T Nation

Starting Properly, Need Diet Advice



After signing up to a proper gym, and having a friend who has been training for a few months coming with me, I can start on specific routine and control my diet properly. So I am here for advice.

General Info:
Age: 18 (went through puberty early - so biological age near 20)
Height: 6feet, 183cm
Weight: 10st7lb, 147lb, 66kg
BMI: 19
Body Fat: 12.5% (measured through scales)

So, simply, I am skinny fat. I am technically underweight, but I am not lean. I have little muscle but still have some body fat.

I am living alone now and can control my diet. I am going to the gym 4 times a week, starting the Rippetoe routine, with some supplementary exercises and some ab work. I am doing some dancing on one day, so that will serve as some cardio, and if need be, I can do some light cardio on other days.

I need advice on my diet. I assume I should be consuming 3000kcals on non-training days, and 3500-3750kcals on training days. I will try to break it up roughly into 40:30:30 (protein:carbs:fat). My problem is that I dont really feel the need to eat - I dont get hungry, so very often I dont eat for 18h stretches, and not feel hungry...

This is far from the 6 small meals that is recommended a day... I have bought some weight protein so that will be an easy way for boosting protein intake. Would you recommend any more supplements?

My main reason for starting something is my desire to have a more defined FACE. I wasnt an athletic kid - was a skinny fat kid, so my testosterone production probably wasnt what it could have been. So I am left with a fairly 'baby-face' with a lot of stubble, and pretty much no defintion. I dont have a defined jawline and have chubby cheeks without defined cheekbones and all those masculine features.

This really pisses me off - I am a good height, yet my face looks gaunt, slightly chubby, not defined and weak. Would putting on more muscle mass, increasing body testosterone and loosing some weight help to develop my face and give it a more chiseled and manly look? Can you suggest other natural ways, or if necessary, supplementary ways of boosting testosterone?

I also have a final question about alcohol and caffeine. I am a student so go out a fair bit. I can manage to get 6-8h of sleep most nights if I want, but going out to clubs involves getting drinks. Will having alcohol have a negative impact on my routine? OFC, alcohol is pointless calories (especially beer) and pointless strain on the liver.

But thats what a student life is about. I will cut down on my beer intake to maybe 2 or 3 pints a week, and stick to spirits and caffeine, trying not to consume any more than 6 or 7 shots in a night - thats around 300cals. Would that be fine?

Thanks very much.


Rippetoes is a good choice, but it's only 3x/week. The rest of the week is for rest- you should need it to make sure you are making progress.

The dancing is good... I guess.

About 3000kcal in roughly a 40/30/30 breakdown is good. I've never been a fan of having different volumes of food eaten for workout days and non-workout days. I usually eat the same thing pretty much every day and have found it's very simple to maintain, eat, and shop for. I recommend it.

3000kcal is probably enough. My guess is that you'd grow on 3750 kcal/day, but not more than you would at 3k. Start at 3k (bodyweight in lbs x20 is the general rule) and measure your progress every couple of weeks. If you're gaining slowly, and your weight gains are matched by strength gains, you're doing it right.

I have no idea if lifting will affect your facial features. I kinda doubt it, actually. That's genetic, and therefore determined for you before you even begin.

Caffeine is great. Anyone who tells you otherwise is a communist. Alcohol should not affect your routine significantly. Yes, it's pointless calories, but if you're trying to put on some mass, it's really not that big a deal.

Unless you're drinking guinness. Drinking guinness is like eating a loaf of bread, because you can't eat for a month after that. Or at least, that's been my experience.

I recommend fish oil. Fish oil and protein are probably the two most cost-effective supps for a young trainnee. Or anyone, really. Creatine is up there too, but I tend to eat a bunch of red meat and so not really need it (a pound of cow has 5g of creatine in it, I believe. I eat just about that much every day, so whats the point on taking extra creatine?).

Good luck, keep coming here with questions and your progress.



BWx20 gives him the amount of calories - roughly- to grow, but if you factor in a hard lifting session around 60 min, he'll be burning around 400-600 cals from that alone. The 3500-3700 cals he has is pretty accurate I think.


I disagree.

HOWEVER, what we can probably both agree on is that he should pick one caloric range, be it 3k, 3.5k, or whatever, and monitor his progress, adjusting his caloric intake and training based upon the quality and quantity of his gains.


I do ballet, I assume that "dance" is pretty intense and you also do stretching. It will help you with mobility/flexibility.....and to raise the probability of scoring.


In moderation... and if drinking the night before does not affect your performance in the gym. I can't drink because when I do, it's a lot, and I am usually out of commission for a full day or two.

Bah, smoke a bowl.


You'll probably have a hard time with the roundness of your face.