T Nation

SFGSG (Skinny Fat Guy Support Group)

What is a skinny, fat guy to do? Basically here’s the situation. I’m 190lbs at about 18% bodyfat. This gives me a lean body mass of around 156lbs and about 34lbs of bodyfat. I have dieted down from over 25% bodyfat. (In truth I’ve even been at a lower bodyfat percentage…around 12) But when I got there, I didn’t have much muscle. I just looked flat and stringy. Basically I have a hard time gaining muscle without gaining as much fat. Its probably around a 1:1 ratio of lean mass to fat gained. That’s not good. Anyway, when I diet, I usually go extreme and of course lose muscle with the fat. Now I’m not a newbie, and I’ve read EVERY issue of T-mag. I’ve got a much better understanding of how to manipulate my diet and go for longer term improvements. However, I’m wondering what should be my first priority. Losing the fat and then trying to gain mass while staying relatively lean, or just say fuck it, gain as much mass as I can and try to diet off ALL the fat later?

I think it’s important to take measures to get your bodyfat in check first. Once you get below 10% (if possible), then go ahead and start trying to pack on as much lean mass as possible. I too gain fat very quickly in my abdominal area and chest. And I probably gain more like 1.5:1 (fat to muscle). So when I make a 10lb gain, most of it is fat. I’m taking steps to decrease my bodyfat to below 10%. Then I will try to gain lean muscle again. Even John McCallum recommends gaining just enough to where you get smooth. Then diet down and get hard again. Hold it for a month or two and gain again. Small progressive gains are better than huge bulking cycles. I think huge bulking cycles are left to those who have great genetics or use steroids.

Actually a 1/1 ratio of muscle to fat when gaining isn’t all that bad. If you can gain at this level and then lose at a 3/1 fat/muscle you can steadily make progress. Did you lose any muscle when you dieted down from 25 to 18? Personally I agree with the DoggMeister-work on cutting for a while. I don’t buy in to this “gain as much as you can” mentality that seems to be so popular as of late (for those with higher bf anyway). Yes, you’ll have to put bulk on eventually but I would try to get down to 12 percent, MINIMIZING as much muscle loss as you can, then maybe go up to 15% or so, then back down to 10. Berardi’s Don’t Diet/Massive Eating may be tailor made for you. I would do all the insulin sensitivity tests and whatnot to see what macronutrient profile your body would best respond to, as it sounds like you’re a bit unsure.

Had the same problem seems to be resolved by the Eating Massive (don’t diet diet). Seems to have done the trick. Get a book called “The Metabolic Typing Diet” this book helped me to understand what kind of metabolizer I am then make my game plan more informed. Try it. I needed to up my calories and eat in the correct combinations helped a ton. Good luck. I went from 30% to a steadily declining 16%. Androsol, grow and other t-mag products helped significantly.

i went the cutting route first as well. just be careful because if you get extremely lean you might like it that way and then when it comes time to bulk up and add some fat with the muscle it could be a tough pill to swallow. i treaded water for several months while i grappled with the inevitable. now having gone through my first successful bulking phase and know what to expect i feel much better about it. to see the cuts and grooves come back deeper and more pronounced than last year is quite a motivator. :o)

Thanks for all the input T-folk. I guess I just needed a swift kick in the ass to cut up. I had already decided to use JB’s massive eating/don’t diet regimen. However now I’m thinking about doing it ala Delta 1250. Let me explain. I’ll use the calorie figures for Massive Eating for five days, followed by the Don’t diet calorie figures for five days. This way I won’t have to diet or bulk for too long and will keep muscle while losing fat. What are your thoughts on cycling the diets this way? T-men? John Berardi?

You won’t know until you try it. So just do it and let us know how it works for you. If it doesn’t, do something else. It’s that simple. You’ll know in a few weeks if it’s working or not. So instead of thinking about it, just set your mind on doing it and reap the benefits!

Fat Skinny Dude…er…Skinny Fat Guy…er…whatever! Do like the Dogg says and go for it! What’ve ya got to lose? It actually sounds like a decent plan. Maybe go for two weeks each, or do three of one and then just one week of the other. Let us know how it turns out though.

That goes for you too Timbo! You’ve been doing too much thinking and not enough doing! Get up on it!

Nate Doggie Dogg, LOL! Ya know, I was thinkin’ that exact same thing as I wrote that up…almost like I was thinking aloud to myself. Actions speak louder than words…too much deliberation over the little things…too much overanalyzation…just go after your goals and make changes along the way…not a damn thing’s going to go perfect and straight to form/according to plan from start to finish…so attack and adapt, kick some ass and have some fun:-)

Cool!

Finally, a place for support for a skinny fat guys.
First of all, i can’t find the don’t diet article in T-mag search. I did so many searches under “don’t diet” but it’s just not there. Is it the same as the latest article by JB where you have to reduce 25% of your massive eating plan if you want to cut up?

Anyway, 190 and 18% is a good time for cutting i guess. What about me? I am 5’6 154 and not sure about my body fat %. I think i used my digital fat track caliper inaccurately. So, i just list my skinfold measurements. Chest is about 5 to 7 mm. Abs: 22-25 mm and quads: about 5 to 7 mm.
What should i do? Dieting or massive eating?

Jon, I would make dieting your first choice. I too am a small guy (5’4", 150lbs). I gained 10lbs since Feb. In the process, I gained a few pounds of fat and felt and looked horrible. I started taking steps to decrease my bodyfat and can finally see the difference. Crazy thing is that my weight is still 150lbs. So I must have done a good job of burning fat and gaining muscle at the same time. I still want to get leaner, so I’m not done yet. I’m sure I’ll end up dropping below 150lbs. But at my height, I can be 135-150lbs and still look pretty good. So yes, get your bodyfat down to 12% or less. Then work on bulking again. And the don’t diet diet is basically Massive Eating minus 25% as JB put in his article “Appetite for Construction.” Good luck!