T Nation

Skinny Fat, Please Help


Alright, let me introduce myself a bit. I'm 22 years old, 6'2 and i weighed in at 175.4 today. I've lost 100+ pounds over the past 2 years, but now i'm stuck being skinny fat. You know, when you appear thin with clothes on, but you still have a nice fatty midsection. I'm not sure what my BF is, but im guessing it is pretty high. I'll know more when i get back to the states(i'm studying abroad in NZ right now). I've been trucking along with my weightloss, but when i was doing squats the other day i noticed how thin i looked. In the past 2 days i've been told by 2 different people how thin i was looking. Yikes! i've never been told that before, and they werent the "wow, you look good" type comments.

I've been eating about 2500 calories a day(like 50/30/20 c/p/f) and i lift weights 4 days a week and do cardio 2-3 times a week on the off days.

So here is my problem..i've been worried about getting too light. Ideally, i'd like to be a lean 190-200ish. I read the FFB handbook that Chris Shugart wrote and it has got me a little freaked. I'm nowhere close to ripped and i dont know how low i'd have to go to get 'ripped' or if it is even possible with how little muscle i have. Im also worried about trying to bulk too soon(especially as a FFB). I've been fat most my life and the thought of having to bulk with a gut and having to keep it for months more is driving me nuts. However, i want to do whats best for my body so i dont yo-yo diet between skinny fat and just fat.

Does anyone have any suggestions on what i should do? Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.



It's not how low you have to get weightwise to look 'ripped', it's how much muscle you can add to your frame.

At 6'2" and 175 you ARE thinnish. Now you have to change your body composition ie-lower body fat %. To do this without 'bulking is not that tough.

I would adjust your workout to lifting heavier weights. Focus on the big/combo type lifts, but don't be afraid to do isolation movememnts as well.
Switch your cardio to a more intense pace. Intervals, sprint workouts, hill chargers for us old football guys. Do this instead of steady paced type distance/time cardio.

And of course your diet will be crucial
it doesn't have to be perfect, but it needs to be in order

good luck


I don't think this guy should be doing much cardio at all aside from possibly if his conditioning is completely out of whack. At 175lbs and 6'2", this guy is skinny.


thanks for the replies guys.

I guess what i'm wondering about is whether i should put on weight and then cut later, or continue to cut and then bulk?



Just because you're skinny doesn't mean you should eliminate cardio. And my post was specific in saying switching from one to another GIVEN the fact that he said he wants to be a leanish 190-200 at top weight.
I was interpreting that he did not want to get big or masive, just a simple switch in body composition.
If that assumption was incorrect, then limit the cardio, agreed.


Why would you even consider cutting more if your goal is to bulk up? You can control the speed with which you 'bulk' It's not like you should just bang, put 25 lbs on.

Switch your weight program
Change or limit your cardio style
Eat 250-500 more cals. than you were when dieting.
See how that works for a couple of weeks and then reevaluate your calorie needs.


alright, thanks.

I was just curious about whether i should continue cutting because i still have a lot of fat on me and i wasn't sure if it was bad to try and bulk while still having a relatively high BF.


Here's the deal though, you're not just dropping fat by cutting. I don't know all the deatails of your cutting, but let's spend the next 8-10 weeks trrying to gain some lean body mass and losing some fat. You may not notice any weight difference on the scale, but rest assured you will feel and look different after a good, well planned weight orientated program.
As you gain lean mass, your metabolism is jacked and your body learns to more efficiently use the fat on your body as fuel. It also thermically uses more cals just to sit with more lean mass.
And you won't have people telling you you're looking thin, you'll have people telling you you're looking good and lean.
I don't know your iron level or anything else. Suffice to say you need to jack the intensity. Total body workouts in the4x6 mode work well.


alright, thanks :slight_smile: i'll definitely try that.