T Nation

Newbie Questions on How to Eat

I’ve been working out - “casually” for about a year, and with more effort the past 3 or so months.

I definitely can see fairly significant differences in the amount that I can lift, but I’m still far away from my goals.

I’m 5’6", weigh about 135-140lbs. The problem is I’m “skinny fat”. I don’t have all that much visible muscle. In the mornings on an empty stomach I have more or less no gut (but no visible abs either), but in the evenings my gut is more pronounced. I also have some flab in my buttocks.

My goal is to gain some body mass, but get rid of any flab once and for all.

Reading through this site, other sites, and talking with people, they all tell me to eat more - at least 3000 calories/day. Right now I think I’m eating slightly under 2000 calories/day. I lift 3-4 times/week, and until last month, did cardio at least 3/week too. I’m also eating very cleanly, except for a single cheat meal on weekends.

At this point, I feel if I eat more, I’m only going to add more to my blubber, which isn’t going away as fast as I’d like. At the same time I realize if I don’t eat, I’m not going make gains either. I also realize it’s hard to both lose fat and gain muscle simultaneously, but then again I’ve also heard it’s possible to do so for newbies.

If I up my caloric intake, would it still be possible to lose my flab while aiming for gains? Note that I’m not aspiring to be extremely bulky - just enough to show some definition.


You might want to slowly increase your calories.

But yes, considering your body figure (didn’t want to use body type in this instance), it seems like you’re at a point where you can effectively burn some fat while building muscle.

Just give it time, don’t expect results over night or even within a month, but slow steady progress over a few months should help a lot.

Take some measurements if you can, or at the very least take some before photos, because seeing yourself everyday in the mirror you won’t notice the changes as mcuh as you would with periodic “after” photos