T Nation

Shed 40Lbs: Continue Fat Loss or Start Bulking?


Hello T-Nation,
Short version of the story:
Found T-Nation. Read the articles. Asked people for suggestions. FOLLOWED them.
I have been training consistently for an year. I lost about 41 lb as of today. Gained some strength (rather, more than doubled my beginning strength levels).

I have lost most of the fat, but I am obviously not ripped or anywhere close to it. I became "skinny-fat" I guess.I have been dieting constantly for an year (except for a few cheat days during Christmas/thanksgiving and when my girlfriend had an accident and was in the hospital for a few weeks).

At this point, I'm not sure if I should continue losing fat or start bulking.
here are the progress photos.

Before: (WARNING: Graphic, disturbing fat as hell image :))

Was 183 lb there. Taken in June last year, after one week of dieting.


Suggestions? Comments?

Thanks for reading, and thanks for the help so far.


The second image did not get uploaded. Here it is:

And my diet:
I eat 4-6 meals a day (every three hours). Get about 180-200g protein and keep it to about 50g carbs on non workout days.
Pre workout meal = about 70g carbs+ 30g protein, and PWO shake - 60g dextrose + 45g protein.

Training: Right now, I'm following CT's "Destroying fat"

Thank you.


Absolutely solid progress! What is your goal? Where would you like to see yourself in a year?


Good job..

No you should not continue fat lose ...You look really slender, if you loose anymore weight you may start looking sick.

I stay away from the term "bulk" so i won't advice you on that, but you just simply need to start gaining muscle.

Stop following CT's Destroying fat program and start a program directed at gaining muscle - which should include working every muscle group.


Thank you.
My goal is to just be bigger, stronger, leaner. And faster if it works out with the other three. Since I am blessed with a very narrow frame, I certainly want to hit my delts hard to look a little wider.

I guess, in an year, I want to see myself being "muscular", FWIW. I have no illusions of having a six pack anytime soon, but at least don't want to see love handles.

I have heard over and over, again and again that the leaner you get before your mass gaining phase, the leaner your gains will be. I feel like I should get leaner, but it is getting somewhat less motivating, and I started to lose some strength. Slightly. And it's getting boring to bust my ass in the gym, but look skinny.


Thank you. I agree on the slender part. Even my girlfriend calls me skinny now.. I was thinking about CW's Big Boy Basics.


There's really not much more to say at this point except the typical. Put your nose to the grindstone and put in the effort day by day, week by week, month by month, year by year. Forget words like bulking and cutting right now. Stick to your solid diet, and boost calories as needed. Put numbers on your lifts each week, and most importantly, follow a program that will allow you to increase the intensity of your workouts overtime.


Nice Job! You should check out the article on former fat boys or FFB. The rules of mass gaining change a little bit for us guys that gain weight easily.


Yes, I read the FFB manifesto and other related articles by Shugart. That greatly saddened me. No 5,000 calories or gallon of chocolate milk for me. FML.



good job so far OP


When do I start boosting calories? I have the sinking feeling that with the very little muscle I have, I may not be able to get ripped or even very lean.
And what's a somewhat reliable (and not expensive) way to estimate my bodyfat %?

Posting a photo with a shoe seems to be very popular over here :smiley:


Don't worry about your fat percentage. You have picked a goal...to get big muscles. Do that and work hard at it.


I am a fat man. Once I tried to diet while hitting the weights hard. It was a disaster. Loosen up your diet as you increase your work load. Otherwise you'll crash hard.

If you're a calorie counter, find a table that shows caloric intake for bodyweights. Eat 10 lbs. heavier than your current weight. Yes, you will gain that 10lbs. back but no more. That will give you enough room to grow your muscles.


Then you weren't doing it right...yeeeet you are giving advice.


Exactly. I have been hitting the weights pretty hard while dieting very strictly for a little move an year.....

I know how to gain weight, in theory. The question is - is it time yet? And seems like the answer is a few more weeks maybe....


Seriously, you're on the right path and you're doing very well. I think that's why there may be a lull in advice here...just keep truckin'. You have been following a fat loss program, so as soon as you finish out your current cycle or whatever, it's probably a good time to shift to a higher volume program--geared more towards mass building.

When I said boost calories as needed, I meant as much as need to continue progressing on your weights. With a shift in program you will find that you need to eat more just due to the higher intensity of workouts. Things should work themselves out. You do still have a fair amount of body fat, and you should stick to clean eating, just boost the calories.


When I was in my 20's I dropped lots of fat following a strict diet. Then I tried to lift heavier weights and get more muscles without adding enough extra calories into my diet. I failed. I want to save you from that. When you go to get more muscle, you need to follow a strict diet still, but you can't be afraid to eat a little more.

I don't think you should wait too long. Lifting heavier weights and eating more food is much more fun than being hungry and weak.


Well, see, that's a different tone than your original post. I think both I and the OP misunderstood it as discouragement for aiming for high intensity while dieting. I agree with what you've last written.


This, I agree with. Your previous post implied something else.

Yeah, fat loss, especially towards the end where you don't see much of a difference can be very boring. I guess I'll just endure a few more weeks of this and drop a few more pounds and reevaluate my situation.


slow clap I vote keep doing what you're doing, it's obviously working. It's a marathon not a sprint, you got the rest of your life.