T Nation

Face and Cheek Fat


I'm an 18 year old male who is underweight. I have been focused on weight training for a long time. I came out of a running background in high school, I'm currently a sophomore in college.

I have noticed that after highschool my body composition has changed dramatically. In highschool I seemed to have more muscle than now even though I've gotten heavier. Even though I trained properly and ate enough calories to gain muscle all I gain is fat. Since highschool I slowly put on about 15 pounds (1.5 years ago.

I have a skinny frame, I guess you can call me an ectomorph, but I'm not a hardgainer, I can gain weight but seriously not muscle. I've been following Waterbury's and Thibs workout plans. I'm knowlegdeable enough in nutrition (my major in college) to know what I need to do to gain weight and build muscle with all the proper recovery methods and pre/post workout drinks and an overall balanced diet. It got so serious that I've went and got my hormones checked out through blood tests. I ran test on my Testosterone and Thyroid, both which seem to be normal.

One thing I notice the most is that I store fat on my face. I used to have a normal strong chin and face. It really makes me sick and I don't like the way I look. I was thinking it could be excess estrogen but i haven't see any studies on cheek fat and excess estrogen in men. I bought some Alpha Male and REZ-V. I dont ever rely on supplements. I believe like most on here that a healthy balanced diet with calories above maintenace, anyone can achieve great results to gain muscle.

Do any of you guys have any idea what could be going on particulary about my chubby face? I read and research all the time on clinical studies on the human body to find out what could be wrong but I just dont know.


Obviously, you're not training and/or eating properly like you think you are if you're not gaining any muscle.

Why didn't you change your diet and training if you saw that you weren't getting the results you wanted while you were gaining weight? If something's not working, stop doing what you are doing and re-evaluate.


I think I'm a very abnormal human being. I experienced many differnt training approaches, diets (low carb, high carb, etc.) and cant see any noticeable effect in any change. 15 pounds in a year and a half is not a lot. I am so skinny that I want to eat and gain but when i do and do gain the weight its mostly fat i see through measurements and pictures.

I gain some strength but not as much as I should. I'm not anorexic or anything but i feel if i do eat enough to grow, my face, lowerback, and abdmomen strong grown more than anything else.


Bottom line is if you aren't gaining muscle and you are gaining fat you aren't eating right. Enough? probably but not the right things. I understand everyone is slightly different in terms of genetics but we are all made of the same parts and chances are you aren't as abnormal as you think. Could you give us a breakdown of what a normal day might look like for you along with some stats like height weight and maybe some lifts.



I know this Russian lady that has a fat puffy face and she also has a 6 pack.

Ever see those girls with all the fat and creases or rolls in their necks ...probably GENETICS.

You can't spot reduce fat, your body will geneticly put it where it wants to. I would start learning to accept it. Also, as you get older in your 30's, that face fat seems to chizzle up on men as long as they arn't overweight.



Oh yeah ...check out Josh Beckett. He's pitching for the Red Sox on ESPN right now. He has a chubby face and he's not overweight.



Try training with more intensity. My point was that if you're eating enough to gain 15 pounds and none of it is muscle, something's wrong in the gym. You can't just expect to get bigger and stronger because you're on so and so's workout program. You get what you put into it.


A typical low carb workout day looks like this:

meal 1: 3 eggs with a type of meat cheese, 2 slices of bread, banana

meal 2: Tuna Sandwich with fruit. (I load the sandwich with a lot of cals with EVOO and Mayo bc I'm at work and down south in louisiana you cant eat and work, youll just throw it up) so its a good 600 cals in all.

meal 3: Pre/Post workout shakes consisting of high glycemic carbs, milk, chocolate milk mix (ovaltine) and whey)

meal 4: Lot of calories here with a lot of carbs, either pasta with chicken and bread and cheese and vegetables or something with a lot of cals since i worked out

meal 6: Cottage cheese, milk, nuts, peanut butter.

I am 5'9 and my weight is irrevelant, too embarrassed to say. Like I said I'm underweight.


You could just be getting fat from bad food choices. When my cheeks get fat, I'm usually getting fat, and that means I'm not eating right, or eating too much.


Yea thats true for me too except I dont know why I gain fat so easy... Estrogen maybe? I Just can not seem to gain lean mass just fat.


I would question workout intensity. A beginner on either Waterbury or Thib's workout programs should post some massive strength gains. I gained over 100 pounds on my deadlift on TBT (granted I hadn't been training my legs in years).

Here's a good measure of workout intensity. If you get home from your workout, and all you want to do is lie down on the couch for a while, you did well. If you feel like you could go to a dance club, you didn't work hard enough.

Put in solid work and your body will put muscle on. My diet in college was absolute garbage and I still managed put on muscle and burn fat. Keep at it.


Wait, you didn't mention a program. You just said you're "training properly". What does that mean? Show us what your workouts look like and maybe we can help with that.


What struck me as odd was you said low carb, and then you have carbs in every single one of your meals. And your weight is pretty relevant man ha, nobody is going to bash you for asking for help.

Try cutting out the carbs except for post workout, increase your protein(maybe I don't know because you didn't give weight). I didn't start real time gaining until I moved up to 2 grams of protein per lb.

And I agree with some of the other guys here about workout intensity. Even with a poor diet most people can make some muscular gains. Would you mind putting up a typical week's split and maybe give us an indication of how you've progressed in weights?


Exactly. Serd, your first meal alone has more carbs than I have all day on a low carb day (even if it's a workout day carbs should be timed around your workout, not spread over the whole day like you're doing here).

You're not abnormal, you're just not eating right. Post more specific info (start recording your daily grams of Protein/Carbs(& Fiber)/Fat if you aren't already), and folks will be better able to recommend changes.


Sounds like high cortisol levels. Weight gain in the truck and face are high tell symptoms. Ask your doctor to get your cortisol levels checked.


OK, I'm just going to lay it out. I'm 5'9" and weight 137. I know I'm skinny, and I know all your going to tell me is to EAT EAT EAT. TRUST ME guys I've been reading and learning from these forums for a very long time and I know all you do is harass us skinny kids. But this one is not anorexic and knows hes skinny. I 'm not denying it.

I first started with Waterbury's TBT program which progressed alot in strength but not size. I followed some other full body routines until I just got tired of seeing no real gains. Then I started follwing Christian Thib's "Superhero Program" Which I can at least see myself growing a lot more than i did with Full body workouts. I push my body to the limit in the gym, I'm not a pussy and give up when the weight gets heavy or I'm fatiqued. I learned to train through pain.

The reason Why i call that my low carb plan is because I compare that low carb compared to what i usually eat. A TON OF CARBS. I mean at least 80 grams of carbs for B-fast through oatmeal, milk, fruit, yogurt etc. I always eat 6 meals a day consisting of protein, good fats, and healthy carbs.... When i mentioned low carb, what I also meant was I increased the "good" fat intake. Especially Sat fat to have a chance to increase test levels.

I usually eat 40 whole eggs a week a good amount of walnuts, PB, EVOO, a little mayo but not too much bc i know too much polyunsaturated fats can increase estrogen. Do you guys think i should go true low carb? Its really hard for me to go without carbs since I'm about to leave for school and we'll be eating in the cafeteria at my school. Thanks for any help guys, I truly appreciate any advice.


I reread your posts again and there seems to be some glaringly obvious contradictions.

1.) you claim to be getting fat, yet you are 5'9" 137 lbs. I am also 5'9" If I ever weighed 137 I would probably have to be hospitalized for malnutrition. I seriously doubt that you are "fat" as you say you are.
If the cheek fat is as bad as you say it is, what can you really do? I guess you could try some topical stuff but let's be honest here, I think that effort could be better served gaining some muscle.

2.) Then you admit to being ectomorphic (which I agree) but then you say you can gain weight but not muscle, just fat.

3.) You say you are on low carbs but you are eating alot of carbs.

I'm going to be brutally honest here:

First of all how old are you? You sound very young and your concern over the minutia will only lead to a lack of progress. You want to cut up more and lose your "cheek fat"? I personlly think you have some type of fear of getting fat/gaining weight or over eating.

I seriously doubt at 137 lbs (yikes!!) a.) you are fat b.) you are getting fat or c.) you have ever been fat.

1.) I seriously suggest you pick a training regimen (read the archives here) focus on getting yourself very strong and bigger.

2.) Keep eating, diet seems ok. Make sure you get at least 1-2 grams of protein per lb a day.

3.) Focus your efforts on training, nutrition, and rest. Don't sweat the small stuff, like "cheek fat."


i i think it's from holding water..
kinda like when you see those bodybuilders in the magazines. you see a six pack but their cheeks are puffy... i might be wrong but, that's what i just noticed..


You don't know as much about diet as you think you do, and you are weirdly fixated on a few small details, while clearly missing the big picture.

In your meal plan above, you are eating high GI carbs in every single meal, yet you say you always eat "healthy carbs." Outside of the PWO window, milk, pasta, bread, and bananas are not what you want to be eating. All of those things are going to give you a big insulin response, and then in every meal you are pairing them with significant amounts of fat. If you have fatty acids coming into your bloodstream while insulin is high, they are going to be directed straight to your fat cells.

Good, low-GI carbs sources include oats, sweet potatoes, beans and brown rice.

And shut up about this thing with the face fat, already. You are clearly a young guy, it is VERY unlikely that you have low T or high E. If you are currently carrying ONE pound of fat in your face, that would be a lot. It's insignificant, and you are obsessing about it to no good end. I'm sure you are getting plenty of saturated fat, and this thing about cutting out polys? WTF? Omega3s are polys, and they are the most important fats to eat.


by polyunsaturated fats I indirectly meant Omega 6...
It seems everyone in the world should be obese if they ate bananas, milk, pasta, and bread then right since the HIgh gi carb? Whole wheat pasta and whole wheat bread are not high on the GI scale by the way.
YOu dont live everyday in my body so you can't say information you dont know of. But thanks for the help.