due to my still new understanding of the body from a performance aspect.

I want this, I deserve this, and I will prove it to myself that I can hang.


Well, its been a week. Ive been following the T-Dawg diet, doing the 100 Excercises to Ripped City, and lifting following the ABBH. I supplement with a multi vitamin, HOT-ROX, and a whey protein shake 3 times a day. Im excited today, over the last 6 days I lost 6 lbs! thats nuts. I drink a ton of water so I am very confident that it is real weight loss and not water weight.

Im real happy that I havent experienced any noticeable difference in my ability to cleanly move weight on the ABBH program. Im stoked!


I would say its more water than your realizing. If your dropping that much weight and are not extremely obese then its almost gotta be water.